Some of essential recipes in the cuisine of Morocco

Cuisine of Morocco is rich in flavors and aromas and is one of the most famous in the world. The variety of dishes is surpassed only by the influence: Arab, Berber, Moorish, Jewish, African and even Asian.  Here are 12 Moroccan dishes that will delight your taste buds, whether they’re made for holidays or everyday consumption.

 Couscous

This is perhaps the most popular tagine dish that first comes to mind when you think of Moroccan gastronomy. It is traditionally served on Fridays at lunch after the Dour prayer, but is now eaten every day of the week. The traditional version is Berber and consists of beef and lamb, sometimes chicken, a variety of vegetables and legumes (zucchini, turnips, beans, lentils, peas) and, of course, wheat semolina. Moroccans eat it straight from the plate or serve it in separate plates.

 

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Tagine

Tagine is a typical Moroccan dish that also originates from the Berber region. It is said that the best tagine is still eaten today in the Berber region. It is a type of stew that is cooked in an earthenware pot with a conical lid. There are countless recipes for making tagine, each one tastier than the next: Chicken tagine with vegetables, saffron or plums, vegetable tagine with chickpeas, sardine tagine, lamb tagine with onions and chickpeas, and so on. Almost every day of the year has a different recipe.

 

Mrouzia

This is a special Moroccan tajine recipe that is traditionally served during the Eid el-Kebir holiday. It is made with lamb neck, almonds, sultanas, honey and cinnamon, finely balanced with a mixture of Ras el-Hanout. The dish is prepared several days before the holiday, and the meat must be cooked for several hours to melt easily. In the traditional recipe, kidney fat was added to form a protective film that allowed the dish to be preserved in the days when there were no refrigerators.

 

Pastilla

The third great Moroccan dish, pastilla, originated in Fez. The traditional version is made with pigeon, but there are several variations. It is served at feasts and receptions and can be sweet or savory, the latter version being the most common. It consists of puff pastry made of bricks, filled with pigeon or chicken stuffing and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. There are also fish pastilles, seafood pastilles and johar, and pastilles from Fez, a sweet dish in which sheets of brick dough are filled with a creamy mixture of milk and cornstarch.

 

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Tangia Marrakchi

Tangia is a typical Marrakech dish: a trip there without trying this emblematic dish would be heresy. There are two stories about its origins. The most popular one says that it was invented by workers who had no time to go home to eat, and they put all the ingredients they could find – meat, spices, vegetables – into a jar and heated it up the next day in the nearest hammam. Today, it is a dish of meat and spices that takes hours to be cooked in a clay pot and is served in many restaurants in Marrakech.

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Mechoui

Mechoui is a meat dish, and it is more of a cooking method than a specific recipe. It is a dish of Arab origin and is very popular, especially at weddings or special occasions. The peculiarity of the Moroccan Mechoui is that the lamb or meat is not cooked on a spit, but stewed for many hours in a clay oven. Then the pieces of beef or mutton are cut up by hand and traditionally served to the guests of honor.

Harira

Harira is a traditional Moroccan soup, not always healthy and of questionable nutritional value, but nevertheless much appreciated by Moroccans for breaking the Ramadan fast. It comes from Andalusia and consists of tomatoes, meat, onions and dried vegetables. It is served with hard-boiled eggs, honey pancakes or Moroccan pastries (Shabbakiya).

Brioche

Briouat, also called briwat, is a layered triangle that can be sweet or savory. Originating in Fez, this pastry usually consists of almonds, sugar, orange blossom water and cinnamon and is wrapped in a sheet of Moroccan bastille. Seafood brioche is also very popular. There are other recipes in which triangles are filled with minced meat, chicken, cheese or vegetables.

Salads

During a traditional Moroccan meal, many salads, hot or cold, are served before or during the meal. Simple or complex, they all add a touch of freshness and allow Moroccans to eat plenty of vegetables. Tomatoes with cucumbers, carrots with cumin, eggplant with zaalouk, zucchini with hazelnuts, mushrooms with celery. And the variations here are endless!

Dates

Morocco is one of the largest producers of dates in the world. Mostly consumed during Lent, dates are rich in vitamins and minerals. In some regions they are used to give strength to women after childbirth. Moroccans love them and consume 150,000 tons a year. They are present in many dishes, such as the famous maamoulas, dumplings filled with date paste.

 

Peppermint Tea

How can we talk about Moroccan food without mentioning the traditional mint tea? It is the perfect ending to a good Moroccan meal and at the same time a hospitality drink that is impossible to refuse. It consists of Chinese green tea, sugar and mint and is traditionally prepared by the head of the family. In some regions, ingredients such as sage, verbena, cinnamon, or orange blossom water may also be added. It goes well with Moroccan desserts, but it can be enjoyed at any time of day. There are some families whom they use tea with almost all the meals of the day. 

 

Famous Moroccan sweets of Gazelle horns (Kaab l-Gazelle)

How can we talk about Moroccan food without mentioning the traditional mint tea? It is the perfect ending to a good Moroccan meal and at the same time a hospitality drink that is impossible to refuse. It consists of Chinese green tea, sugar and mint and is traditionally prepared by the head of the family. In some regions, ingredients such as sage, verbena, cinnamon, or orange blossom water may also be added. It goes well with Moroccan desserts, but it can be enjoyed at any time of day. There are some families whom they use tea with almost all the meals of the day.

Read more about Morocco (click here)

 

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