Moroccan tangia is not a festive dish. It’s a dish for friends, colleagues and groups of people who gather to break bread and enjoy time together without formalities. It’s a communal dish, so people gather around it to appreciate it better. It is an invigorating dish, subtly spiced and it can also have a sweet or tangy note (although not both at the same time). Tangia is not for people in a hurry as it should take its sweet time to cook and be ready to impress.
Definition of Tangia
A tangia is cooking vessel as well as the dish that cooks in it. It is made of clay and has an urn shape. It comes in small and large forms, somewhere between 10 to 16 inches long. This glazed terracotta or clay amphora is a recipient dating back to Roman times. It was originally used to transport olive oil, but in Morocco it eventually became a cooking vessel associated with working men.
So tangia, like tagine, is a cooking vessel which gives its name to the dishes cooked in it. Both involve slow cooking methods; the tagine is ideally cooked over charcoal or a wood fire while a tangia is best cooked in the ashes from a wood fire. However, a tangia takes longer to cook as the meat must reach an exquisite confit texture while remaining intact. The meat used to make tangia should include bones, tendons and fatty matter that will become gelatinous after that long time cooking. Oxtails, neck, legs and trotters are cuts of choice.