Moroccan cuisine

Moroccan cuisine is extremely refined, thanks to Morocco's interactions and exchanges with other cultures and nations over the centuries. Moroccan cuisine has been subject to BerberMoorish, and Arab influences. The cooks in the royal kitchens of FesMeknesMarrakesh,Rabat and Tetouan refined it over the centuries and created the basis for what is known as Moroccan cuisine today.

Traditional Moroccan Food

Welcome to Moroccan Food, one of the world’s most famous and delicious cuisines. Moroccan cooking is influenced by a rich and diverse North African history. With dishes ranging from surprisingly simple to intriguingly complex, Moroccan recipes are sure to please a wide range of palates. Browse the topics below to learn more about

the traditions, culture and essentials of Moroccan cooking.

Ingredients

Morocco produces a large range of Mediterranean fruits and vegetables and even some tropical ones. Common meats includemutton and lambbeefchickencamelrabbit and seafood, which serve as a base for the cuisine.

Characteristic flavourings include lemon pickle, cold-pressed, unrefined olive oil and dried fruits. It is also known for being far more heavily spiced than Middle Eastern Cuisine.

 

Use of spices

Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food. While spices have been imported to Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients, like saffron from Tiliouine, mint and olives fromMeknes, and oranges and lemons from Fez, are home-grown. Common spices include karfa (cinnamon), kamoun (cumin),kharkoum (turmeric), skinjbir (ginger),   libzar (pepper), tahmira(paprika), anise seed, sesame seedsqesbour (coriander), maadnous(parsley), zaafran beldi (saffron) and mint.

Couscous

Tanjia: recipe for a slowcooked Moroccan feast

The tanjia is a classical clay pot that is used for cooking. The same word is used for both the pot and the resulting dish - rather like the word tajine. A tanjia is a well-known bachelor dish, and every man in the medina will tell you how difficult it is to make (perhaps it is, for men who don't usually cook!). Ingredients differ around Morocco - in Marrakech they don't use onions; in Fez they do.

Couscous has become an international word known by so many people all over the globe. It is pronounced (KUSKUS).It is , in fact, a traditional Moroccan food .it dates back to the 13th century when the Arabs were occupying the Andalusia ,which is historically speaking , is the south of Spain now. 

Now you can find couscous in North Africa and even in Europe and USA. It is served in many restaurants around the world.

Couscous is served cold or hot with meat, chicken and stew vegetables. Some areas in Morocco serve it with some kind of fish. It is served as a principal dish not a side one

 

Tajin

Tajines in Moroccan cuisine are slow-cooked stews braised at low temperatures, resulting in tender meat with aromatic vegetables and sauce. They are traditionally cooked in the tajine pot, whose cover has a knob-like handle at its top to facilitate removal. Whilesimmering, the cover can be lifted off without the aid of a mitten, enabling the cook to inspect the main ingredients, add vegetables, mix the contents, or add additional braising liquid.

Pastilla

With Chicken: A triple layered savory pastry: A layer of chicken is covered with a layer of eggs and a lemony-onion sauce and then topped with a layer of crushed almonds. Everything is wrapped in phyllo pastry and delicately covered with cinnamon and sugar.

With Fish: It’s phyllo pastry stuffed with seafood, it’s typical dish and highly regarded as a national dish of Morocco

Harira Soup

This traditionally Berber soup is usually served during the holy festival month of Ramadan. Also great for cold weather!

Salads

Salads include both raw and cooked ingredients, served either hot or cold.[1] Cold salads include zaalouk, an eggplant and tomatomixture, and taktouka (a mixture of tomatoes, green peppers, garlic and spices).

 

Desserts

Usually, seasonal fruits rather than cooked desserts are served at the close of a meal. A common dessert is kaab el ghzal (“gazelle’s horns”), a pastry stuffed with almond paste and topped with sugar. Another is ” Halwa shebakia “, pretzel-shaped dough deep-fried, dipped into a hot pot of honey and sprinkled with sesame seeds.Halwa Shebakia are cookies eaten during the month of Ramadan. Coconut fudge cakes, ‘Zucre Coco’, are popular also.

