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!
- 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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fluff rice with a flork and stir in 1 TBSP of butter and golden raisins. Season with salt and mix thoroughly.
Serve rice on plate, topped with tagine and sliced almonds. Drizzle sour cream and cilantro sauces.