Morocco is a country with a rich and diverse culinary heritage, influenced by its geography, history and culture. The national kitchen of Morocco offers a variety of dishes that reflect the different regions, climates and traditions of the country. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most popular and distinctive Moroccan dishes, as well as their origins and ingredients.
One of the most iconic Moroccan dishes is couscous, a type of steamed semolina that is served with meat, vegetables and sauce. Couscous is considered a staple food in Morocco, and it is often prepared for special occasions and celebrations. The word couscous comes from the Berber language, and it means “well rolled”. The preparation of couscous involves rolling the semolina grains with water and flour, then steaming them in a special pot called a couscoussier. The couscous is then fluffed with a fork and topped with a stew of meat (usually lamb, chicken or beef) and vegetables (such as carrots, turnips, zucchini and chickpeas). The sauce can be spicy or mild, depending on the preference of the cook and the guests.
Another famous Moroccan dish is tagine, a slow-cooked stew that is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. Tagine can be made with various kinds of meat, such as lamb, chicken, beef or fish, as well as vegetables, fruits, nuts and spices. The tagine pot has a conical lid that traps the steam and condenses it back into the stew, creating a tender and flavorful dish. Some of the most common tagine recipes include lamb with prunes and almonds, chicken with olives and preserved lemon, beef with quince and honey, and fish with tomatoes and potatoes.
A third Moroccan dish that is widely enjoyed is harira, a hearty soup that is traditionally eaten during Ramadan to break the fast. Harira is made with lamb or chicken broth, tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, rice or pasta, herbs and spices. Harira is often served with dates, bread and chebakia, a type of fried pastry coated with honey and sesame seeds. Harira is not only a delicious soup, but also a nutritious one, as it provides protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
These are just some examples of what the national kitchen of Morocco offers. There are many more dishes to discover and taste, such as pastilla (a savory pie filled with meat and almonds), kefta (spiced meatballs), mechoui (roasted lamb), bastilla (a sweet pie filled with milk custard and nuts), briouats (triangular pastries filled with cheese or meat), msemen (a type of flatbread), baghrir (a type of pancake), sellou (a roasted flour mixture), mint tea (the national drink) and many more. The Moroccan cuisine is a feast for the senses, as it combines different flavors, colors, textures and aromas. It is also a reflection of the country’s history, culture and identity.