Try a tagine for tenderness - recipes
A tagine is a North African dish named after the earthenware pot it is cooked in.
The tagine’s conical shape makes a uniquely moist, hot cooking environment for the dish being cooked.
The base is wide and shallow, and the tall lid fits snugly inside. It is filled with meat, dried fruit and vegetables and a small amount of liquid and left to cook for a few hours on a slow heat, producing a meltingly tender stew.
The conical lid allows steam to circulate during cooking, which then creates condensation that drips back onto the meat, keeping the food moist.
Some tagines are designed for the oven or stove-top, while others are simply used as decorative serving dishes.
Bring the tagine to room temperature before cooking – if you place a cold tagine, especially an unglazed earthenware tagine, on a hot surface it can crack.
Never place a tagine directly on to a hob, always use a diffuser underneath or your tagine will shatter.
Lightly cook the onion and spices. Add the meat and pour over the liquid, then cover with the lid. Place in the oven or leave it to cook on the stove-top. Since the tagine creates steam as it cooks, you don’t need to add too much liquid to the dish.
You don’t have to have a tagine to make these stews, you can either use a slow cooker or an oven-proof casserole.
30ml olive oil
15ml chopped garlic
15ml ground cumin
125ml chopped coriander
rind and juice of one lemon
600g firm white fish portions
30ml olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 green pepper, diced
5ml chopped garlic
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
400g can of chopped tomatoes
375ml fish stock
250g baby potatoes
100g stuffed olives
salt and pepper
Combine all the ingredients for the marinade and mix well.
Coat the fish portions in the marinade and set aside for about an hour.
Sauce: Heat the oil and gently fry the onion, green pepper and garlic until soft.
Add the cumin and coriander and fry for a few seconds.
Add the tomatoes, stock and potatoes and simmer until the potatoes are soft.
Add the fish portions with their marinade to the sauce with the stuffed olives and simmer very gently until the fish is cooked.
This will take about 10 minutes.
Serve with rice or couscous.
15ml olive oil
8 chicken thighs, excess fat trimmed
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
10ml chopped garlic
10ml ground cumin
10ml ground coriander
400g canned diced tomatoes
500ml chicken stock
100g dried apricots
1 stick cinnamon
fresh coriander, almonds and pomegranate rubies to serve
Over a medium heat, fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden. Transfer to a plate.
Add the onion, garlic and spices and fry for 3-4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, stock, saffron, apricots and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer.
Return the chicken, skin-side up and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
Uncover and cook for 15 minutes until sauce thickens.
Top with coriander, toasted almonds and pomegranate.
Serve with couscous.
The Angela Day cookery column is published in The Star, the Cape Argus, the Daily News and the Pretoria News.
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