Essaouira - Cooking Class

Ess-Cook1We visited L’Association Féminine de Bienfaisance El Khir (A.F.B.K) for a cooking class. The AFBK is an association that assists vulnerable women in Essaouira. They can take classes in literacy, French and English, commercial cooking, introductory finance and computers, and others to assist in creating social autonomy and gaining employment. The Association also provides medical and psychological support, hygiene education and a legal service. They also offer a catering service where the students can build their confidence while also earning an income.

The AFBK also offer classes to tourists including cooking and pastry classes. We have opted to take the Tagine class (there was also a class in couscous). The Tagine class was hosted by Hanan with Janne (a volunteer from Germany) translating for us. Tagine is a Berber dish that is named after the earthenware vessel it is cooked in, and we would call it a stew, and is a very common offering throughout Morocco.

Ess-Cook2Ours is a simple dish consisting of Beef, Onion, Coriander, Potatoes, Tomato, Beans, Zucchini, Carrots and spices (turmeric, ginger, pepper & salt). It is constructed in stages so you can prepare the ingredients as you go, and takes about an hour to complete. The beef is placed in the bottom of the Tagine with finely diced red onion, drizzled in Argan oil and sprinkled with spice with finely chopped coriander then placed on the stove. You need to lift the lid every 5 minutes or so to ensure the meat isn’t sticking to the bottom. Carrots are peeled, then chopped into 0.5cm slices and placed in with the other ingredients. Thickly sliced Zuccchini and peeled potato were placed into a bowl of water to soak. Peel the tomato and dice. Cut the beans and boil in salted water. After around 20 minutes you may need to start adding water to the Tagine. Around 30 minutes in or once the meat is cooked place the sliced potatoes in a circle in the Targine (but not in the centre). Ten minutes later take the boiled beans and place them in the centre and cover with diced tomato. Five to ten minutes after that, layer the zucchini throughout the Tagine and spoon some of the sauce over everything and simmer. Some twenty minutes later you have a beautifully flavoured meal to enjoy with fresh bread.


I heartily recommend taking a cooking class as it gives you the opportunity to witness the art of the Tagine.

See Also:


Essouira - Guided Walks

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