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‘Moorish’: A Feast of Dishes From Mecca to Morocco

‘Moorish’: A Feast of Dishes From Mecca to Morocco


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“We are shameless! We want to seduce you: to stimulate your imagination, invigorate your senses and tempt you to try the wonderful flavours of Moorish food.”

So state the first lines of Moorish, a cookbook by Australian authors Greg and Lucy Malouf that is full of mouth-watering recipes inspired by North Africa, Spain, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Middle East. “By Moorish, what we mean, loosely, is the cuisine that sprang up as a result of the Arabic occupation of North Africa in the eighth century.”

In the introduction, one mission that is clearly stated is to help readers become comfortable with the new and unfamiliar ingredients used throughout Moorish cuisine. The aim is not to transform your larder into a complicated collection of spices that are used sporadically, but rather to open you kitchen to new possibilities. The authors want cooks to become familiar with traditional Moorish ingredients and use them in exciting ways that aren’t necessarily traditional.

They encourage readers to use the many spice mixes to elevate a classic roast chicken, or simple risotto, to incorporate the exciting flavors of Moorish into their favorite family recipes. “To understand new ingredients and flavour combinations, all that is really required is a sense of adventure. … Let your imagination run wild. … Fry scaloppini in cumin butter for a change, or braise oxtail with cinnamon and preserved lemon… You will soon find that you are limited only by your imagination.”

It is wonderful to open a cookbook and understand that it is to be used as a guide, and a way of learning new flavors. Though imagination and freedom are very much encouraged, the authors also suggest becoming comfortable with the recipes and the intended flavors and textures before adding your own flair to them.

Recipes featured in the book include:

— Alaju (Arabic Honey Slice)

— Chicken Tagine With Green Herb Couscous

— Couscous Stew With Grilled Calamari and Zhoug

— Eggplant and Tomato Salad With Tahini–Yoghurt Dressing

— May’s Stuffed Vine Leaves With Mint Labne

To purchase Moorish, click here

The Daily Meal: What is your philosophy of cooking (and/or eating)?
Greg and Lucy Malouf:
For me, food — preparing, cooking and eating it — has always been about generosity, sharing, and family values. Growing up in a Lebanese-Australian family, these principles were drummed into me and my brothers from early childhood, and to this day I think I am most likely to express hospitality, friendship, and love in the kitchen and at the dining table. It’s the Middle Eastern way!

How did it inspire the recipes you chose to include in this book?
The recipes in Moorish — and in all my books — are merely a natural extension of my approach to cooking and to eating. That’s to say, they are rooted in the dishes of my childhood, are further inspired by the Middle Eastern countries I’ve visited, and are expressed in a fresh and contemporary way. Put simply, this is absolutely the way I cook and eat myself.

What is your favorite recipe in the book and why?
If I have to pick one, then my mother May’s stuffed vine leaves with mint labne has always been a family favourite and is one of my anytime-of-the-day, any-day-of-the-week meals. For me it epitomises everything wonderful about Middle Eastern home cooking: It’s simple to prepare, it’s made from humble ingredients and it’s clever — the components for two separate dishes are cooked together in one large pot. And of course it’s a dish to share from the centre of the table.

What are some of the foods you can’t live without?
Like many Lebanese I have a sour palate, so yoghurt would have to be up at the top of the list, along with lemons. And then there are olives, stuffed vine leaves, and baby zucchini, fresh Arabic bread — and a paste of za’atar and sumac in olive oil for spreading on the bread. Finally, I don’t think I can contemplate life without watermelon!

Would you rather dine out or cook at home?
I do travel a fair bit for work, and then I always enjoy eating out in restaurants as I love to see what chefs in other parts of the world are up to — although, that being said, some of the best food I’ve eaten has been in people’s home kitchens. (Certainly in Middle Eastern countries it is in the home, and not in a restaurant, that you really learn about local cuisine.) But when it comes down to it, there’s no place I’d rather be than in the kitchen, whether at home or work. Cooking at home allows me to feed myself with the simple things I enjoy and when cooking for others; it gives me the chance to share the food I love. In truth, there’s nothing I enjoy more than entertaining Middle Eastern-style: I’ll spatchcock some quail, or a plump chicken, and roast them with ras al hanout spices, or for something a bit fancier, I’ll prepare Atlantic salmon with a fennel, lime, and sumac spice rub. Both dishes are delicious with a roasted walnut tabbouleh… or some creamed feta spinach… or a Greek-style salad crammed with wild greens, feta, and olives. For dessert, though, there’s really nothing better than chilled watermelon slices with crumbled pistachio halva.

What is your favorite go-to meal or drink?
Kibbeh nayee (a sort of lamb steak tartare) is my absolute go-to dish. It should be served with all the proper accompaniments: mint leaves, olive oil, white onions, and fresh-from-the-oven Arabic bread. I could easily wash that down with the traditional accompanying drink for mezze, which is Arak. Alternatively an ice-cold Almaza beer or a fruity riesling from Australia would do the job nicely.

How do you hope readers will use this book, what do you hope they take away?
Although Westerners are far more familiar with the language of Middle Eastern food than they were say, ten years ago, I find that there’s still a layer of “mystique” to break through. My great hope is that, one day, Westerners will be as utterly comfortable with Middle Eastern food as they are with Italian, or French, or Asian food. And I’d really like for people to understand that it’s so much more than soggy tabbouleh and greasy falafel! In Moorish, I am trying to share some of the building blocks of Middle Eastern cooking — spice mixes and pastes and the like — and hope that they’ll use them as a bit of a jumping-off point for their daily cooking at home. In my view, much of the very best cooking is not about being fancy and complicated, it’s about adding twists of flavour and texture to transform a dish into something exciting.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
When I wrote my first cookbook, 18 years ago, Middle Eastern ingredients were hard to track down, but nowadays flower waters, preserved lemons, harissa, and spice blends are readily available in most suburban supermarkets! And many of us have access to markets and farm shops for terrific quality, locally grown produce, which is another bedrock of Middle Eastern home cooking. So nearly all the ingredients you need to try out the dishes in Moorish are right there for the taking, and I dearly hope that readers will be inspired to give some of the recipes a go.


A Guide to: Moroccan Food

The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco, the name itself evokes exotic images. Moroccan cuisine has strong routes in tradition and is rated as amongst THE best in the world. The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco is an agricultural paradise. The heart of Moroccan cuisine lies in the spices expelling tantalising fragrance, colour and warmth. The women of the kitchen mix the most interesting flavours. Set recipes are very rare, each dish will have the signature of the creator, who is always a woman.

Best time of year to visit: March to May or September to October

STREET FOODS

COUSCOUS
The national dish. Known to the Berbers as ‘seksoo’ or ‘sikuk’’. The couscous grain has a strong religious and emotional significance. Made from durum-wheat semolina mixed with smaller quantities of either drum-wheat flour or a soft-wheat flour, salt and water. The semolina is found in various forms all over north Africa and native to the region and is usually served topped with a stew. Moroccans believe it is food that bring’s God’s blessing upon those who consume it. Couscous needs to be prepared with patience, rhythm, time and the finesse of the woman preparing it. . It is cooked in a ‘couscoussier’ – special two tiered pot like a steamer.

