This is a fantastic tool for the kitchen and has been used by the Berber’s in Africa for thousands of years. My version is ceramic, purchased at William Sonoma, it’s a useful tool for cooking. I don’t recommend cooking the usual Moroccan dishes, they seem too heavy, and they are.
I like the tajine tool, the shape is cleaver, a cone-shaped top with a pin hole at the top. The hole lets the right pressure build inside and then you have a convection zone that gives you a good end result.
I don’t recommend using the tajine in a traditional manner, given each food particle will cook differently. It was used as an all-purpose dish, you cooked slow but sure and the ceramics could be placed in a multi purpose fire. The top vent was likely introduced later when cooking practices changed, or it was a means to reducing the moisture content, preventing the dish from uneven cooking, or over flowing.
If you try to cook quinoa or lentils, buy a tajine as an alternate tool, and see the magic you’ll produce – just wonderful.