Moroccan Jerusalem artichoke tagine

Jerusalem artichokes have a weird name: they’re not from Jerusalem and they’re not artichokes. We call them in Moroccan batata qessbiya (batata for potato and qessbiya in reference to a cane) putting this root vegetable in the potato family!

I do believe they have an artichoky taste but it could be me.
Anyway, there is a sort of hate/love relationship people have towards this vegetable which by the way causes flatulence (not to its favour).


Some Jerusalem artichokes I found in Notting Hill market (London)

Passed this little point, I ensure you that Jerusalem artichokes are really nice especially if you get to temper their after taste.
Best Jerusalem artichokes are more round and less stringy  than the ones in the
picture (see lines through the white flesh), but these will also do
When in season, we like to add them to couscous, make a starter by cooking them in Moroccan chermoula until tenderness (see notes). We also add them to a turnip tagine or we just cook them on their own following a M’qalli logic of spicing.
This tagine will be cooked the same way as the broad beans tagine.

Serves 4 
Prep: 20 min – Cooking: 90 to 120 min

  • 400 g of lamb shanks or beef cuts (shoulder, neck), bones in
  • 1 kg of Jerusalem artichokes, washed thoroughly and peeled
  • 1 medium-size yellow or white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, grated or crushed
  • 1 small bouquet of coriander or 2 tbps chopped
  • 2 tbsps of olive  and vegetable oil mix
  • 1 tsp of ground ginger
  • A good pinch of white and black ground pepper
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • A pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 tsp of salt or to taste
  • Juice of a lemon

Garnishing (optional)

  • Purple or green olives 
  • Preserved lemon
  • A few coriander leaves



Place a deep heavy-bottomed cooking pot on medium heat with about 10 ml of water.

In a separate bowl, add a few spoons of water, mix in all the spices to form a loose paste. Place in the cuts of meats which you should flip so maximum surface is in contact with spices.

Transfer the meat to the pot and add the onion, garlic, and water just to cover the pieces of meat. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add the oil and 3 times the level of meat in water. Cover the pot and let simmer over medium heat. During the cooking process, check the level of water which should cover the meat until it becomes tender.

Add the peeled Jerusalem artichokes with the bouquet of coriander and make sure there is enough sauce to cover them to their 2/3. Cook for another 25 minutes until the root vegetables are tender (stabe one with a knife, it should go though without resistance). The sauce/broth (marka) should also be fairly reduced by now.

Add the lemon juice and stir gently.

Scoop some marka and pour it in the middle of the serving dish. Place the pieces of meat topped by the coriander bouquet and the vegetable then pour more marka.

Serve hot with a good bread to soak up the sauce.

  • You can make a vegetarian Moroccan Jerusalem artichoke tagine by omitting the meat.
  • In its original non-vegetarian version, we prefer to cook it with lamb.
  • You can make a Moroccan Jerusalem artichoke starter by cooking them diced or sliced in a liquid chermoula mix until tenderness and then serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with green or purple olives. (For 1 kg of vegetable use half of the chermoula recipe posted in the link).

4 thoughts on “Moroccan Jerusalem artichoke tagine

  1. Ciao Nada, I love this batata, in Italian they are called topinambur (weird name as well!) and yes, for the reasons you mentioned before I make it not more than once a year !! 😉 Baci, serena


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