Drinks

Moroccan tea pots have long, curved pouring spouts and this allows the tea to be poured evenly into tiny glasses from a height. For the best taste, glasses are filled in two stages. The Moroccans traditionally like tea with bubbles, so while pouring they hold the teapot high above the glasses. Finally, the tea is accompanied with hard sugar cones or lumps.

Get Ready for Ramadan

Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, will begin in Morocco on July 10th. Although its focus is spiritual, there is a cultural emphasis on food during this holy month. Helwa chebakia, shown above, is one example of a traditional food which is prepared in advance to offer throughout Ramadan.

The Iftar Table

At a Moroccan iftar, dates, milk, juices, and sweets typically provide the sugar surge needed after a day of going without food. Harira, a hearty lentil and tomato soup, satisfies hunger and restores energy. Hard-boiled eggs, meat- or seafood-filled pastries (briouats), fried fish, and pancakes might also be served.

Large batches of sweets such as sellou and chebekiaare traditionally prepared in advance for use throughout the month, as are cookies and other pastries. These, and other specialties found in the list of Ramadan Recipes can be made all year round, but they are especially popular during this holy month.

Moroccan Recipes for Special Occasions and Entertaining

 Chicken Bastilla

Some Moroccan dishes are well-associated with special occasions, celebrations, holiday gatherings and entertaining. These recipes are suggestions of what you might consider when hosting a special Moroccan meal or planning a feast for a large crowd. Many of the dishes can be prepped in advance, making it easy to get food on the table for your big event.

This savory and sweet chicken, almond and egg pie is a classic choice for special events such as wedding feasts, family celebrations or company dinners. It can be fully prepped in advance and then frozen until baking time. Although it traditionally is presented as a large communal pie, individual-sized bastillas may be made instead.

 

 Seafood Bastilla

This seafood version of bastilla has become immensely popular in recent years, making it another impressive favorite to present for special meals. Shrimp, calamari, fish and a zesty rice vermicelli filling are stuffed within the warqa pastry leaves. Again, it can be fully prepped ahead of time and frozen until needed.

Mechoui - Roasted Leg of Lamb or Shoulder

Mechoui means roasted over a fire, and in Moroccan cuisine it's become synonymous with roasted lamb. Traditionally this involves a whole lamb, but this home oven recipe calls for leg of lamb or shoulder. The meat is dressed with a Moroccan spice rub and then slow-cooked to buttery tenderness.

Seffa Medfouna

This sweet and savory dish features saffron-infused chicken (or lamb) hidden within a mound of steamed vermicelli. The classic flavors include ginger, saffron, cinnamon and fried almonds. Omit the meat to present the vermicelli as an impressive follow-up course to an entree.

Moroccan Salad Medley

An impressive and lovely starter course, four different vegetables are arranged around a mound of rice salad. This photo tutorial links to all the salad recipes, which can be prepped the day before serving.

Lamb Brochettes

When served to guests or on special occasions, these lamb or fillet beef brochettes are typically presented as one of several entrees. They can be served alone, or for more casual meals, stuffed in wedges of Moroccan khobz with Salade Mechouia as a filler.

Roasted Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives

There are different ways to prepare this popular, classic dish – in a pot, in a tagine, or roasted in the oven as shown here – but this method is the easiest way to feed a crowd. Prep the chickens and cook the sauce the day before, and then roast your chickens in time to serve guests.

Couscous with Seven Vegetables

This Casablanca style couscous is a common offering at family and company meals. Couscous is steamed in a couscoussier and then topped with a fabulous meat and vegetable stew. It may seem like a lot of work if you've never made it, but after one or two times it will seem easy to put together even when hosting a special event. Save time by prepping the veggies earlier in the day or the evening before.

Couscous Tfaya

Another couscous favorite for family meals or when entertaining. Stewed chicken or lamb is served on a bed of couscous, then topped with a sweet and spicy caramelized onion and raisin mixture. Ras el Hanout contributes to the aromatic seasoning.

Chicken Rfissa

One of my personal favorites, this dish features very savory and aromatic chicken stewed with lentils, fenugreek, saffron, Ras el Hanout and other spices. It's served atop a bed of shredded mssemen or day old bread. I consider it comfort food that's elegant enough for company, and indeed the dish is one that might traditionally be prepared to honor guests.

