Skip to content

Katrine cooks tagine

January 7, 2014

Katrine returned from her travels for Christmas and the new year. Carlo came downstairs one morning and was delighted to find her sitting by the Aga stroking Peaches. It was as though she’d never left. The house soon smelled of coffee and Moroccan  spices.tagine-spices

I can’t identify all the individual spices involved in each complicated blend, but we have 3 packets of deliciously aromatic spice mixes which I’m experimenting with.

Lentils will never be the same again.

As a Christmas present Katrine gave a very beautiful tagine pot.

tagine-potI was very nervous about using it on the aga (and my nerves weren’t quieted by researching on the internet) but Katrine said it would be fine  (in fact what she said was  “mashi mushki” or something like it). The first thing I did was to immerse the pot and its lid in water for a few hours (the water started off hot), and the second was to make sure that the onions Katrine was chopping very finely were cooked in pans on both cooking plates of the aga so that the heat of each was reduced. After that I was in Katrine’s hands.

All the information I could find out about clay tagine pots suggests that they have to be started on a cool heat and then the heat of the hob is slowly increased. Not really possible on an aga. The suggestion for using a tagine pot on an aga was to get a cast iron one and sling it in the oven – not the most helpful suggestion.

So, once the pot and lid had soaked, I put them in the simmering oven to dry a bit. I don’t know what good this did really as my simmering oven is too cool to simmer anything, but at least it warmed the pot through – I was working on the assumption that the shock of putting a cold clay pot onto a very hot surface might crack it, so any warmth would help.

Meanwhile Katrine had cut vegetables  – potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, courgettes, red pepper, mushrooms –   into appropriately sized pieces (appropriate according to their cooking time that is).  She soaked some dried figs in water and some apricots too and set these aside. Then she fried several chopped onions and a handful of raisins in a separate pan along with some oil and a spoonful of honey for about 30 minutes until the onions were very soft. “Do you have a plan B just in case?” said Katrine.

I stared to make some bread –  2 cups of flour, half a teaspoon each of salt and sugar, 3 tsps quick dried yeast in a bowl, mix, add a cup of warm water,  mix all together and knead until it’s elastic and smooth and leave to rise for half an hour. Then knock it back, shape it into flat rolls place on a greased baking sheet and leave to rise again before baking in a hot oven for 15 minutes – ish.

Meanwhile, Katrine put the tagine pot on the simmering plate…Deep intake of breath on my part. The pot didn’t crack. Katrine put the onion mix in, added a little more oil and waited. After about 5 minutes stirring she said “It’s not hot enough”. I probably ignored her – the fierce heat of the boiling plate is no place for a clay pot.


After 10 minutes (she’s very patient) Katrine repeated her statement and moved the tagine pot to the hot plate. “Don’t worry” she said.

Then she started to layer the vegetables and a couple of spoonfuls of tagine spice into the pot on top of the onions  in the order in which they would cook – potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, courgettes, peppers, mushrooms, with apricots and figs on top and the whole lot sprinkled with chopped parsley (which, as a testament to the beloved’s gardening skills, or maybe the lack of severe frost, is still growing in the garden) and a couple of spoonfuls of water. She put the lid on.



tagine2“Forty minutes” she said.






It was a bit hot to eat with our fingers straight from the pot Moroccan style, but we gave it a go.

Delicious. Delicious, delicious, delicious.

No comments yet

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

barry boone

Natural science illustrations and sketches

The Engaged Musician

Sam Richards about Music, Society, and Arts

hello, fig

ben stainton posts things using a computer

Woolly Wild Things

My adventures in felt making


a self-taught artist discusses acrylic painting, photoshop and the creative process.

notes to the milkman

being random ramblings about art


cheap, tasty vegan food & related ramblings


illustrator Russell Jackson


Graphic design, type, print and musings


My pet frisson and I are here to throw away your stuff.

Petals and Paints

A Colourful Journey In Botanical Illustration With Watercolours

anna warren portfolio

looking for beauty in the small things

Food and Forage Hebrides

Gastronomic endeavours on the edge of Europe

Humans Are Weird

colourful observations

The Happy Hermit

More than a travel blog. So much more.

Readers & Writers

Now working for!

%d bloggers like this: