You can get great tangia street food as well. Try the stalls on Rue Semmarine — they’re such unique places with their undergrounds ovens and specialised menus.
Like a tagine, a tangia is a dish that has been named after its cooking vessel. In this case it is an urn-shaped terracotta cooking pot which holds big, slow-cooked stews. Tangias are common across Morocco, but especially in Marrakech.
On the inside the tangia is fully glazed, although only a little can be seen on the outside, usually around the mouth. As with tagines, a tangia must first be seasoned to strengthen it for the high temperatures it must endure without fracturing. Even after that they must be treated with care. Heating it too rapidly, or adding cold liquid to a hot tangia, can cause the clay to crack.
Some say that tangias are the original bachelor dish. Before heading to work, unmarried men would season some meat with onions, garlic and a range of Moroccan spices, before stuffing it all into their tangias and dropping the vessels off at the wood-burning ovens that heated the local bath houses. With the pots nestled deep in the ashes, the meat would slow-cook all day, and the bachelors would pick it up on their way home.
When ready, after at least four hours, the meat is unbelievably tender and infused with whatever flavours you left in the pot: lemon, spices, butter, olive oil, and so on. Served with bread or couscous, it’s a delicious, traditional dish.
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