On the Feast of Achoura, commemorating the death of the Prophet’s grandson, superstitious wives conseal morsels of ‘qaddid’ (preserved lamb’s tail) within a mound of couscous, to ensure their husbands fidelity.

BREAD
Bread or ‘khubz’, the most basic and essential food is sacred in Morocco. The Prophet ordered that that bread be treated with the utmost respect, so any bread found thrown away in the street must be moved out of the way of foot traffic with a short prayer. Loaves are baked early morning in terracotta gas’a in a communal oven.

The country’s national drink, tea is drunk every hour of the day. Said to be the favoured drink of the Prophet, maybe this is the reason why the Moroccans drink so much of it. The truth behind the history of tea is the English. They introduced it in the mid C.19th when their route from the Far East to England was blocked by the effects of the Crimean War, so they offloaded it in Tangier and Mogador (Agadir). Or was it when when King George I sent Sultan Moulay Ismael in 1721 bales of tea as a gift, eager to open up trading links with Morocco. Anyhow it is this green tea – gun powder or ‘chun mee’, the most Chinese of teas and is still used today in the brewing process. The Moroccans added the mint. Mint is grown all over Morocco but flourishes in the mountains. The only mint that can be used is ‘mentha viridis’. The best quality, dark with firm stalks, comes from Meknes or the Zerhoun. Tea is served in houses, in the Medina’s (old part of markets), everywhere, all day long. Freshly brewed na’na’ MINT TEA has become a fine art and a national symbol.

One of the cornerstones of Moroccan cuisine. Jewish Maroccans developed the art of preserving. It should be noted that the Jewish quarters of Moroccan towns are called ‘mellah’, meaning salt. Salt is used in the preservation process. Olives from around Fes and Meknes are some of the best in the Mediterranean. Lemons are preserved in the spring when they are their ripest and sweetest. Usually done with salt, some regions add cinnamon sticks, cloves and coriander for an alternative taste.

Almond milk, ‘sharbat billoz’, is drunk during celebrations. Made from blanched almonds blended with milk, water, rosewater or orange flower water and sugar.

Tagine cooking outside at Ouzoud Falls by Arnaud 25

Meat is an integral part of the Moroccan diet. Tajine is a stew of meat and vegetables. It’s name comes from the pot, pictured in the main image, in which it is cooked in – a utensil that is still a mystery of Moroccan cooking. The conical lid is said to retain and circulate the heat more effectively, or is it that shape so more meat can be piled inside. Tajine ingredients differ across Morocco. Berbers include lentils, other areas do lamb and date or lamb with sweetened tomatoes and almond combinations. The secret is long, slow cooking.

With it’s origins from the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). God prevented him from sacrificing his son and recommended a sheep as a substitute. This feast coincides with the end of the prophet’s pilgrimage to Mecca. A sheep is brought into the home and fattened before slaughtering for the feast. The task is performed by the head of the household, and every family sacrifices a sheep. Every part of the sheep is used, thus allowing the cook to cover the entire spectrum of Moroccan cooking. The feast lasts for as long as the fresh meat does.

Honey
Along the famous Tizi n’Test pass is Argana, home to what is reputed to be the largest collective beehive in the world, and also one of the most curious because of its construction, history and the way it is run. Most of the hives are made of split reed cylinders covered with clay. With the aid of smoking brazier made of baked earth, the bees and their Queen are made to crawl out of the hive into a basket so that the honey can be classified as ‘historically important’.

BREAKFAST
‘baghrir’ – semolina pancake made with yeast and cooked on one side with a distinctive honeycomb appearance, ‘malwi’ or ‘rghayif’ variations of dough folded and interleaved with butter or oil, creating a flaky texture, served with ‘khli’’ preserved meat.

This is a popular dish served up in a household when visited spontaneously by somebody. It’s delicious, simple, cheap and quick and easy to prepare. However you could also eat it when ill with diarrhoea or a similar stomach upset.

This pastry is widely regarded as the crowning dish of Moroccan cuisine. This pastry is served to newlyweds the morning after their wedding night to symbolise their family’s wish that life together should be as sweet as this creation. Traditionally made with Pigeon stew under the pastry. Usually served as a first course.


A Guide to: Moroccan Food

The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco, the name itself evokes exotic images. Moroccan cuisine has strong routes in tradition and is rated as amongst THE best in the world. The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco is an agricultural paradise. The heart of Moroccan cuisine lies in the spices expelling tantalising fragrance, colour and warmth. The women of the kitchen mix the most interesting flavours. Set recipes are very rare, each dish will have the signature of the creator, who is always a woman.

Best time of year to visit: March to May or September to October

STREET FOODS

COUSCOUS
The national dish. Known to the Berbers as ‘seksoo’ or ‘sikuk’’. The couscous grain has a strong religious and emotional significance. Made from durum-wheat semolina mixed with smaller quantities of either drum-wheat flour or a soft-wheat flour, salt and water. The semolina is found in various forms all over north Africa and native to the region and is usually served topped with a stew. Moroccans believe it is food that bring’s God’s blessing upon those who consume it. Couscous needs to be prepared with patience, rhythm, time and the finesse of the woman preparing it. . It is cooked in a ‘couscoussier’ – special two tiered pot like a steamer.

On the Feast of Achoura, commemorating the death of the Prophet’s grandson, superstitious wives conseal morsels of ‘qaddid’ (preserved lamb’s tail) within a mound of couscous, to ensure their husbands fidelity.

BREAD
Bread or ‘khubz’, the most basic and essential food is sacred in Morocco. The Prophet ordered that that bread be treated with the utmost respect, so any bread found thrown away in the street must be moved out of the way of foot traffic with a short prayer. Loaves are baked early morning in terracotta gas’a in a communal oven.

The country’s national drink, tea is drunk every hour of the day. Said to be the favoured drink of the Prophet, maybe this is the reason why the Moroccans drink so much of it. The truth behind the history of tea is the English. They introduced it in the mid C.19th when their route from the Far East to England was blocked by the effects of the Crimean War, so they offloaded it in Tangier and Mogador (Agadir). Or was it when when King George I sent Sultan Moulay Ismael in 1721 bales of tea as a gift, eager to open up trading links with Morocco. Anyhow it is this green tea – gun powder or ‘chun mee’, the most Chinese of teas and is still used today in the brewing process. The Moroccans added the mint. Mint is grown all over Morocco but flourishes in the mountains. The only mint that can be used is ‘mentha viridis’. The best quality, dark with firm stalks, comes from Meknes or the Zerhoun. Tea is served in houses, in the Medina’s (old part of markets), everywhere, all day long. Freshly brewed na’na’ MINT TEA has become a fine art and a national symbol.

One of the cornerstones of Moroccan cuisine. Jewish Maroccans developed the art of preserving. It should be noted that the Jewish quarters of Moroccan towns are called ‘mellah’, meaning salt. Salt is used in the preservation process. Olives from around Fes and Meknes are some of the best in the Mediterranean. Lemons are preserved in the spring when they are their ripest and sweetest. Usually done with salt, some regions add cinnamon sticks, cloves and coriander for an alternative taste.

Almond milk, ‘sharbat billoz’, is drunk during celebrations. Made from blanched almonds blended with milk, water, rosewater or orange flower water and sugar.

