Moroccan cooking is all about the roundness of flavour. With its mixture of influences including France and Spain it pairs fish with fresh herbs and a subtle chilli heat, chicken with sharp citrus and tart olives and game with sugar cinnamon. Their combination of ingredients is intriguing but the results are delicious!
Tagine is the most popular method of cooking in Morocco. It is an earthenware pot in a conical shape. All ingredients, meat and spices are mixed in the base plate of the Tagine and then the conical shape top is placed on and gets to work by allowing the steam to rise, condense and then drip back down to remoisten the meat. In many ways it’s similar to a casserole but the unique shape makes for a moister environment ensuring a juicy dish.
Tagine dishes usually contain Chicken, beef or lamb with tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, tomato paste, meat or vegetable stock, cinnamon, saffron, turmeric, cardamon, nutmeg, cloves, fresh coriander and parsley, and sometimes nuts, such as almonds or cashews and fruit such as apricots or raisins. The ingredients combine together and melt down to make a rich fruity sauce. The finished dish is typically served with couscous. Spice wise it could be compared to a mild to medium curry.
B’stilla - This unusual pie mixes game with cinnamon sugar but is said to be a delicacy not to be missed. Layers of a paper-thin pastry encase pigeon meat, almonds and saffron spiced eggs, all topped off with a dusting of cinnamon sugar.
Fish chermoula – Chermoula is a fresh herb and chilli marinade which is used to coat fish before cooking and then also as a dipping sauce accompaniment.
B’ssara – A breakfast treat of pureed broad beans, topped with a drizzle of olive oil and cumin, then eaten by dipping bread in it.
Street food in Morocco gets even more intriguing with snails cooked in a broth that promises to ward of coughs and colds or lambs cheeks which are said to be very sweet.
For those Tea drinkers out there, it’s wise to remember that Moroccans don’t take milk with their tea so it will not be delivered to you without a special request for it. The main tea of choice in Morocco is mint tea so again it’s worth asking for English or plain tea so as not to be given mint by mistake.