Moroccan cooking is complex and underappreciated. This recipe is adapted from many similar recipes but uses only the best flavors and components of each. Serve it with couscous or rice. To learn more about authentic Moroccan cooking, read Paula Wolfert’s Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco.
– 3 tablespoons slivered blanched almonds.
– 1 onion, finely chopped.
– 4 carrots, peeled and sliced.
– 3 cloves garlic, chopped.
– 3 tablespoons butter.
– 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 tablespoon).
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin.
– ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon.
– 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, or 1 tablespoon grated fresh turmeric.
– ¼ teaspoon ground cloves.
– ½ teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 1 tablespoon water for 30 minutes.
– 6 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped.
– 1 small bunch cilantro, large stems removed and chopped at the last minute.
– Leaves from 1 small bunch mint and chopped at the last minute.
– 3 tablespoons golden raisins (sultanas).
– ½ preserved lemon, cut into ¼-inch dice (about 2 tablespoons) and rinsed in a strainer, optional.
– 18 jumbo or 30 large shrimp, peeled and then deveined if desired.
– ¾ to 1 cup harissa, homemade or purchased.
Step 1:Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the almonds on a pie pan and toast in the oven, stirring occasionally, for about 12 minutes, or until they arefragrant and have taken on color. Pour onto a plate and let cool.
Step 2:In a heavy-bottomed pot large enough to hold the tagine, cook the onion, carrots, and garlic in the butter over medium heat, stirring regularly, for about 15 minutes, or until the onion and carrots are softened but not browned. Add the ginger, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cloves, and saffron and its soaking water and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring gently to avoid breaking up the carrots, for about 2 minutes more.
Step 3:Add the tomatoes, cover, and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, or until the liquid released by the tomatoes evaporates. Stir in the cilantro, mint, raisins, lemon, shrimp, and almonds and simmer, stirring over low heat for 3 minutes, until the shrimp has turned bright orange. Pass the harissa at the table.