Tagine cooking outside at Ouzoud Falls by Arnaud 25

Meat is an integral part of the Moroccan diet. Tajine is a stew of meat and vegetables. It’s name comes from the pot, pictured in the main image, in which it is cooked in – a utensil that is still a mystery of Moroccan cooking. The conical lid is said to retain and circulate the heat more effectively, or is it that shape so more meat can be piled inside. Tajine ingredients differ across Morocco. Berbers include lentils, other areas do lamb and date or lamb with sweetened tomatoes and almond combinations. The secret is long, slow cooking.

With it’s origins from the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). God prevented him from sacrificing his son and recommended a sheep as a substitute. This feast coincides with the end of the prophet’s pilgrimage to Mecca. A sheep is brought into the home and fattened before slaughtering for the feast. The task is performed by the head of the household, and every family sacrifices a sheep. Every part of the sheep is used, thus allowing the cook to cover the entire spectrum of Moroccan cooking. The feast lasts for as long as the fresh meat does.

Honey
Along the famous Tizi n’Test pass is Argana, home to what is reputed to be the largest collective beehive in the world, and also one of the most curious because of its construction, history and the way it is run. Most of the hives are made of split reed cylinders covered with clay. With the aid of smoking brazier made of baked earth, the bees and their Queen are made to crawl out of the hive into a basket so that the honey can be classified as ‘historically important’.

BREAKFAST
‘baghrir’ – semolina pancake made with yeast and cooked on one side with a distinctive honeycomb appearance, ‘malwi’ or ‘rghayif’ variations of dough folded and interleaved with butter or oil, creating a flaky texture, served with ‘khli’’ preserved meat.

This is a popular dish served up in a household when visited spontaneously by somebody. It’s delicious, simple, cheap and quick and easy to prepare. However you could also eat it when ill with diarrhoea or a similar stomach upset.

This pastry is widely regarded as the crowning dish of Moroccan cuisine. This pastry is served to newlyweds the morning after their wedding night to symbolise their family’s wish that life together should be as sweet as this creation. Traditionally made with Pigeon stew under the pastry. Usually served as a first course.


A Guide to: Moroccan Food

The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco, the name itself evokes exotic images. Moroccan cuisine has strong routes in tradition and is rated as amongst THE best in the world. The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco is an agricultural paradise. The heart of Moroccan cuisine lies in the spices expelling tantalising fragrance, colour and warmth. The women of the kitchen mix the most interesting flavours. Set recipes are very rare, each dish will have the signature of the creator, who is always a woman.

Best time of year to visit: March to May or September to October

STREET FOODS

COUSCOUS
The national dish. Known to the Berbers as ‘seksoo’ or ‘sikuk’’. The couscous grain has a strong religious and emotional significance. Made from durum-wheat semolina mixed with smaller quantities of either drum-wheat flour or a soft-wheat flour, salt and water. The semolina is found in various forms all over north Africa and native to the region and is usually served topped with a stew. Moroccans believe it is food that bring’s God’s blessing upon those who consume it. Couscous needs to be prepared with patience, rhythm, time and the finesse of the woman preparing it. . It is cooked in a ‘couscoussier’ – special two tiered pot like a steamer.

On the Feast of Achoura, commemorating the death of the Prophet’s grandson, superstitious wives conseal morsels of ‘qaddid’ (preserved lamb’s tail) within a mound of couscous, to ensure their husbands fidelity.

BREAD
Bread or ‘khubz’, the most basic and essential food is sacred in Morocco. The Prophet ordered that that bread be treated with the utmost respect, so any bread found thrown away in the street must be moved out of the way of foot traffic with a short prayer. Loaves are baked early morning in terracotta gas’a in a communal oven.

The country’s national drink, tea is drunk every hour of the day. Said to be the favoured drink of the Prophet, maybe this is the reason why the Moroccans drink so much of it. The truth behind the history of tea is the English. They introduced it in the mid C.19th when their route from the Far East to England was blocked by the effects of the Crimean War, so they offloaded it in Tangier and Mogador (Agadir). Or was it when when King George I sent Sultan Moulay Ismael in 1721 bales of tea as a gift, eager to open up trading links with Morocco. Anyhow it is this green tea – gun powder or ‘chun mee’, the most Chinese of teas and is still used today in the brewing process. The Moroccans added the mint. Mint is grown all over Morocco but flourishes in the mountains. The only mint that can be used is ‘mentha viridis’. The best quality, dark with firm stalks, comes from Meknes or the Zerhoun. Tea is served in houses, in the Medina’s (old part of markets), everywhere, all day long. Freshly brewed na’na’ MINT TEA has become a fine art and a national symbol.

One of the cornerstones of Moroccan cuisine. Jewish Maroccans developed the art of preserving. It should be noted that the Jewish quarters of Moroccan towns are called ‘mellah’, meaning salt. Salt is used in the preservation process. Olives from around Fes and Meknes are some of the best in the Mediterranean. Lemons are preserved in the spring when they are their ripest and sweetest. Usually done with salt, some regions add cinnamon sticks, cloves and coriander for an alternative taste.

Almond milk, ‘sharbat billoz’, is drunk during celebrations. Made from blanched almonds blended with milk, water, rosewater or orange flower water and sugar.

Tagine cooking outside at Ouzoud Falls by Arnaud 25

Meat is an integral part of the Moroccan diet. Tajine is a stew of meat and vegetables. It’s name comes from the pot, pictured in the main image, in which it is cooked in – a utensil that is still a mystery of Moroccan cooking. The conical lid is said to retain and circulate the heat more effectively, or is it that shape so more meat can be piled inside. Tajine ingredients differ across Morocco. Berbers include lentils, other areas do lamb and date or lamb with sweetened tomatoes and almond combinations. The secret is long, slow cooking.

With it’s origins from the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). God prevented him from sacrificing his son and recommended a sheep as a substitute. This feast coincides with the end of the prophet’s pilgrimage to Mecca. A sheep is brought into the home and fattened before slaughtering for the feast. The task is performed by the head of the household, and every family sacrifices a sheep. Every part of the sheep is used, thus allowing the cook to cover the entire spectrum of Moroccan cooking. The feast lasts for as long as the fresh meat does.

Honey
Along the famous Tizi n’Test pass is Argana, home to what is reputed to be the largest collective beehive in the world, and also one of the most curious because of its construction, history and the way it is run. Most of the hives are made of split reed cylinders covered with clay. With the aid of smoking brazier made of baked earth, the bees and their Queen are made to crawl out of the hive into a basket so that the honey can be classified as ‘historically important’.

BREAKFAST
‘baghrir’ – semolina pancake made with yeast and cooked on one side with a distinctive honeycomb appearance, ‘malwi’ or ‘rghayif’ variations of dough folded and interleaved with butter or oil, creating a flaky texture, served with ‘khli’’ preserved meat.

This is a popular dish served up in a household when visited spontaneously by somebody. It’s delicious, simple, cheap and quick and easy to prepare. However you could also eat it when ill with diarrhoea or a similar stomach upset.

This pastry is widely regarded as the crowning dish of Moroccan cuisine. This pastry is served to newlyweds the morning after their wedding night to symbolise their family’s wish that life together should be as sweet as this creation. Traditionally made with Pigeon stew under the pastry. Usually served as a first course.


