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Stuffed Vegetable and Chicken Moroccan Tagine

Dana Lovrek from United States

35 minutes
Cooks in
1 hour 45 minutes
Country of origin

Food is a secret language, capable of connecting two people with two very different tongues.

Minutes after meeting my Moroccan host family, I exhausted every means of verbal communication I had. I was confident in the Arabic I’d studied weeks prior to the summer I’d be there and 3 years of French from high school, but that deflated once I realized the only conversation I could hold was introducing myself and asking how everyone was. The oldest boy and mama were learning English. Their English was slightly better than my “Frarabic.” This was my first experience overseas and I wanted to learn everything about Moroccan culture and interact with the family who opened their home to me. I ran out of words.

Every night I returned home after a day of research, where I would sit at the dinner table and smile politely, completely at the mercy of the Arabic I’d learned that day, longing to connect.

One night mama made the most mouth watering Moroccan tagine! I loved everything she made, but this dish was extraordinary. Moroccan seasonings fresh from the medina hit my nostrils as I entered the apartment and I was instantly transfixed to the aromatic flavor combination. Minced chicken with rice stuffed into vegetables in a thick sauce created a stunning edible mosaic. It was too addicting not to sop up with the r’gaif we used to eat with in lieu of utensils. I had to learn how to make it. Stringing together my “Frarabic” and mama’s English, I told her I wanted to learn to make this tagine. When she understood what I wanted, she was so proud and invited me to the kitchen the next day.

When I joined her, cooking transcended us to a place where we knew the same language. Despite the words being different, mama and I understood each other. She would pick ingredients, teach me what they were as I repeated every word back, and together we recreated her tagine. I’d finally found a way to communicate and connection to this family, and bring a piece of Morocco back home t


  • 1 Pound of Fresh Ground Chicken
  • 6 uncooked Poblano Peppers
  • 1/2 Cup of uncooked short grain Rice
  • 4 medium round uncooked Potatoes
  • 4 small round uncooked Zucchini
  • 5 uncooked Tomatoes, of the House variety
  • 1 fresh clove of Garlic
  • 1 Purple Onion
  • 2 Cups of Cilantro
  • 3 Tablespoons of Paprika
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons of Cumin
  • 3 Tablespoons of Cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons of Black Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoon of Ginger


  • Peel the potatoes and cut them in half. Cut four of the tomatoes in half and deseed them. Cut the top off the peppers and pull the seeds out. Carve out the inside of the zucchinis and potatoes.
  • Mince the cilantro and garlic, and mince the onion, but to not mix them together.
  • Make the filling to stuff the vegetables in a large enough bowl to mix: -Add to the chicken half of the chopped cilantro, all of the rice, 2 Tbs. of Paprika, 2 Tbs. of Cumin, 1/2 Tbs of Salt, 1 Tbs of Black Pepper and 1 Tsp of Ginger and stir.
  • Take some of the filling and stuff the poblano peppers, halved potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes with as much filling as you desire.
  • Add to a large pot the oil, the chopped onions, the rest of the cilantro, one peeled tomato and sliced tomato, and the rest of the spices: 1 Tbs. of salt, 1 Tbs. of pepper, 1 Tbs. of cumin, 1 Tbs. of paprika and 1 Tsp. of ginger.
  • Place the vegetables in a large pot with the open ends facing up.
  • Any remaining filling, can be rolled into balls and placed on top of the vegetables.
  • Put on thOnce finished, food can be placed in Tajine platter and served with flat bread.e stove-top on low heat for 1 hour and 45 minutes. The tomatoes will cook down and provide liquid, so water is not necessary


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