Nowadays it's also considered a bit of a bachelors dish as well, perhaps due to it's low maintenance and degree of skill required. Being a traditional dish of Marrakech we had been keeping and eye out for any sign of the tanjia. We finally find a small shop with a dozen urns of various sizes lined up out the front. Sealed with paper they must have been put into the coals in the early morning to be ready for midday.
We take a sit and order a tanjia for two, the proprietor reaches into his brick oven and pulls out a tanjia.
It's brought to the table before being unsealed and turned over into a clay plate. The billowing steams brings mouth watering smells, spices, herbs, and the lamb, so meltingly soft it's falling from the bone.
With another couple of the ubiquitous flat breads we're ready to go. The lamb fat has rendered out of the meat making it sticky soft and so rich. We scoop up the juices with the bread and suck the marrow from the bones. Leaving a clean plate and even cleaner bones when we've finished.
Next to us a Morrocan family have ordered the head. It's withdrawn from the urn before being split in two, revealing the creamy brain. We might need a few more people to tackle that one.
I recommend you keep an eye out for the tanjia as it makes a great change from the sometimes endless parade of tagine and cous cous.