A Guide to: Moroccan Food

The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco, the name itself evokes exotic images. Moroccan cuisine has strong routes in tradition and is rated as amongst THE best in the world. The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco is an agricultural paradise. The heart of Moroccan cuisine lies in the spices expelling tantalising fragrance, colour and warmth. The women of the kitchen mix the most interesting flavours. Set recipes are very rare, each dish will have the signature of the creator, who is always a woman.

Best time of year to visit: March to May or September to October

STREET FOODS

COUSCOUS
The national dish. Known to the Berbers as ‘seksoo’ or ‘sikuk’’. The couscous grain has a strong religious and emotional significance. Made from durum-wheat semolina mixed with smaller quantities of either drum-wheat flour or a soft-wheat flour, salt and water. The semolina is found in various forms all over north Africa and native to the region and is usually served topped with a stew. Moroccans believe it is food that bring’s God’s blessing upon those who consume it. Couscous needs to be prepared with patience, rhythm, time and the finesse of the woman preparing it. . It is cooked in a ‘couscoussier’ – special two tiered pot like a steamer.

On the Feast of Achoura, commemorating the death of the Prophet’s grandson, superstitious wives conseal morsels of ‘qaddid’ (preserved lamb’s tail) within a mound of couscous, to ensure their husbands fidelity.

BREAD
Bread or ‘khubz’, the most basic and essential food is sacred in Morocco. The Prophet ordered that that bread be treated with the utmost respect, so any bread found thrown away in the street must be moved out of the way of foot traffic with a short prayer. Loaves are baked early morning in terracotta gas’a in a communal oven.

The country’s national drink, tea is drunk every hour of the day. Said to be the favoured drink of the Prophet, maybe this is the reason why the Moroccans drink so much of it. The truth behind the history of tea is the English. They introduced it in the mid C.19th when their route from the Far East to England was blocked by the effects of the Crimean War, so they offloaded it in Tangier and Mogador (Agadir). Or was it when when King George I sent Sultan Moulay Ismael in 1721 bales of tea as a gift, eager to open up trading links with Morocco. Anyhow it is this green tea – gun powder or ‘chun mee’, the most Chinese of teas and is still used today in the brewing process. The Moroccans added the mint. Mint is grown all over Morocco but flourishes in the mountains. The only mint that can be used is ‘mentha viridis’. The best quality, dark with firm stalks, comes from Meknes or the Zerhoun. Tea is served in houses, in the Medina’s (old part of markets), everywhere, all day long. Freshly brewed na’na’ MINT TEA has become a fine art and a national symbol.

One of the cornerstones of Moroccan cuisine. Jewish Maroccans developed the art of preserving. It should be noted that the Jewish quarters of Moroccan towns are called ‘mellah’, meaning salt. Salt is used in the preservation process. Olives from around Fes and Meknes are some of the best in the Mediterranean. Lemons are preserved in the spring when they are their ripest and sweetest. Usually done with salt, some regions add cinnamon sticks, cloves and coriander for an alternative taste.

Almond milk, ‘sharbat billoz’, is drunk during celebrations. Made from blanched almonds blended with milk, water, rosewater or orange flower water and sugar.

Tagine cooking outside at Ouzoud Falls by Arnaud 25

Meat is an integral part of the Moroccan diet. Tajine is a stew of meat and vegetables. It’s name comes from the pot, pictured in the main image, in which it is cooked in – a utensil that is still a mystery of Moroccan cooking. The conical lid is said to retain and circulate the heat more effectively, or is it that shape so more meat can be piled inside. Tajine ingredients differ across Morocco. Berbers include lentils, other areas do lamb and date or lamb with sweetened tomatoes and almond combinations. The secret is long, slow cooking.

With it’s origins from the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). God prevented him from sacrificing his son and recommended a sheep as a substitute. This feast coincides with the end of the prophet’s pilgrimage to Mecca. A sheep is brought into the home and fattened before slaughtering for the feast. The task is performed by the head of the household, and every family sacrifices a sheep. Every part of the sheep is used, thus allowing the cook to cover the entire spectrum of Moroccan cooking. The feast lasts for as long as the fresh meat does.

Honey
Along the famous Tizi n’Test pass is Argana, home to what is reputed to be the largest collective beehive in the world, and also one of the most curious because of its construction, history and the way it is run. Most of the hives are made of split reed cylinders covered with clay. With the aid of smoking brazier made of baked earth, the bees and their Queen are made to crawl out of the hive into a basket so that the honey can be classified as ‘historically important’.

BREAKFAST
‘baghrir’ – semolina pancake made with yeast and cooked on one side with a distinctive honeycomb appearance, ‘malwi’ or ‘rghayif’ variations of dough folded and interleaved with butter or oil, creating a flaky texture, served with ‘khli’’ preserved meat.

This is a popular dish served up in a household when visited spontaneously by somebody. It’s delicious, simple, cheap and quick and easy to prepare. However you could also eat it when ill with diarrhoea or a similar stomach upset.

This pastry is widely regarded as the crowning dish of Moroccan cuisine. This pastry is served to newlyweds the morning after their wedding night to symbolise their family’s wish that life together should be as sweet as this creation. Traditionally made with Pigeon stew under the pastry. Usually served as a first course.


A Guide to: Moroccan Food

The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco, the name itself evokes exotic images. Moroccan cuisine has strong routes in tradition and is rated as amongst THE best in the world. The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco is an agricultural paradise. The heart of Moroccan cuisine lies in the spices expelling tantalising fragrance, colour and warmth. The women of the kitchen mix the most interesting flavours. Set recipes are very rare, each dish will have the signature of the creator, who is always a woman.

Best time of year to visit: March to May or September to October

STREET FOODS

COUSCOUS
The national dish. Known to the Berbers as ‘seksoo’ or ‘sikuk’’. The couscous grain has a strong religious and emotional significance. Made from durum-wheat semolina mixed with smaller quantities of either drum-wheat flour or a soft-wheat flour, salt and water. The semolina is found in various forms all over north Africa and native to the region and is usually served topped with a stew. Moroccans believe it is food that bring’s God’s blessing upon those who consume it. Couscous needs to be prepared with patience, rhythm, time and the finesse of the woman preparing it. . It is cooked in a ‘couscoussier’ – special two tiered pot like a steamer.

On the Feast of Achoura, commemorating the death of the Prophet’s grandson, superstitious wives conseal morsels of ‘qaddid’ (preserved lamb’s tail) within a mound of couscous, to ensure their husbands fidelity.

BREAD
Bread or ‘khubz’, the most basic and essential food is sacred in Morocco. The Prophet ordered that that bread be treated with the utmost respect, so any bread found thrown away in the street must be moved out of the way of foot traffic with a short prayer. Loaves are baked early morning in terracotta gas’a in a communal oven.

The country’s national drink, tea is drunk every hour of the day. Said to be the favoured drink of the Prophet, maybe this is the reason why the Moroccans drink so much of it. The truth behind the history of tea is the English. They introduced it in the mid C.19th when their route from the Far East to England was blocked by the effects of the Crimean War, so they offloaded it in Tangier and Mogador (Agadir). Or was it when when King George I sent Sultan Moulay Ismael in 1721 bales of tea as a gift, eager to open up trading links with Morocco. Anyhow it is this green tea – gun powder or ‘chun mee’, the most Chinese of teas and is still used today in the brewing process. The Moroccans added the mint. Mint is grown all over Morocco but flourishes in the mountains. The only mint that can be used is ‘mentha viridis’. The best quality, dark with firm stalks, comes from Meknes or the Zerhoun. Tea is served in houses, in the Medina’s (old part of markets), everywhere, all day long. Freshly brewed na’na’ MINT TEA has become a fine art and a national symbol.

