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The Tajine Pot. Kind And Function

The Tajine Pot. Kind And Function

What's a tajine ?
The tajine—sometimes spelled tagine—is the traditional clay cooking pot used by North African cooks to conjure up deliciously spiced, slow-cooked stews and braises. It may be used to make both tender meat dishes and aromatic vegetable concoctions. Each traditional clay and modern tajines, made from a wide range of materials, share the same design—a shallow base with a tall, curved, cone-formed lid.

Deciding on a tajine
Understand the design. All tajines have a distinctive shape–a shallow bottom with raised sides and a curved, cone-formed prime that condenses cooking vapors, keeping the dish moist as it slowly cooks. Some tajines have a gap at the slim high of the cone, others don't–the hole helps steam escape in tajines with a decent-fitting lid.

Consider clay. Traditional cooking tajines are made from clay, sometimes simply glazed, while others are decorated with colourful Moroccan-type motifs. The clay offers dishes an earthy flavor. There are also ornamental ceramic vessels that are designed merely for use to current dishes, not to cook them. Make sure your tajine is supposed for the oven should you plan to cook with it.

Opt for convenience. Fashionable tajines are made from cast iron, porcelain-covered forged iron and stainless steel. They usually price up to three or 4 times more than a traditional clay tajine; however, they're easier to use since they can move from stoveprime to oven and take higher heat when browning ingredients on the stovetop.

If traditional is your selection, you must treatment your clay tajine by soaking it in water for no less than an hour, then rubbing a small quantity of olive oil over the interior. The tajine is then placed in a cold oven which is then set for 350 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours. Some cooks use a heat diffuser with their clay tajine when cooking on the stovetop.

Cooking in a tajine
Some tajine recipes call for ingredients to be layered in the backside of the tajine, the cover put in place and the tajine carried carefully to a pre-heated oven for a protracted, slow cooking process. Typically, a small amount of olive oil is poured into the base of the tajine, then ingredients are layered with the more robust and sturdier ingredients stepping into first. Spices are then sprinkled over the ingredients, plus olives or preserved lemon, quite common ingredients in North African cooking.

Other recipes begin on the stoveprime, caramelizing meat or hearty vegetables like carrots much like a traditional stew recipe. Different ingredients are then layered on high, spices added, plus a small amount of liquid to assist create the sauce. Cooking continues on a low heat on the stovehigh, or the dish could be switchred to a low oven for a protracted braise.

Persistence is essential for tajine cooking. The entire point of the tajine’s design is to capture aromatic condensation, allowing the complex, spiced layers to merge into a scrumptious concoction. Don't try to speed the process by elevating the heat, especially if you're utilizing a clay tajine, which can crack if the temperature is simply too high.

Serve your tajine dish with a flourish, leaving the cone-shaped lid in place until you place it on the table in entrance of your guests. Lifting the cone will release a cloud of aroma from the wonderful mix of spices and unique ingredients like preserved lemon and recent olives.

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