An old acquaintance of mine once treated me to a homemade curry dinner. He had lived and worked in rural India and recounted how he learned about spices and herbs from the locals as he traveled from village to village. During monsoon season, he said, there was nothing to do but wait out the rains inside the villagers’ houses, and it was then and there he learned to cook curry. Since his time in India, he continued traveling the world, bringing along stashes of his prized Indian spices everywhere he went.
My hand-painted tagine has been a decorative piece in our dining room but has never served as a cooking vessel as it was meant to do — until tonight. Finally I seasoned it, invested in a little diffuser to use on a flame-top stove, and improvised on a recipe from the Bon Appétit archives. We all loved how aromatic and sweetly spiced (but not spicy!) the sauce was, infused with apricots, ginger, and a ras-el-hanout blend (coriander, cumin, cinnamon and turmeric, among other spices). The lamb, after 2 hours of slow simmering, was spoon-tender and luscious. I used leg of lamb, but lamb shoulder or even beef would also work great in this recipe; and although the funnel-shaped tagine helps keep the moisture circulating inside, you could easily cook this in a Dutch oven or other pot and just increase the amount of broth for the sauce. I served the sauce over couscous with raisins and some toasted pine nuts to give it some crunchy texture. This Moroccan-inspired dish is perfect for a cold winter evening with family or a small gathering of friends. Enjoy!
Luisa Weiss’ memoir, My Berlin Kitchen, contains a number of recipes inspired from around the world that I couldn’t wait to try. The braised leeks were so silky and scrumptious that I was eager to try more from Luisa’s collection. Let me tell you, these spicy meatballs are just what I needed to turn my week around and get my kitchen mojo back. Continue reading
Never mind the discovery of pumpkin puree in my hair after I got home from school pick-up. It’s all good. This Moroccan-spiced lamb and pumpkin dish is enchanting enough to leave behind the maddening hustle of your day and transport you to Fez the moment you take a bite. Continue reading