One of the cornerstones of Moroccan cuisine. Jewish Maroccans developed the art of preserving. It should be noted that the Jewish quarters of Moroccan towns are called ‘mellah’, meaning salt. Salt is used in the preservation process. Olives from around Fes and Meknes are some of the best in the Mediterranean. Lemons are preserved in the spring when they are their ripest and sweetest. Usually done with salt, some regions add cinnamon sticks, cloves and coriander for an alternative taste.

Almond milk, ‘sharbat billoz’, is drunk during celebrations. Made from blanched almonds blended with milk, water, rosewater or orange flower water and sugar.

Tagine cooking outside at Ouzoud Falls by Arnaud 25

Meat is an integral part of the Moroccan diet. Tajine is a stew of meat and vegetables. It’s name comes from the pot, pictured in the main image, in which it is cooked in – a utensil that is still a mystery of Moroccan cooking. The conical lid is said to retain and circulate the heat more effectively, or is it that shape so more meat can be piled inside. Tajine ingredients differ across Morocco. Berbers include lentils, other areas do lamb and date or lamb with sweetened tomatoes and almond combinations. The secret is long, slow cooking.

With it’s origins from the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). God prevented him from sacrificing his son and recommended a sheep as a substitute. This feast coincides with the end of the prophet’s pilgrimage to Mecca. A sheep is brought into the home and fattened before slaughtering for the feast. The task is performed by the head of the household, and every family sacrifices a sheep. Every part of the sheep is used, thus allowing the cook to cover the entire spectrum of Moroccan cooking. The feast lasts for as long as the fresh meat does.

Honey
Along the famous Tizi n’Test pass is Argana, home to what is reputed to be the largest collective beehive in the world, and also one of the most curious because of its construction, history and the way it is run. Most of the hives are made of split reed cylinders covered with clay. With the aid of smoking brazier made of baked earth, the bees and their Queen are made to crawl out of the hive into a basket so that the honey can be classified as ‘historically important’.

BREAKFAST
‘baghrir’ – semolina pancake made with yeast and cooked on one side with a distinctive honeycomb appearance, ‘malwi’ or ‘rghayif’ variations of dough folded and interleaved with butter or oil, creating a flaky texture, served with ‘khli’’ preserved meat.

This is a popular dish served up in a household when visited spontaneously by somebody. It’s delicious, simple, cheap and quick and easy to prepare. However you could also eat it when ill with diarrhoea or a similar stomach upset.

This pastry is widely regarded as the crowning dish of Moroccan cuisine. This pastry is served to newlyweds the morning after their wedding night to symbolise their family’s wish that life together should be as sweet as this creation. Traditionally made with Pigeon stew under the pastry. Usually served as a first course.


A Guide to: Moroccan Food

The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco, the name itself evokes exotic images. Moroccan cuisine has strong routes in tradition and is rated as amongst THE best in the world. The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco is an agricultural paradise. The heart of Moroccan cuisine lies in the spices expelling tantalising fragrance, colour and warmth. The women of the kitchen mix the most interesting flavours. Set recipes are very rare, each dish will have the signature of the creator, who is always a woman.

Best time of year to visit: March to May or September to October

STREET FOODS

COUSCOUS
The national dish. Known to the Berbers as ‘seksoo’ or ‘sikuk’’. The couscous grain has a strong religious and emotional significance. Made from durum-wheat semolina mixed with smaller quantities of either drum-wheat flour or a soft-wheat flour, salt and water. The semolina is found in various forms all over north Africa and native to the region and is usually served topped with a stew. Moroccans believe it is food that bring’s God’s blessing upon those who consume it. Couscous needs to be prepared with patience, rhythm, time and the finesse of the woman preparing it. . It is cooked in a ‘couscoussier’ – special two tiered pot like a steamer.

On the Feast of Achoura, commemorating the death of the Prophet’s grandson, superstitious wives conseal morsels of ‘qaddid’ (preserved lamb’s tail) within a mound of couscous, to ensure their husbands fidelity.

BREAD
Bread or ‘khubz’, the most basic and essential food is sacred in Morocco. The Prophet ordered that that bread be treated with the utmost respect, so any bread found thrown away in the street must be moved out of the way of foot traffic with a short prayer. Loaves are baked early morning in terracotta gas’a in a communal oven.

The country’s national drink, tea is drunk every hour of the day. Said to be the favoured drink of the Prophet, maybe this is the reason why the Moroccans drink so much of it. The truth behind the history of tea is the English. They introduced it in the mid C.19th when their route from the Far East to England was blocked by the effects of the Crimean War, so they offloaded it in Tangier and Mogador (Agadir). Or was it when when King George I sent Sultan Moulay Ismael in 1721 bales of tea as a gift, eager to open up trading links with Morocco. Anyhow it is this green tea – gun powder or ‘chun mee’, the most Chinese of teas and is still used today in the brewing process. The Moroccans added the mint. Mint is grown all over Morocco but flourishes in the mountains. The only mint that can be used is ‘mentha viridis’. The best quality, dark with firm stalks, comes from Meknes or the Zerhoun. Tea is served in houses, in the Medina’s (old part of markets), everywhere, all day long. Freshly brewed na’na’ MINT TEA has become a fine art and a national symbol.

One of the cornerstones of Moroccan cuisine. Jewish Maroccans developed the art of preserving. It should be noted that the Jewish quarters of Moroccan towns are called ‘mellah’, meaning salt. Salt is used in the preservation process. Olives from around Fes and Meknes are some of the best in the Mediterranean. Lemons are preserved in the spring when they are their ripest and sweetest. Usually done with salt, some regions add cinnamon sticks, cloves and coriander for an alternative taste.

Almond milk, ‘sharbat billoz’, is drunk during celebrations. Made from blanched almonds blended with milk, water, rosewater or orange flower water and sugar.

Tagine cooking outside at Ouzoud Falls by Arnaud 25

Meat is an integral part of the Moroccan diet. Tajine is a stew of meat and vegetables. It’s name comes from the pot, pictured in the main image, in which it is cooked in – a utensil that is still a mystery of Moroccan cooking. The conical lid is said to retain and circulate the heat more effectively, or is it that shape so more meat can be piled inside. Tajine ingredients differ across Morocco. Berbers include lentils, other areas do lamb and date or lamb with sweetened tomatoes and almond combinations. The secret is long, slow cooking.

With it’s origins from the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). God prevented him from sacrificing his son and recommended a sheep as a substitute. This feast coincides with the end of the prophet’s pilgrimage to Mecca. A sheep is brought into the home and fattened before slaughtering for the feast. The task is performed by the head of the household, and every family sacrifices a sheep. Every part of the sheep is used, thus allowing the cook to cover the entire spectrum of Moroccan cooking. The feast lasts for as long as the fresh meat does.

Honey
Along the famous Tizi n’Test pass is Argana, home to what is reputed to be the largest collective beehive in the world, and also one of the most curious because of its construction, history and the way it is run. Most of the hives are made of split reed cylinders covered with clay. With the aid of smoking brazier made of baked earth, the bees and their Queen are made to crawl out of the hive into a basket so that the honey can be classified as ‘historically important’.

