Tajine ahmar

Tajine ahmar

Tajine, a native of North African & Morrocan cuisine, is well-known in many parts of Europe and is, dare I say, popular among Europeans for its aromatic flavour and hearty taste. These dishes are often slow-cooked type stews utilising cheap cuts of lamb such as the shank and neck combined with very varied and unexpected ingredients like prunes, olives, preserved lime/lemon, apples, figs, dates, chickpeas, almonds and caramelized onions. Traditionally, tajine is prepared in a special earthenware pot but these days, many people cook tajines in casseroles…which work well too!

Personally, I love tajines because of the different flavours – sweet and salty, spicy and tangy – as well as the fact that it’s meat-based. Yes, I ain’t turning vegetarian any time soon. Anyway, I didn’t exactly plan to cook this dish so instead of simmering it for about over one hour, it took me less than 45 minutes to whip up this dish – including preparation time. As a result, the meat is still a little on the tough side; nevertheless the sweetness of the prunes coupled with the hint of spicy taste made up for its failing in that aspect.

I’m definitely trying out some more tajine recipes – particularly the ones with chickpeas and caramelized onions!!!

Tajine ahmar

Method

400 gms meat (beef/lamb)
200 gms dried prunes
100 gms almonds
1 tomato – roughly diced
2 large onions – dice finely
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp saffron threads
2 tsp honey
5 bird’s eye chillies – roughly chopped
2 tsp piment/chilli paste
1 meat stock cube
100 ml water
Salt & pepper to taste

Ingredients

  1. In a pot, melt butter together with the olive oil and saute onions, cinnamon stick and saffron until fragrant. Add in the meat and cook until brown.
  2. Stir in the bird’s eye chilli, piment/chilli paste and add the water together with the meat stock cube. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes to one hour or until the meat has soften.
  3. Add in the prunes, almonds, honey and tomato. Cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes and season with salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Serve hot with a side serving of couscous or rice.

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