what the hell is a Tagine? Morocco
In the evening we went to our favourite restaurant to have one of the most famous Moroccan dishes: Tagine. There is a very special way to prepare this dish. You need a clay plate with a lid on top. The lid looks a little bit like a chimney with an inbuilt hole. The food to be prepared – meat, chicken, vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc. – is placed on the plate, covered and then cooked until tender on a wood fire – nowadays probably in a microwave. You can prepare any meat you want to, except pork, there even are vegetarian tagines for those more oriented to eating leaves only. According to our observation and considering our 1st preliminary conclusion, Tagine may be in a certain competition to West African’s Triple Cooked Chicken in Oily Soup, Without Salt and Spices.
For those who are not familiar with this Moroccan meal here a chance to get this all important point: surely you’re familiar with McDonald’s BigMac (pic on the right). So let’s use this as a guideline to explain the Kefta Tagine (pic above). A BigMac has some lousy bread on the top and on the bottom. Similar to that a Kefta Tagine also has some bread. But not as an integral part of the meal, rather as a complement and in a separate basket to avoid this soaky mess you always experience with a BigMac. Then the most important thing – the meat. In both cases it’s exactly the same: minced beef.
McDonald’s calls it Hamburger to remember the inhabitants of a town in North Germany, the Moroccinies call it Kefta without any geographic incidence (as far as we know). McDonald serves this meat on his wobbly bread, the Moroocinis serve it in a solid earthenware plate. Slightly different, but still ok. In both cases this meat tastes a little bit like wet old carton – therefore not very well. To hide this BigMacs are soaked in a sauce of greasy mayo improved by tomato ketchup. In Kefta Tagines for this purpose only tomato sauce is used. So still, quite or at least somehow similar. Finally the healthy green stuff: A Bigmac has Coleslaw in Mayo, a Kefta Tagine Coriander and other spices. And now the only real difference: As a kind of isolation between the wobbly part of the bread and the tasteless part of the meat a BigMac has a piece of industrial cheese. As the bread is served separately of the Tagine – even no need of isolation. All clear by now?