Moroccan tagine meal – A photo essay


Tagines cooking outdoors

Tagines cooking outdoors


Moroccan tagine meal – A photo essay

Marrakesh offers so many tasty dining experiences around the city and after an entire morning of walking around the confusing and narrow streets in the old medina, our foodie group was famished. Seeing how difficult it was to find some of the key attractions on the map, it would be difficult to find some of the restaurants that we highlighted earlier on our agenda. Although my foodie friends had very high expectations for our first lunch experience, we were also hungry and exhausted from the mornings adventure. Trying to find something that would suit our palates and not just our appetites would be a challenge, but trusting our instincts with our eyes and noses guiding us would instrumental in finding a great first meal.


Outdoor dining with tagine cooking

Outdoor dining with tagine cooking


Fortunately on the way to our next destination, the Bahia Palace, we happened into a beautiful square filled with arts and crafts galleries and lined with some local outdoor cafes serving local specialties cooked outdoors in tagines. Now the tricky part was deciding which of the restaurants to choose from and considering that they all had english menus, it was difficult to decide which cafe offered the most authentic lunch menu. In the end, the most charming and funny barker won us over with his great personality and he quickly offered front row seating so we can enjoy the square and busy and colorful scene.


Watching scenes unfold in Marrakesh

Watching scenes unfold in Marrakesh





Marrakesh (35)

Open style kitchen

Wow, not only were the kitchens small and simple, most of the cooking was done with huge terracotta tagines being fired-up in a row outdoors. Despite the basic cooking style, we all loved the authentic and simple tagines, harking back to ancient cooking techniques that are still being used today. In fact tagines originated with the Berbers in Northern Africa who created different stews utilizing locally made ceramic pots.  What a visual delight it was to see the tagines prepared and cooked outdoors in open flames, and oozing of delicious goodness inside. I asked the cook to open up one of the tagines so I could take a peek and take a few photos –  it looked and smelled so amazing! The different aromas that permeated the air with the luscious combinations of spices and aromatics infused with the main ingredients was truly unique . I think our group was in for a real treat and we all enjoyed plenty of the mint tea while watching scenes unfold around the square.

Entrees and appetizer plates were delivered quickly

Entrees and appetizer plates were delivered quickly




Sopping up all the goey goodness

Sopping up all the goey goodness



A feast for the eyes

It all came out quickly, first the salad courses and other appetizer plates or ‘mezze’. Lots of olives in olive oil, delicious bean plates, hummus and grilled vegetables.  Afterwards, the tagines arrived at the table in quick succession – it was a feast to behold! Not surprising, there was no conversation outside of expressions of aaah, and oh my god, it all looks good! The tagines were quickly uncovered, exposing a variety of dishes made with chicken, lamb and a mixture of starch and greens.  Bubbling liquids of stewed meats, vegetables and couscous cooked to buttery tenderness and perfection. We slurped up all the gooey liquid with the rest of the couscous until every morsel was wipe clearly from each dish.

Traditional mint tea served at every meal

Traditional mint tea served at every meal

No rush, just enjoy

The foodie frenzy lasted just a few minutes while everyone gorged on spoonfuls of chicken and melt in your mouth beef with the couscous and a medley of fresh vegetables. More delicious pots of mint tea were freshly made and poured into delicate hand painted glassware. The servers even created a little show by pouring the tea from high above their heads into the cups on the table like a little waterfall, and without spilling a drop. I enjoyed the fun pouring display and thought I would probably spill most of the tea on the tables if I even tried this feat.  Suggestions for desert and sweets were offered, but we were all full.  Instead the host politely offered simple oranges slices to complete the meal. What a perfect way to end the meal and enjoy our first authentic Moroccan meal together.

Sometimes it seems like when you do go out with friends into an unknown area, you just need to trust your instincts when it comes to looking for a great meal. Taking the time to see and look at how the food is prepared and presented, the demeanor of the attendants, and the local clientele can tell if a place is worth trying out. This first lunch was just that – a delicious first experience to the wonderful world of tagine cooking and local Moroccan cuisine.


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23 Responses to Moroccan tagine meal – A photo essay

  1. natan dotan February 7, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

    i have been there, great food and great people, especialy the market people….these nice pictures opened my apetite though….

  2. Michele {Malaysian Meanders} September 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    This restaurant sounds like it had it all. I would so enjoy watching the people go by and the tagines cooking. You are making my mouth water with all those food photos and their descriptions. I would love to visit Marrakesh some day.

  3. travelnwrite September 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Oh you killed me with those photos – time to dig out our tagine and try my hand at making something in it! Great photos as always!

  4. Jess September 11, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    Ooh, this looks good – and the setting is beautiful! I’d love to visit Morocco.

  5. InsideJourneys September 11, 2013 at 5:22 am #

    Seeing this again makes me want to visit Morocco. I’d go just for the food!

  6. Mike September 10, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    I have never had a tagine meal but I’ve seen them on tv so many times. That appetizer and entree pic sent me over the edge. I forgot to eat so far today. Off to make something now! Great pics again, Noel 🙂

  7. Marcia July 4, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    Great way to decide on a restaurant, Noel. The food looks mouth watering, I just had dinner but I could have some of your tagine. Your photos make the food come alive. Thanks for linking up!

    • Noel July 5, 2013 at 8:07 am #

      Thanks Marcia, If you event is weekly, I would love to join, I also have a group pinterest board on food if you want to join our group?

  8. Anita Mac June 17, 2013 at 3:27 am #

    Wow – your photos are stunning! Can’t wait to visit Morocco for myself. So inspired!

    • Noel June 17, 2013 at 7:09 am #

      Hi Anita, tagines look great but are even better on the tasting end, thanks for connecting.

  9. Dannii June 16, 2013 at 7:09 am #

    Wow all the food looks and sounds yummy!

  10. Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) June 13, 2013 at 2:47 am #

    A chicken tagine has become my “go to” meal for a company dinner. I don’t have a genuine tagine pot, but this has proved to be a winner. The flavors are complex and as a stew (or stew like) meal it’s fairly easy to expand depending on the number of guests. I serve the tagine around a pile of cous cous which makes for a colorful and easy to partake of repast. My recipe combines spices, chicken and dried fruits. I am far from being a gourmet cook, but this meal has proven popular enough that several guests have asked me for the recipe. While visiting a friend in Ottawa last week, she took me to a Moroccan restaurant for dinner. I ordered chicken tagine. It was served in a traditional tagine cooking pot, but mine is better, IMHO anyway.

    • Noel June 13, 2013 at 3:37 am #

      Bravo for making something unique Suzanne,you’ll have to have me over for dinner next time you make this 🙂

  11. elaine schoch @ June 11, 2013 at 12:45 am #

    Your post just made me soooo hungry!!!

  12. Jenna June 10, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    This meal looks and sounds so delicious! I love eating at places with open kitchens–it’s always fun to see the cooking!

  13. Jennifer June 10, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    This looks really, really delicious! I haven’t been to Morocco yet, but I did really enjoy a North African restaurant I went to in Montreal. The owner is from North Africa and everything is tagine. He made me a lovely mix of the chicken, lamb, and vegetable that were on the chalkboard menu for that night. Oh, it was heavenly!

  14. Vanessa June 10, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    This is a dangerous article to read over breakfast – now I want to start cooking and have a feast for lunch!


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