BREAKFAST
‘baghrir’ – semolina pancake made with yeast and cooked on one side with a distinctive honeycomb appearance, ‘malwi’ or ‘rghayif’ variations of dough folded and interleaved with butter or oil, creating a flaky texture, served with ‘khli’’ preserved meat.

This is a popular dish served up in a household when visited spontaneously by somebody. It’s delicious, simple, cheap and quick and easy to prepare. However you could also eat it when ill with diarrhoea or a similar stomach upset.

This pastry is widely regarded as the crowning dish of Moroccan cuisine. This pastry is served to newlyweds the morning after their wedding night to symbolise their family’s wish that life together should be as sweet as this creation. Traditionally made with Pigeon stew under the pastry. Usually served as a first course.


A Guide to: Moroccan Food

The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco, the name itself evokes exotic images. Moroccan cuisine has strong routes in tradition and is rated as amongst THE best in the world. The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco is an agricultural paradise. The heart of Moroccan cuisine lies in the spices expelling tantalising fragrance, colour and warmth. The women of the kitchen mix the most interesting flavours. Set recipes are very rare, each dish will have the signature of the creator, who is always a woman.

Best time of year to visit: March to May or September to October

STREET FOODS

COUSCOUS
The national dish. Known to the Berbers as ‘seksoo’ or ‘sikuk’’. The couscous grain has a strong religious and emotional significance. Made from durum-wheat semolina mixed with smaller quantities of either drum-wheat flour or a soft-wheat flour, salt and water. The semolina is found in various forms all over north Africa and native to the region and is usually served topped with a stew. Moroccans believe it is food that bring’s God’s blessing upon those who consume it. Couscous needs to be prepared with patience, rhythm, time and the finesse of the woman preparing it. . It is cooked in a ‘couscoussier’ – special two tiered pot like a steamer.

On the Feast of Achoura, commemorating the death of the Prophet’s grandson, superstitious wives conseal morsels of ‘qaddid’ (preserved lamb’s tail) within a mound of couscous, to ensure their husbands fidelity.

BREAD
Bread or ‘khubz’, the most basic and essential food is sacred in Morocco. The Prophet ordered that that bread be treated with the utmost respect, so any bread found thrown away in the street must be moved out of the way of foot traffic with a short prayer. Loaves are baked early morning in terracotta gas’a in a communal oven.

The country’s national drink, tea is drunk every hour of the day. Said to be the favoured drink of the Prophet, maybe this is the reason why the Moroccans drink so much of it. The truth behind the history of tea is the English. They introduced it in the mid C.19th when their route from the Far East to England was blocked by the effects of the Crimean War, so they offloaded it in Tangier and Mogador (Agadir). Or was it when when King George I sent Sultan Moulay Ismael in 1721 bales of tea as a gift, eager to open up trading links with Morocco. Anyhow it is this green tea – gun powder or ‘chun mee’, the most Chinese of teas and is still used today in the brewing process. The Moroccans added the mint. Mint is grown all over Morocco but flourishes in the mountains. The only mint that can be used is ‘mentha viridis’. The best quality, dark with firm stalks, comes from Meknes or the Zerhoun. Tea is served in houses, in the Medina’s (old part of markets), everywhere, all day long. Freshly brewed na’na’ MINT TEA has become a fine art and a national symbol.

One of the cornerstones of Moroccan cuisine. Jewish Maroccans developed the art of preserving. It should be noted that the Jewish quarters of Moroccan towns are called ‘mellah’, meaning salt. Salt is used in the preservation process. Olives from around Fes and Meknes are some of the best in the Mediterranean. Lemons are preserved in the spring when they are their ripest and sweetest. Usually done with salt, some regions add cinnamon sticks, cloves and coriander for an alternative taste.

Almond milk, ‘sharbat billoz’, is drunk during celebrations. Made from blanched almonds blended with milk, water, rosewater or orange flower water and sugar.

Tagine cooking outside at Ouzoud Falls by Arnaud 25

Meat is an integral part of the Moroccan diet. Tajine is a stew of meat and vegetables. It’s name comes from the pot, pictured in the main image, in which it is cooked in – a utensil that is still a mystery of Moroccan cooking. The conical lid is said to retain and circulate the heat more effectively, or is it that shape so more meat can be piled inside. Tajine ingredients differ across Morocco. Berbers include lentils, other areas do lamb and date or lamb with sweetened tomatoes and almond combinations. The secret is long, slow cooking.

With it’s origins from the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). God prevented him from sacrificing his son and recommended a sheep as a substitute. This feast coincides with the end of the prophet’s pilgrimage to Mecca. A sheep is brought into the home and fattened before slaughtering for the feast. The task is performed by the head of the household, and every family sacrifices a sheep. Every part of the sheep is used, thus allowing the cook to cover the entire spectrum of Moroccan cooking. The feast lasts for as long as the fresh meat does.

Honey
Along the famous Tizi n’Test pass is Argana, home to what is reputed to be the largest collective beehive in the world, and also one of the most curious because of its construction, history and the way it is run. Most of the hives are made of split reed cylinders covered with clay. With the aid of smoking brazier made of baked earth, the bees and their Queen are made to crawl out of the hive into a basket so that the honey can be classified as ‘historically important’.

BREAKFAST
‘baghrir’ – semolina pancake made with yeast and cooked on one side with a distinctive honeycomb appearance, ‘malwi’ or ‘rghayif’ variations of dough folded and interleaved with butter or oil, creating a flaky texture, served with ‘khli’’ preserved meat.

This is a popular dish served up in a household when visited spontaneously by somebody. It’s delicious, simple, cheap and quick and easy to prepare. However you could also eat it when ill with diarrhoea or a similar stomach upset.

This pastry is widely regarded as the crowning dish of Moroccan cuisine. This pastry is served to newlyweds the morning after their wedding night to symbolise their family’s wish that life together should be as sweet as this creation. Traditionally made with Pigeon stew under the pastry. Usually served as a first course.


A Guide to: Moroccan Food

The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco, the name itself evokes exotic images. Moroccan cuisine has strong routes in tradition and is rated as amongst THE best in the world. The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco is an agricultural paradise. The heart of Moroccan cuisine lies in the spices expelling tantalising fragrance, colour and warmth. The women of the kitchen mix the most interesting flavours. Set recipes are very rare, each dish will have the signature of the creator, who is always a woman.

Best time of year to visit: March to May or September to October

STREET FOODS

COUSCOUS
The national dish. Known to the Berbers as ‘seksoo’ or ‘sikuk’’. The couscous grain has a strong religious and emotional significance. Made from durum-wheat semolina mixed with smaller quantities of either drum-wheat flour or a soft-wheat flour, salt and water. The semolina is found in various forms all over north Africa and native to the region and is usually served topped with a stew. Moroccans believe it is food that bring’s God’s blessing upon those who consume it. Couscous needs to be prepared with patience, rhythm, time and the finesse of the woman preparing it. . It is cooked in a ‘couscoussier’ – special two tiered pot like a steamer.

On the Feast of Achoura, commemorating the death of the Prophet’s grandson, superstitious wives conseal morsels of ‘qaddid’ (preserved lamb’s tail) within a mound of couscous, to ensure their husbands fidelity.

