The Food of Morocco - The Moroccan Cuisine

The Food of Morocco - The Moroccan Cuisine
I have recently found a passion for Moroccan cooking, it's wonderful the Brobdingnagian array of influences to their cooking.
Interestingly, the French area unit way less involved the event of their food than I might have thought.

Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah (The Kingdom of Morocco)

Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah (The Kingdom of Morocco)
To understand any cooking, particularly the history, or origins, of food styles and commodity usage we need to look at a few relevant factors.


Morocco has a long history spanning approximately 3300 years and was originally inhabited by the indigenous Berbers. The Byzantine Empire ruled Morocco during the 6th century, followed by perhaps the most prominent influence upon Morocco, the 7th Century AD invasion by the Moors and the establishment of the first Arabic Muslim dynasty.
The Ottoman Empire later dominated the abundant of geographic region, together with Morocco, during much of the middle ages.Centuries later, in 1912, Morocco was split into two protectorates, French and Spanish.
Initially, the Berbers focused on Tagines and couscous, followed by the Arabs who introduced new spices, dried fruits, and nuts.The Moors introduced olives and citrus, whereas the Jews introduced pickling and conserving techniques.The Ottoman Empire introduced kebabs; the French introduces cafes, pastries and reinvigorated the wine industry.
These broad and numerous cultural, geographic and spiritual influences have every compact upon Moroccan cooking over the ages.
For example, before the Byzantine Empire's management of Morocco, the area was one of the world's major producers of wine and exported large quantities to Rome, after the
invasion the vineyards were removed except edible grapes.
With this huge exposure to different sorts of food, Morocco is taken into account to own one in every of the world's most vital cuisines.
This diversity of influences has come together through the uniquely Moroccan blend of spices which contain a "medley of spices"; dried ginger, cumin, salt, black pepper, and turmeric.
As with all cooking, geography and climate play a large part in the historical formation of cuisine.
As Morocco is found on the northwestern a part of Africa, it has a large coastline and an ideal climate for the growing of fruit and vegetables, while the interior of the country is perfect for raising sheep and goats.


As with most Western cooking, Morocco follows the same format of dining, including, salads, main dishes, desserts, and sauces.
The midday meal is often the main meal (except Ramadan) and would begin with hot and cold salads, followed by a tagine; bread is also eaten with every meal. The tagine will often contain meat (lamb or chicken); followed by dessert.
The Moroccans can eat with their hands, utilizing bread as the utensil.
They will dine at a tiny low spherical table sitting on cushions on the ground.
We can sum up Moroccan cuisine by highlighting the extensive use of spices, fruits, condiments and herbs, all culminating in a range of exciting and explosive flavors and cooking techniques.



Lamb, Chicken, Beef, Camel, Rabbit, Seafood, Nuts, Chickpeas and seeds (dried beans are also a popular breakfast protein).
Couscous is that the predominant starch of Moroccan cuisine; followed by bread, and potatoes.
Tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, carrots, pumpkin, and garlic are the main vegetables.
However, Moroccan cooking covers a huge array of fruit and vegetables because of the best coastal growing areas obtainable.
Fruits consist of oranges, grapefruits, lemons, melons, plums, apricots, grapes, figs, and dates.


Coriander, parsley, cumin, saffron, cinnamon, cumin, pepper, turmeric, and ginger are the key flavors found in Moroccan dishes. Paprika is also used, but not overly common. Also, basil, marjoram, olives, and preserved lemons are used as flavorings.
Cooking methods:
Predominantly stewing, or simmering as well as steaming (for hot or cooked foods). For many salads, cooking is not required.

Traditional Dishes:

Zaalouk - Eggplant and Tomato Cooked Salad, served with bread.
Zaalouk could be a typical starter (entree), this dish is easy to create and occurred by the massive quantity of eggplant and tomatoes full-grown in Morocco.
The dish contains vegetables with flavorings that may nicely complement a meal, and whereas it's simmered during a pot, would retain most of its nutritional value - especially
as Moroccan main dishes are predominantly meat (protein).

  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped*
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro and parsley, mixed
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • a small wedge of lemon (optional)
Couscous - (the name comes from the Berber language which means rolled or well-formed) and is the main starch in Moroccan cookery, served with meat or vegetable stews.

Couscous is a manufactured product with semolina rolled into small pellets and sprinkled with flour to keep the pallets separate. Couscous also contains protein (3.6%); however, it is considered a CHO as its 36% complex CHO. Served steamed also assists in retaining the nutritional integrity of the dish.
Tagine - traditionally a Berber dish and refers to the cone-shaped clay pot that the dish is grilled in.

Moroccan Meatball Tagine

Moroccan Meatball Tagine
This Moroccan Meatball Tagine is typical of Moroccan tagines, containing lamb as the primary ingredient and main protein of the diet, with many spices "medley of spices", to flavor the dish. The dish is slow-cooked via simmering in the Tagine and served with Couscous, therefore encompassing protein, carbohydrates, sauce, flavorings, and starch.
The vegetable element of the meal has already taken place within the dish that's historically used as a starter.
  • 500gm Minced Lamb or Beef
  • 1 Onion
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Bunch of coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1 tbs smoked paprika
  • 1 tbs ground cumin
  • 1 tbs ground coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Tin of diced tomatoes (425gm)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 preserved lemon (optional)
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
Metaxas - Baklava, whereas referred to as a Turkish or Greek dish, baklava is also very much a traditional dish to Morocco, again highlighting the mix of cultures throughout this countries culinary history.While the Moroccans traditionally eat fruit for dessert, they don't hesitate to indulge in sweets as well.Metaxes provide Moroccans exposure to each fiber and vegetable proteins via a mixture of balmy.While this dish is high in easy sugars the number the Moroccans eat of such a dish is comparatively little (as they eat desserts with fruit) that has historically helped to keep the Moroccan diet balanced and structured around all food groups.

Although within the current era, 40% of Moroccan women are now either overweight or obese, predominantly in the urban areas, suggesting a move away from the traditional, well balanced Moroccan diet.
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 orange peel (no pith)
  • 1 lemon rind (no pith)
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon orange flower water
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted, blanched almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 pound unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 package filo pastry sheets
For the syrup, combine the sugar, water, orange and lemon rinds, cloves and cinnamon stick in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes, to thicken syrup slightly. Remove from heat. Discard spices and rinds. Stir in honey and orange flower water.
Cool to room temperature.
Combine nuts, sugar, ground cinnamon and rosewater.
Brush a 13x9x2-inch baking pan well with butter.
Separate 25 phyllo sheets from the package. Place under a smooth, damp towel to prevent the phyllo from drying out. Wrap remaining phyllo well and freeze for future use.
Place one phyllo sheet in a buttered pan. Trim to fit. Brush generously with melted butter.
Repeat procedure till there are five layers of buttered puff paste within the pan.
Sprinkle with 1/4 nut mixture.
Repeat this procedure 2 a lot of times, ending with phyllo.
Drizzle any remaining butter over top.Bake in 350-degree kitchen appliance one 1/2 hours, or until golden brown.Remove baklava from the oven.Using a sharp knife like a shot cut long, diagonal lines from corner to corner, forming an "X" design.Follow these pointers to chop pastry into serving-size diamonds.While still hot, pour cooled syrup over baklava. Let stand overnight before serving.