Chicken Mezgueldi

This dish will wow guests with its flavor impact, and despite its long list of ingredients, it's actually quite easy to prepare. The dish takes its name from the zesty and sweet caramelized onion mixture that is used to garnish the chicken.

Mrouzia

Although this lamb, raisin, almond and honey dish is traditionally offered in the days following Eid Al-Adha, you'll find it served other times of the year for special occasions or as a family meal. The liberal use of spices, combined with the sweet addition of honey, was essential for preserving ample quantities of the cooked dish in the days before refrigeration.

Lamb or Beef with Prunes

Although very easy to make, this dish features an impressive combination of flavors, making it (and other dried fruit tagines) a popular choice for company dinners and special occasions. The meat is stewed with ginger, saffron and onions, then topped by prunes which have been simmered in a honey and cinnamon syrup.

Chicken with Dates and Honey

Similar to the dish above, this one combines chicken and dates. Fried almonds or sesame seeds are used to garnish and provide nutty contrast.

Lamb Tagine with Dried Apricots

Apricots are a popular dried fruit in Morocco, and here they're used in a sweet and savory dish flavored with cinnamon, ginger and saffron. Beef or even chicken can be substituted for the lamb.

Baked Fish Tagine

A classic pairing of chermoula-marinated fish and veggies. The ingredients are layered in a baking dish and then baked in the oven. Try to select a dish that can go from oven to table to make presentation a breeze. Although Moroccans tend to eat communally from the serving platter, you may prefer to plate portions of this dish for guests.

Baked Fish Stuffed with Shrimp, Olives and Rice Vermicelli

An elegant variation of the dish above, this one features a filling of shrimp, olives and rice vermicelli. Prep the entire dish early in the day and then bake just before serving time.
 
 
 

Rolled Fish Fillets Stuffed with Smoked Salmon

Due to its easy preparation yet impressive presentation, this dish is an excellent choice for special occasion dinners. Butterflied fillets are rolled with salmon and then baked in an herb-based fish sauce. A light addition of Harissa or hot sauce provides a bit of fiery flavor. Serve the fish alongside rice and veggies with some of the fish sauce as a garnish

Tagine with Peas and Artichokes

If you're looking for a vegetable-based tagine that's sophisticated enough for company, this one is sure to please. Ginger, saffron and turmeric are key spices. In Morocco we use fresh peas and freshartichoke bottoms which we clean and prepare ourselves. Reduce your prep work by buying frozen peas and artichokes at the grocery store.

Casual Picnic and Cook-Out Recipes

If you're hosting a casual gathering outdoors, you'll want to browse this list for ideas of what you can grill or plan to make as picnic fare. Shown here is Turkey or Chicken Breast with Merguez Spices.

Moroccan Appetizers, Snacks and Party Food

If you want to include a spread of starters for your special occasion meal, this list offers a round-up of recipes which work as appetizers, finger food and party food. Shown here are Sausage Stuffed Croissants. Many of the items on the list can be made in advance so that your cooking is minimized on the day of your event.
 
 
 

Fruit Desserts and Other Sweets

Fresh fruit is the typical ending to almost every meal, but for company dinners you might be more inclined to prep the Moroccan Fruit Saladshown here. Afterward, you can offer coffee or Moroccan tea with an assortment of cookies, cakes and pastries.

Moroccan Desserts, Cookies, Pastries and Sweets

Fresh fruit is the traditional ending to a Moroccan meal, but you'll want to have lots of Moroccan cookies and pastries on hand to go with afternoon tea or coffee. From rich almond pastries like m'hencha to crunchy biscotti-like fekkas, there's sure to be a traditional Moroccan cookie recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Croissant au Chocolat

Moroccan dessert of filo dough filled with a sweet almond filling(mhancha)

Almond Buns(chneks)

Puff Pastry Filled with Almond Cream

Ghoriba aux amandes

Moroccan shortbread Cookies

Fekkas Juif

Moroccan Fekkass

Moroccan Cookie kaab ghazal or"gazelle ankles" with almonds

Moroccan Cookies

Moroccan Almond Cookies

Moroccan Ghoriba(lbahla)

Msamen

meloui

Kefta msemen

msemen farcis

Moroccan harcha

Baghrir

Sfange or moroccan donuts