Moroccan Cuisine

Couscous

A staple cuisine across North Africa, couscous comprises tiny grains of semolina that are cooked by steaming, which causes it to swell and turn light and fluffy. It is usually eaten with a spicy, harissa-flavoured broth, and served with steamed vegetables or meat.

Tajines

Cooked slowly at low temperatures in a clay pot with a cone-shaped lid, tajines typically combine meat with fruits. Ingredients for these dishes include any foodstuff that braises well, such as fish, beef, dried fruits, olives and vegetables.

Pastilla

Pastilla is a starter as well as a main dish. It is a pillow of filo pastry with a sweet and savoury stuffing – generally shredded pigeon cooked with onions. The dish is dusted with cinnamon to give it that distinctive Moroccan flavour.

Briouettes

Small triangles of filo pastry with a variety of fillings, the most common being minced lamb with spices and pine nuts, and feta cheese with spinach. Some kitchens in Marrakech also prepare them with shrimp, chicken and lemon. Their sweet version is prepared with groundnuts and soaked in honey.

Harira

A traditional Moroccan soup made with tomato paste, lentils, chickpeas, spices and sometimes lamb, it is a substantial meal by itself. Associated with special occasions, it is also served during Ramadan when it is eaten at sundown to break the fast.

Moroccan salads

Moroccan salads are served as an accompaniment to other main dishes. Orange blossom water, a signature local ingredient, is used in the preparation of some salads.

Moroccan pastries

The end of a meal is often marked with a serving of pastries. The popular honey cakes or chabakia, deep-fried and dipped in honey, are served during Ramadan. Another tasty dessert is sweet pastilla – a filo pastry covered in nuts and crème Anglaise (custard).

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