Moroccan cuisine is usually a mix of Amazigh, Andalusian, and Mediterranean cuisines, with slight European (French and Spanish) and sub-Saharan influences.

A tagine, sometimes spelled “tajine,” is a traditional Moroccan cooking vessel made of ceramic or unglazed clay with a round base and low sides. A cone-shaped cover sits on the base during cooking. The conical lid traps steam during cooking and returns the liquid to the clay pot, resulting in a moist dish with concentrated flavors.

Tagine is also the name for a Maghrebi, or North African, dish cooked in the tagine pot. Tagine is closely associated with Moroccan cuisine, where slow-cooked savory stews made with meat, poultry, or fish, are cooked with vegetables, aromatic spices, dried fruit, and nuts.

Most people agree that the tagine’s origin dates back to the late 18th century when Harun al Rashid ruled the Islamic Empire. However, there is another school of thought that the use of ceramics in Moroccan cooking is probably of Roman influence; Romans were known for their ceramics and likely brought that tradition to their rule of Roman Africa. Either way, the first appearance of recipes cooked tagine-style appeared in the 9th century in the publication The Thousand and One Nights.

However, you don’t need one to make this dish—the entire meal comes together with the pots and pans you already have! The Moroccan in me is very proud to share this delicious meal and hope you will like it as much as I do!

Chickpeas and Zucchini Tagine
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Moroccan
Calories: 950 kcal
Ingredients
  • 1 Yellow Onions
  • 2 cloves Garlic (chopped)
  • 1 Small Lemon (juiced)
  • 1 large Zucchini
  • 1 can Chickpeas (15 Oz)
  • 1/2 cup Basmati Rice
  • 4 TBSP Sour Cream
  • 1 TBSP Moroccan Spice Blend
  • 1/2 Oz Sliced Roasted Almonds
  • 1/8 Cup Golden Raisins
  • 1/4 Oz Cilantro (chopped)
  • 2 TBSP Butter (unsalted)
Instructions
  1. Halve, peel and chop onion. Chop cilantro. Peel and mince garlic. Juice half of the lemon. Trim zucchini lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick half moons. Drain and rinse chickpeas.

  2. Heat a drizzle of oil in a small pot, add 1/4 of the onion and cook, stirring, until soften and slightly golden. Stir in rice and cook as per the instructions on your package. Once cooked, keep covered and off heat until ready to serve.

  3. In a small bowl, combine chopped cilantro, 2 TBSP olive oil, a pinch of garlic, salt, pepper and half the lemon juice. Mix thoroughly.

    In a separate small bowl, combine sour cream, salt and the rest of the lemon juice. Mix thoroughly.

  4. Heat a large drizzle of oil in a large pan. Add remaining onion and let cook until soft and golden. Add zucchini and cook, stirring, until softened and lightly brown. Add the Moroccan spice blend, remaining garlic and salt to taste. Cook stirring until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes.

  5. Pour in 1/4 cup of water and add chickpeas. Bring to a low simmer and cook until liquid has reduced. Turn off heat, stir in 1 TBSP of butter until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

  6. Fluff rice with a flork and stir in 1 TBSP of butter and golden raisins. Season with salt and mix thoroughly.

  7. Serve rice on plate, topped with tagine and sliced almonds. Drizzle sour cream and cilantro sauces.

Cultivated in the Punjab region, on the border of India and Pakistan, Basmati rice is a long-grain rice with floral and woody notes. Its name means Queen of Perfume in Hindi (or Prince of Fragrances, depending on the translation). Low in sodium and with a low to medium glycemic index, it is also quick to cook, hence its popular success. I invite you with this recipe to a deliciously flavored trip.

Golden Basmati Rice
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/2 Large Yellow Onion (chopped finely)
  • 2 tbsp Vegan Butter (or Olive oil)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 pinch Cinnamon
  • 1/2 oz Dried raisins
  • 1/2 oz Roasted almonds (chopped finely)
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Saute onion in a non-stick pot over low heat in butter until gold and soft.

  2. Add spices, rice, water and mix thoroughly.

  3. Cover with a lid and let simmer for about 18 to 20 minutes.

  4. Once the rice is cooked, remove from heat and add raisins and almonds and mix. Salt to taste then serve.

Here is a classic and exotic dish that I prepare very often, one of my favorite: Dahl.  Dhal (or Dal or Daal) is one of these pillars of Indian cuisine (such  as rice or curry) also found in Pakistani and Sri Lankan cuisine…It is made with legumes such as lentils (usually red), split peas, chickpeas or beans, seasoned with different spices and herbs (depending on the family budget and which part of India they live), to which water or coconut milk is added. It is most often served with rice (like my Golden Basmati Rice) or bread (Chapati or Naan). It is divine and highly comforting during cold weather (I live in California but will eat Indian food anytime). I hope you like it.