BREAD
Bread or ‘khubz’, the most basic and essential food is sacred in Morocco. The Prophet ordered that that bread be treated with the utmost respect, so any bread found thrown away in the street must be moved out of the way of foot traffic with a short prayer. Loaves are baked early morning in terracotta gas’a in a communal oven.

The country’s national drink, tea is drunk every hour of the day. Said to be the favoured drink of the Prophet, maybe this is the reason why the Moroccans drink so much of it. The truth behind the history of tea is the English. They introduced it in the mid C.19th when their route from the Far East to England was blocked by the effects of the Crimean War, so they offloaded it in Tangier and Mogador (Agadir). Or was it when when King George I sent Sultan Moulay Ismael in 1721 bales of tea as a gift, eager to open up trading links with Morocco. Anyhow it is this green tea – gun powder or ‘chun mee’, the most Chinese of teas and is still used today in the brewing process. The Moroccans added the mint. Mint is grown all over Morocco but flourishes in the mountains. The only mint that can be used is ‘mentha viridis’. The best quality, dark with firm stalks, comes from Meknes or the Zerhoun. Tea is served in houses, in the Medina’s (old part of markets), everywhere, all day long. Freshly brewed na’na’ MINT TEA has become a fine art and a national symbol.

One of the cornerstones of Moroccan cuisine. Jewish Maroccans developed the art of preserving. It should be noted that the Jewish quarters of Moroccan towns are called ‘mellah’, meaning salt. Salt is used in the preservation process. Olives from around Fes and Meknes are some of the best in the Mediterranean. Lemons are preserved in the spring when they are their ripest and sweetest. Usually done with salt, some regions add cinnamon sticks, cloves and coriander for an alternative taste.

Almond milk, ‘sharbat billoz’, is drunk during celebrations. Made from blanched almonds blended with milk, water, rosewater or orange flower water and sugar.

Tagine cooking outside at Ouzoud Falls by Arnaud 25

Meat is an integral part of the Moroccan diet. Tajine is a stew of meat and vegetables. It’s name comes from the pot, pictured in the main image, in which it is cooked in – a utensil that is still a mystery of Moroccan cooking. The conical lid is said to retain and circulate the heat more effectively, or is it that shape so more meat can be piled inside. Tajine ingredients differ across Morocco. Berbers include lentils, other areas do lamb and date or lamb with sweetened tomatoes and almond combinations. The secret is long, slow cooking.

With it’s origins from the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). God prevented him from sacrificing his son and recommended a sheep as a substitute. This feast coincides with the end of the prophet’s pilgrimage to Mecca. A sheep is brought into the home and fattened before slaughtering for the feast. The task is performed by the head of the household, and every family sacrifices a sheep. Every part of the sheep is used, thus allowing the cook to cover the entire spectrum of Moroccan cooking. The feast lasts for as long as the fresh meat does.

Honey
Along the famous Tizi n’Test pass is Argana, home to what is reputed to be the largest collective beehive in the world, and also one of the most curious because of its construction, history and the way it is run. Most of the hives are made of split reed cylinders covered with clay. With the aid of smoking brazier made of baked earth, the bees and their Queen are made to crawl out of the hive into a basket so that the honey can be classified as ‘historically important’.

BREAKFAST
‘baghrir’ – semolina pancake made with yeast and cooked on one side with a distinctive honeycomb appearance, ‘malwi’ or ‘rghayif’ variations of dough folded and interleaved with butter or oil, creating a flaky texture, served with ‘khli’’ preserved meat.

This is a popular dish served up in a household when visited spontaneously by somebody. It’s delicious, simple, cheap and quick and easy to prepare. However you could also eat it when ill with diarrhoea or a similar stomach upset.

This pastry is widely regarded as the crowning dish of Moroccan cuisine. This pastry is served to newlyweds the morning after their wedding night to symbolise their family’s wish that life together should be as sweet as this creation. Traditionally made with Pigeon stew under the pastry. Usually served as a first course.


A Guide to: Moroccan Food

The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco, the name itself evokes exotic images. Moroccan cuisine has strong routes in tradition and is rated as amongst THE best in the world. The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco is an agricultural paradise. The heart of Moroccan cuisine lies in the spices expelling tantalising fragrance, colour and warmth. The women of the kitchen mix the most interesting flavours. Set recipes are very rare, each dish will have the signature of the creator, who is always a woman.

Best time of year to visit: March to May or September to October

STREET FOODS

COUSCOUS
The national dish. Known to the Berbers as ‘seksoo’ or ‘sikuk’’. The couscous grain has a strong religious and emotional significance. Made from durum-wheat semolina mixed with smaller quantities of either drum-wheat flour or a soft-wheat flour, salt and water. The semolina is found in various forms all over north Africa and native to the region and is usually served topped with a stew. Moroccans believe it is food that bring’s God’s blessing upon those who consume it. Couscous needs to be prepared with patience, rhythm, time and the finesse of the woman preparing it. . It is cooked in a ‘couscoussier’ – special two tiered pot like a steamer.

On the Feast of Achoura, commemorating the death of the Prophet’s grandson, superstitious wives conseal morsels of ‘qaddid’ (preserved lamb’s tail) within a mound of couscous, to ensure their husbands fidelity.

BREAD
Bread or ‘khubz’, the most basic and essential food is sacred in Morocco. The Prophet ordered that that bread be treated with the utmost respect, so any bread found thrown away in the street must be moved out of the way of foot traffic with a short prayer. Loaves are baked early morning in terracotta gas’a in a communal oven.

The country’s national drink, tea is drunk every hour of the day. Said to be the favoured drink of the Prophet, maybe this is the reason why the Moroccans drink so much of it. The truth behind the history of tea is the English. They introduced it in the mid C.19th when their route from the Far East to England was blocked by the effects of the Crimean War, so they offloaded it in Tangier and Mogador (Agadir). Or was it when when King George I sent Sultan Moulay Ismael in 1721 bales of tea as a gift, eager to open up trading links with Morocco. Anyhow it is this green tea – gun powder or ‘chun mee’, the most Chinese of teas and is still used today in the brewing process. The Moroccans added the mint. Mint is grown all over Morocco but flourishes in the mountains. The only mint that can be used is ‘mentha viridis’. The best quality, dark with firm stalks, comes from Meknes or the Zerhoun. Tea is served in houses, in the Medina’s (old part of markets), everywhere, all day long. Freshly brewed na’na’ MINT TEA has become a fine art and a national symbol.

One of the cornerstones of Moroccan cuisine. Jewish Maroccans developed the art of preserving. It should be noted that the Jewish quarters of Moroccan towns are called ‘mellah’, meaning salt. Salt is used in the preservation process. Olives from around Fes and Meknes are some of the best in the Mediterranean. Lemons are preserved in the spring when they are their ripest and sweetest. Usually done with salt, some regions add cinnamon sticks, cloves and coriander for an alternative taste.

Almond milk, ‘sharbat billoz’, is drunk during celebrations. Made from blanched almonds blended with milk, water, rosewater or orange flower water and sugar.

Tagine cooking outside at Ouzoud Falls by Arnaud 25

Meat is an integral part of the Moroccan diet. Tajine is a stew of meat and vegetables. It’s name comes from the pot, pictured in the main image, in which it is cooked in – a utensil that is still a mystery of Moroccan cooking. The conical lid is said to retain and circulate the heat more effectively, or is it that shape so more meat can be piled inside. Tajine ingredients differ across Morocco. Berbers include lentils, other areas do lamb and date or lamb with sweetened tomatoes and almond combinations. The secret is long, slow cooking.

