Moroccan Tangia Marrakchia

Lamb tajine
Jean Cazals / Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
990 Calories
73g Fat
5g Carbs
75g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 990
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 73g 93%
Saturated Fat 28g 140%
Cholesterol 293mg 98%
Sodium 806mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 75g
Vitamin C 10mg 49%
Calcium 80mg 6%
Iron 7mg 39%
Potassium 1035mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This slow-cooked Marrakesh dish is traditionally prepared in a clay pot called a tangia. Rather than cook the meat at home, the tangia would be brought to an oven adjacent to a "hammam," where it would slow cook in the ashes from the fire used to heat the bathhouse. Because ​tangia was popular among men, particularly unmarried workers, it's sometimes referred to as "bachelor's stew." It's also served as a family dish or restaurant offering.

If you don't have a tangia, you can recreate the dish using another oven-proof clay pot, a Dutch oven, or a deep casserole. Stovetop directions are also below.

Also, try chicken tangia with preserved lemons and tangia meknassi with pearl onions. Or if you enjoy a variety of meat, you might like tangia with calves or lamb feet.


  • 4 pounds lamb, or beef, cut into 4- to 5-inch pieces

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 6 to 8 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 large handful fresh parsley, or cilantro, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons ras el hanout

  • 2 teaspoons cumin

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads, heated gently and crumbled

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

  • 1/2 preserved lemon rind, finely chopped

  • 1/2 preserved lemon, cut into wedges

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Mix the meat with the onion, garlic, parsley or cilantro, spices, and chopped preserved lemon rind. Transfer the seasoned meat mixture to the tangia (or another deep ovenproof cooking dish). Add the olive oil, or smen (salted fermented butter—if using), preserved lemon wedges and water.

  3. Cover the top of the tangia with a circle of parchment paper (it should be cut a little larger than the diameter of the opening). Cover the parchment paper with a layer of aluminum foil, wrapping and sealing the foil snugly to the tangia. Pierce the foil and parchment paper in 2 or 3 places with a fork.

  4. Place the tangia in a cold oven, set the thermostat to 275 F/140 C, and turn the oven on. Leave the tangia for 5 to 6 hours, at which time you can check to see if the meat is adequately cooked. It should fall off the bone and be buttery-tender.

  5. Serve the tangia on a large communal platter with Moroccan bread (khobz) for scooping up the meat and sauce.

  6. Serve and enjoy!


If your tangia is too tall for your oven, lay it on its side on an angle, with the top propped up on a piece of bakeware, such as an inverted loaf pan.

Recipe Variations

Cooking Stove Top

You can also cook tangia stove top in a heavy-bottomed pot or pressure cooker. Increase the water to 2 1/2 cups and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours (watch the water level) or pressure cook for 1 hour, until the meat breaks apart easily with your fingers. Reduce the sauce until thick and serve.