Rita Chraibi's Berber Tagine

The French-Moroccan interior designer's authentic Berber tagine is rich in aroma and healthy spices such as garlic, ginger, and cumin. Below, she reveals her recipe.

Stock photo of Berber Tagine.
Berber Tagine


  • 1 pound beef (or lamb, cut into 2″ to 3″ pieces) or without if you want to cook only vegetables.
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (sliced)
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped or pressed)
  • 3 to 4 small potatoes (or medium, quartered lengthwise)
  • 3 to 4 medium carrots (halved or quartered lengthwise)
  • Optional: 4 small zucchini (whole; or may use other veggies)
  • 1 small bell pepper (any color, cut into strips or rings)
  • 1 small handful parsley (and/or cilantro, tied into a bouquet)
  • Optional: 1 small jalapeno or chili pepper
  • 1 small preserved lemon (quartered)
  • 1 handful olives (green or red/violet)
  • For the Seasoning:
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

How To Make

  1. Berber tagine such as this one is distinguished not only by the seasoning but also by the presentation of ingredients. The vegetables are carefully arranged in conical fashion around the beef or lamb, fully concealing the meat in an artistic, appetizing manner.
  2. Although many of the tagine recipes include directions for alternative preparations in a pot or pressure cooker, this one is best slowly cooked—I use my Gaggenau induction cooktop—in the traditional clay or ceramic vessel from which it takes its name.
  3. The seasoning recipe is ideal when using potatoes as the dominant ingredient, but other vegetables are added for color and complementary flavor. Here, I'm recommending carrots and zucchini, but either or both can be replaced with fresh peas, green beans, sliced tomatoes, turnips, or other veggies you might have on hand. 
  4. Preserved lemon and olives are classic additions and do add a distinctive flavor and some saltiness, but may be omitted if you don't have them on hand. Adjust salt accordingly. 
  5. The tagine serves as both the cooking vessel and serving dish; diners gather around and eat from their own side of the tagine using Moroccan bread in place of a utensil. 

    Prep: 25 mins
    Cook: 3 hrs 30 mins
    Temperature: 350 Fahrenheit
    Servings: 4 servings Ingredients

Take a closer look at Rita Chraibi’s multicultural approach to cooking in our Kitchen Creative column, produced in partnership with Gaggenau.

Rita with freshly made Berber tagine at her home in Cabo Negro, Morocco.
Rita's kitchen outfitted with Gaggenau appliances in New York.
All Stories