Dahl
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 3
Ingredients
  • 3.5 oz Red lentils
  • 1/2 Onion (chopped)
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger powder
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/3 tbsp Turmeric powder
  • 4 oz Coconut milk (full fat)
  • 4.5 oz Canned tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 7 oz Water
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric and sauté for about 3 minutes, until soft.

  2. Add lentils and water, cover with a lid and let it simmer for about 25 minutes. 

  3. Add coconut milk, tomatoes, Garam Masala, cover with a lid and let it simmer for another 15 minutes.

  4. Once ready, add salt, pepper, lemon juice, top with a few chopped cilantro leaves and serve.

Recipe Notes

I like to serve Dahl with my Golden Basmati Rice.

 

I’ve always loved a good Risotto and usually use Arborio rice (which you can easily find at Whole Foods, Target or online on Amazon). But this time I wanted to try a different, healthier version. So I decided to use white quinoa (bought at Trader’s Joe from which this recipe is adapted). Personally I can’t do quinoa but plenty of my friends do and they absolutely looooved that recipe! So go ahead try it and let me know how you liked it.

Mushroom Quinoa Risotto
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

 

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 4 oz Baby Bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup White Quinoa rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups Veggie broth kept warm in pan
  • 2 1/2 tbsp White wine
  • 1 Shallot diced
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan vegan
  • 2 tbsp Sour Cream vegan
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms and saute until golden and soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.

  2. Lower heat, add shallot and garlic and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. 

  3. Increase heat to medium and add the quinoa. Stir for about 3 minutes until quinoa is slightly toasted. Lower heat to a simmer. Add the wine and continue to stir until absorbed. 

  4. Pour about 1/2 cup of warm broth into quinoa and continue to stir and simmer until completely absorbed. keep stirring in broth 1/2 cup at a time until quinoa is creamy, about 20 minutes.

  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the vegan Parmesan, remove from heat, cover with a lid and let stand for 2 minutes.

  6. Stir in the mushrooms and vegan sour cream. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top.

Recipe Notes

If you don't want to use white wine, you can use Apple Cider Vinegar instead. For each cup of white wine, use 1/2 cup of ACV mixed with 1/2 cup of water.

This super quick and simple marinara is my favorite go-to recipe when I need to whip up a quick sauce. This yummy sauce uses pantry staples that you probably have on hand now. Great for pasta, pizza, rice, as a dipping sauce etc…Enjoy!

Quick Simple Marinara Sauce
Servings: 2 people
Ingredients
  • 1 can Unsalted Organic Diced Tomatoes (about 15oz)
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic (chopped)
  • 1 TBSP Yellow Onion (chopped)
  • 2 tsp Agave Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 medium Bay Leaf
  • 4 Fresh Basil leaves
  • 1 TBSP Fresh Cilantro
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.

  2. Add garlic and onions and heat until the garlic becomes fragrant and just starts to sizzle, and the onion is translucent.

  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir and reduce heat to low.

  4. Cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring often and adding water if necessary.

  5. Remove from heat, remove bay leaf and let it cool for a few minutes.

  6. Pour all in a food processor and mix until you get the desired consistency.

  7. This sauce can be kept 1 week in the fridge, after which you can freeze it.

Spicy Moroccan Carrots
Course: Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Moroccan
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Medium carrots (peeled and sliced thinly)
  • 2 cloves Garlic (chopped)
  • 1 TBSP Cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 pinch Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Pickled lemon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Boil carrots for about 10 minutes. Once cooked, drain and set aside to cool down.

  2. In a cooking pan, drizzle olive oil. Add carrots, garlic, cilantro and all spices.

  3. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

  4. You can either serve it cold as a salad or warm as a side dish.

 

 

 

The French word “Jardinière” doesn’t translate to English. Best I could come up with was mixed veggies, and truly, that’s exactly what it is. There are many ways to cook and spice vegetables but I chose my Grandmother’s way, the healthy way…Well kind of…I replaced the olive oil with butter (yes, vegan!) to have less of a “grown-up” taste and more of a “baby taste”. Because we all need some comfort food that is vegan and healthy, don’t we now?

Jardinière de Légumes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: French
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 TBSP Vegan Butter
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion (chopped)
  • 4 medium Carrots (sliced)
  • 3 medium Gold Potatoes (cubed)
  • 2 Cups Broccoli Florets
  • 3 Cups Cauliflower Florets
  • 8 Oz Water
  • Salt (to taste)
Instructions
  1. In a non stick cooking pot, melt the butter and sauté the onion until golden

  2. Add carrots and potatoes then add the water. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes

  3. Add the cauliflower and broccoli and cook for another 10 minutes, until tender

  4. Add salt to taste then serve