With it’s origins from the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). God prevented him from sacrificing his son and recommended a sheep as a substitute. This feast coincides with the end of the prophet’s pilgrimage to Mecca. A sheep is brought into the home and fattened before slaughtering for the feast. The task is performed by the head of the household, and every family sacrifices a sheep. Every part of the sheep is used, thus allowing the cook to cover the entire spectrum of Moroccan cooking. The feast lasts for as long as the fresh meat does.

Honey
Along the famous Tizi n’Test pass is Argana, home to what is reputed to be the largest collective beehive in the world, and also one of the most curious because of its construction, history and the way it is run. Most of the hives are made of split reed cylinders covered with clay. With the aid of smoking brazier made of baked earth, the bees and their Queen are made to crawl out of the hive into a basket so that the honey can be classified as ‘historically important’.

BREAKFAST
‘baghrir’ – semolina pancake made with yeast and cooked on one side with a distinctive honeycomb appearance, ‘malwi’ or ‘rghayif’ variations of dough folded and interleaved with butter or oil, creating a flaky texture, served with ‘khli’’ preserved meat.

This is a popular dish served up in a household when visited spontaneously by somebody. It’s delicious, simple, cheap and quick and easy to prepare. However you could also eat it when ill with diarrhoea or a similar stomach upset.

This pastry is widely regarded as the crowning dish of Moroccan cuisine. This pastry is served to newlyweds the morning after their wedding night to symbolise their family’s wish that life together should be as sweet as this creation. Traditionally made with Pigeon stew under the pastry. Usually served as a first course.


A Guide to: Moroccan Food

The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco, the name itself evokes exotic images. Moroccan cuisine has strong routes in tradition and is rated as amongst THE best in the world. The Moroccans are very proud of their food and the sharing of meals is an integral part of the culinary experience and the foundation of the Moroccan way of life – there is a strong sense of family and tribe. Distinctive and delicious, each major dish has its own story.

Morocco is an agricultural paradise. The heart of Moroccan cuisine lies in the spices expelling tantalising fragrance, colour and warmth. The women of the kitchen mix the most interesting flavours. Set recipes are very rare, each dish will have the signature of the creator, who is always a woman.

Best time of year to visit: March to May or September to October

STREET FOODS

COUSCOUS
The national dish. Known to the Berbers as ‘seksoo’ or ‘sikuk’’. The couscous grain has a strong religious and emotional significance. Made from durum-wheat semolina mixed with smaller quantities of either drum-wheat flour or a soft-wheat flour, salt and water. The semolina is found in various forms all over north Africa and native to the region and is usually served topped with a stew. Moroccans believe it is food that bring’s God’s blessing upon those who consume it. Couscous needs to be prepared with patience, rhythm, time and the finesse of the woman preparing it. . It is cooked in a ‘couscoussier’ – special two tiered pot like a steamer.

On the Feast of Achoura, commemorating the death of the Prophet’s grandson, superstitious wives conseal morsels of ‘qaddid’ (preserved lamb’s tail) within a mound of couscous, to ensure their husbands fidelity.

BREAD
Bread or ‘khubz’, the most basic and essential food is sacred in Morocco. The Prophet ordered that that bread be treated with the utmost respect, so any bread found thrown away in the street must be moved out of the way of foot traffic with a short prayer. Loaves are baked early morning in terracotta gas’a in a communal oven.

The country’s national drink, tea is drunk every hour of the day. Said to be the favoured drink of the Prophet, maybe this is the reason why the Moroccans drink so much of it. The truth behind the history of tea is the English. They introduced it in the mid C.19th when their route from the Far East to England was blocked by the effects of the Crimean War, so they offloaded it in Tangier and Mogador (Agadir). Or was it when when King George I sent Sultan Moulay Ismael in 1721 bales of tea as a gift, eager to open up trading links with Morocco. Anyhow it is this green tea – gun powder or ‘chun mee’, the most Chinese of teas and is still used today in the brewing process. The Moroccans added the mint. Mint is grown all over Morocco but flourishes in the mountains. The only mint that can be used is ‘mentha viridis’. The best quality, dark with firm stalks, comes from Meknes or the Zerhoun. Tea is served in houses, in the Medina’s (old part of markets), everywhere, all day long. Freshly brewed na’na’ MINT TEA has become a fine art and a national symbol.

One of the cornerstones of Moroccan cuisine. Jewish Maroccans developed the art of preserving. It should be noted that the Jewish quarters of Moroccan towns are called ‘mellah’, meaning salt. Salt is used in the preservation process. Olives from around Fes and Meknes are some of the best in the Mediterranean. Lemons are preserved in the spring when they are their ripest and sweetest. Usually done with salt, some regions add cinnamon sticks, cloves and coriander for an alternative taste.

Almond milk, ‘sharbat billoz’, is drunk during celebrations. Made from blanched almonds blended with milk, water, rosewater or orange flower water and sugar.

Tagine cooking outside at Ouzoud Falls by Arnaud 25

Meat is an integral part of the Moroccan diet. Tajine is a stew of meat and vegetables. It’s name comes from the pot, pictured in the main image, in which it is cooked in – a utensil that is still a mystery of Moroccan cooking. The conical lid is said to retain and circulate the heat more effectively, or is it that shape so more meat can be piled inside. Tajine ingredients differ across Morocco. Berbers include lentils, other areas do lamb and date or lamb with sweetened tomatoes and almond combinations. The secret is long, slow cooking.

With it’s origins from the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). God prevented him from sacrificing his son and recommended a sheep as a substitute. This feast coincides with the end of the prophet’s pilgrimage to Mecca. A sheep is brought into the home and fattened before slaughtering for the feast. The task is performed by the head of the household, and every family sacrifices a sheep. Every part of the sheep is used, thus allowing the cook to cover the entire spectrum of Moroccan cooking. The feast lasts for as long as the fresh meat does.

Honey
Along the famous Tizi n’Test pass is Argana, home to what is reputed to be the largest collective beehive in the world, and also one of the most curious because of its construction, history and the way it is run. Most of the hives are made of split reed cylinders covered with clay. With the aid of smoking brazier made of baked earth, the bees and their Queen are made to crawl out of the hive into a basket so that the honey can be classified as ‘historically important’.

BREAKFAST
‘baghrir’ – semolina pancake made with yeast and cooked on one side with a distinctive honeycomb appearance, ‘malwi’ or ‘rghayif’ variations of dough folded and interleaved with butter or oil, creating a flaky texture, served with ‘khli’’ preserved meat.

This is a popular dish served up in a household when visited spontaneously by somebody. It’s delicious, simple, cheap and quick and easy to prepare. However you could also eat it when ill with diarrhoea or a similar stomach upset.

This pastry is widely regarded as the crowning dish of Moroccan cuisine. This pastry is served to newlyweds the morning after their wedding night to symbolise their family’s wish that life together should be as sweet as this creation. Traditionally made with Pigeon stew under the pastry. Usually served as a first course.


Watch the video: Home-Cooked IFTAR in MOROCCO First Time Fasting for Ramadan + HUGE Moroccan Food Feast!! (July 2022).


Comments:

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