This easy Moroccan tagine recipe pairs fresh green peas with okra and tomatoes. Ginger, saffron and olive oil combine with the thickening agents of the okra to form a rich sauce.
The recipe has been adapted for cooking in a pressure cooker or conventional pot. The cooking time reflects a Moroccan preference for peas stewed until very tender, allowing them to fully absorb the flavorful sauce. Directions for adapting the recipe for use in a traditional clay or ceramic tagine are included in the instructions below.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 6.
- 1 lb. (about 1/2 kg) lamb, beef or goat, cut into 3" pieces
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tomato, grated
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 lb. (about 1/2 kg) peas
- 1 lb. (about 1/2 kg) okra
- 1 tomato, peeled and chopped
Wash and trim the okra; if the okra are long, you might also want to slice them into 2" pieces. Set the okra aside to soak in a bowl of water with a little vinegar added.
Put the meat, onions, garlic, olive oil, parsley, cilantro, and spices (except for the saffron) into a pressure cooker or heavy-bottomed pot. Stir to mix well.
Cook over medium to medium-high heat, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, stirring several times to turn the meat and brown it on all sides.
Add about 2 1/2 cups of water, cover and bring to pressure (or to a boil in a conventional pot). Reduce the heat to medium and cook with pressure for 20 minutes (or simmer for about 40 minutes).
Release the pressure and add the peas, okra, chopped tomato and saffron. Cover, bring back to pressure and cook for 10 to 15 minutes (or simmer for about 30 minutes), until the peas and okra are tender.
Release the pressure and add the preserved lemon. Simmer, partially covered, until the liquids are reduced and a rich sauce has formed.
Serve with Moroccan bread for scooping up the meat and vegetables.
Tip for Preparing in a Clay or Ceramic Tagine
To prepare this recipe in a traditional tagine, do not chop the parsley and cilantro – instead, tie them into a bouquet. Layer the onions and grated tomato on the bottom of the tagine and top with the uncooked peas. Distribute half of the spices over the vegetables, and mix the meat with the remaining spices and garlic. Place the meat in the center of the tagine and arrange the okra, chopped tomato and preserved lemon around the meat. Top with the parsley and cilantro bouquet. Add the olive oil and 2 1/2 cups of water.
Cover the tagine, place it on a diffuser over medium heat, and allow the tagine to reach a simmer. Lower the heat to medium-low or low (just enough heat to maintain the simmer) and allow the tagine to cook undisturbed for about 3 hours. Check towards the end of this time to be sure there is still liquid, and add only a small amount of water if necessary. When the meat is tender enough to pinch off the bone, reduce any excess liquid and serve immediately.