What’s a Tajine Anyway?

After couscous, the first food travelers encounter in Morocco is the tajine. Admittedly there is a lot of confusion about what a tajine is or isn’t. There are two definitions of the word tajine. First, it is a slow-cooked stew. Second, it is the name of the vessel that the food is cooked in; a tajine is cooked inside a tajine vessel.

Tajine – the Cooking Vessel

Tajine – the cooking vessel – is a very simple pot that has been used for centuries. Variations of the pot are used in cultures around the world. The base of the vessel is clay, and the techniques used to create a tajine and other clay pots have been found as far back as the Neolithic (better known as the stone age) period. Over time techniques and materials were refined but the basis has remained the same. There are two types of tajines in Morocco, a glazed and unglazed version. You’ll also find many hand-painted tajines for sale. These aren’t used to cook in but can be used to serve.

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