Moroccan cuisine is remarkably diversified and for the same reason is one of the most famous cuisines in the world! Morocco’s long history of colonizers and immigrants can be traced in Moroccan dishes. The Berbers, Arabs, Moors, Ottoman Empire and French colony have left their mark in more than one way.
In this article you will find every useful bit of information you need to know about Moroccan cuisine, best dishes and famous Moroccan chefs so you don’t have to worry about food on your trip to Morocco.
Most common ingredients found in Moroccan food:
Moroccan food is famous by the medley of spices found in its dishes. You will find the mixture of dried ginger, cumin, salt, black pepper and turmeric in almost every Tagine and Couscous. Cumin is very important and used in every other Moroccan dish, it is served on the table along with pepper and salt. To spice up some tomato-based dishes, vegetable tagine and charmoula, Paprika and Sahara chilies are used. The South of Morocco is a source of pure Saffron pistils used in food, tea and as an herbal medicine.
Moroccan foods are best cooked with olive oil. Morocco has a rich land for olive which is why most of the best olive oil is exported which in turn makes the rest of the oil too expensive and the average Moroccan can’t afford to buy this expensive oil. Therefore, food is now cooked in vegetable oil in many households nowadays. Morocco is highly famous for producing Argan oil, rich of nutritional benefits for whole human body.
During the holy month of Ramadan, dates are essential and they accompany Harira as the breaker of the fast. They are widely used in Tagine also. Almonds and walnuts are used in pastille and are Morocco’s most commonly used nuts.
TOP 5 MOROCCAN DISHES:
Following are the five most famous Moroccan dishes so that you can enjoy your holidays by surfing all day and not bothering to worry about the food. But remember to undo the top button of your jeans, because you’re going to lose control and forget all your diet plans once you get your hands on these delicious dishes!
TAGINE: This is historically a Berber dish. It’s a stew cooked with meats and vegetables. The same word is also used for a ceramic cooking vessel with a conical shaped top. Nowadays, Moroccans usually skip the slow cook in favor of a quicker meal. Tagine are made unique by adding olives, dried fruit or preserved lemon alongside a blend of Moroccan spices. There are a lot of types of Tagines; meat, chicken, fish, vegetables, lamb and some even make it with meat and fruits. So it doesn’t matter if you are a vegetarian or not, you can eat Tagine with your choice of ingredients. You will find Tagine bubbling away at every roadside to top notch restaurants and in every home and are always served with bread.
HARIRA: This traditional Berber soup is the most important soup in Morocco as the whole country uses it to break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan. Rich with tomato, lentils, onions, chickpeas and Moroccan spices gives Harira a Moroccan flare.
COUSCOUS: This is also traditionally a Berber dish and known as “Seksu” in Morocco. This dish is a fine wheat pasta traditionally rolled by hand. It is steamed over a stew of meat and vegetables. Women in some parts of the country still make it by hands but most families buy it in packages to save time. Friday is the day most important day of the week for Muslims, so it is a tradition in the whole country to celebrate this day with a couscous
KEFTA: Kefta are mouth-watering meatballs. Beef or lamb mince with fresh coriander, garlic, parsley, cinnamon and ground coriander is rolled into balls and cooked in a tomato sauce. Eggs are cracked in the sauce, just before the dish is ready and cooked to perfection.
PASTILLA or B’stilla: This very special pie was brought to Morocco by the Moors and represents the pinnacle of exquisite Fassi (from Fez) cuisine. Layers of very thin, crispy pastry crust stuffed with pigeon meat or chicken, raisins, fresh coriander, almond and eggs spiced with saffron, cinnamon, this sweet and fabulous dish is then dusted with a thin layer of powdered sugar and cinnamon. This dish takes a lot of time to prepare, so you will see this dish in Moroccan households only in wedding seasons or some other special occasion.
3 Most Famous Moroccan Chefs:
Chef Chafik Larobi
is a famous Moroccan chef known worldwide. His restaurant Zitune served the Moroccan Food of your dreams! The restaurant is now closed although it didn’t make a slight difference in Chafik’s image. Cherry on the top, he had previously worked with chefs like Gary Dank and Todd English.
Chef Mourad Lahlou
traveled to the US from Marrakesh, Morocco in 1985 to study macroeconomics at San Francisco State University. He conducted an extensive search for a San Francisco location to open Azizain November 2001. At Aziza, Lahlou strives to innovate his native cuisine; unravel the stereotypes surrounding it and share its fine dining potential. In 2007, he was named a StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef and, in 2009, Aziza was awarded a 3½-star rating from the San Francisco Chronicle.
Chef Dar Moha
set up his restaurant in this splendid turn-of-the-century riad in Marrakesh, once owned by famous couturier Pierre Balmain. This is the place for Moroccan inventive cuisine! Light and subtle with remarkable creativity.