Moroccan cooking question

I have a tagine-type dish I’m making tonight for the 3rd time. It has been delicious each time. It has chicken, eggplant, onion, my own ras el hanout, and fresh ripe plums.

Is this ridiculously far off from anything you might get in Morocco, or is it plausible?

Off topic but…
It sounds fantastic! Care to share the recipe?

Sure! Well, the ras el hanout has cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, dried pasilla peppers, nutmeg, black pepper, powdered ginger, black pepper, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and coriander seeds. I often put in turmeric and dried rosebuds, but I forgot the turmeric and couldn’t get the rose.

So: I melt some butter in a castiron skillet on low heat; I cut up some chicken breast and throw it in. (funds were low today, one half-breast for 4 people, usually it’s more.)

I had maybe 6 or 7 of those small, very dark purple eggplants – not the great big aubergines, though I’m sure that would work just fine. I cut those up along with 1 onion, and 4 or 5 ripe plums. Purple, yellow, red – doesn’t matter. Threw them in too.

Add a couple tablespoons of your ras el hanout, a little salt, and a cube of chicken bouillon. (two if they’re small.)

Cook over medium heat until it begins to thicken and caramelize, like half an hour or so. Add a half cup of red or good white wine, more or less to your taste, and cook another 10 or 15 minutes. If it seems like it might scorch, you can add some water too. The eggplant should mostly fall apart; this will fool the anti-vegetable people you may have at your table, mwa-ha-haaa!

Serve it over couscous or basmati rice.

Maybe I shoulda mentioned that if you’ve never made the spice blend before – you just throw it all in the blender in roughly equal proportions, or any proportion you like. You can leave out anything you don’t like. There are several even more exotic things you can add in, like Grains of Paradise and Galangal. The main things that don’t really fit are herbs, no leafy things.

In all honesty, I think what made this batch so good was the cloves and the pasillas, believe it or not.


Well, I wasn’t demanding the recipes of food I ate in Morocco, so I can’t speak to the spice blend. (Although I can say nothing I had was spicy hot.) The tagines I had there and in Moroccan restaurants in Spain typically had one meat and one fruit. So lamb with prunes, chicken with apricots, etc. I never had anything that had both fruit and vegetables, and the fruit was always dried fruit that had been reconstituted by the stew. Eggplant was always served as an appetizer in the form of a dip made from eggplants and tomatoes, eaten with bread.

YMMV, I am not an authority on Moroccan cooking, I did not eat every food in Morocco, and other disclaimers.

ETA: I see you also added wine, which of course would be a no-no for Moroccan Muslims.

Proportions, man! The ras el hanout sounds great, but spice proportion is important, if not critical. Rosebuds? Explain.