If you follow me on Instagram, you will be well aware by now that I have just been in Morocco. This happened not to be my first visit, as my mother and I went backpacking for three weeks around 7 years ago. Therefore this trip was very relaxing and calm. Whereas 7 years ago it was all about living like the locals and soaking in the culture. To do so you have to eat some traditional Moroccan foods. I am not shy of these foods, I have very fond memories as a child and my mami pilling cous cous onto my plate until I burst. I am very aware with foods, growing up with my papas French influence. I became used to rich and creamy foods, however the older I got I discovered I very much liked Arab flavours also. Their dishes always pack a punch full of cumin, turmeric, saffron, chickpeas and lentils. No not Harissa. I never been in Moroccan kitchen where they have Harissa powder. I may still be classed as a novice however I compiled a list of the top 5 Moroccan foods you must try when on a visit. To me they are the tastiest and some of the most traditional.
This is a very traditional dish. Harira is a Moroccan soup often made with lamb or chicken, with an addition of chickpeas, noodle like pasta, lentils, beaten egg and lots of lovely spices. It is a dish extremely popular in Ramadan and is generally the food the fast is broken with. Although you can get it all year round this is a major time for the Harira to shine. It is served with lemon and dates.
(Picture taken from Halalfoodie.ca)
This is classic Berber dish you will find all over the streets of Morocco. Named after the earthware pot they are cooked in. Essentially they are a slow cooked stew using a combination of meat, vegetables, spices and sometimes fruits and nuts. These are normally served with bread rather than cous cous like we all expect. They can come in a variety of flavours to suit each taste. Lamb with prunes and almonds, Chicken, olives and preserved lemons, Fish and Vegetable. Hands down I always go for the Chicken. Be carefully of those lemon peels tough.
(Picture taken from Trip Advisor)
This is something I never tried the first time round but am very glad to have stumbled upon. Rgaif or also known as Msemen is a sort of Moroccan pancake. It has a unique texture as there is a crispness to it whilst also soft and fluffy. Searching for the spelling, I read someone describe it as a mille-feuille, which I can see why. These are usually enjoyed at breakfast time, slathered in honey along with a glass of traditional Moroccan mint tea. If you like a sweet breakfast then this is the one for you.
(Picture taken from Azizakitchen)
The Berber fig also know as the Prickly pear were not such great friends on our first encounter. As a naive 18 year old I ad no idea what they were. A man was selling them out of a cart in the square and I just picked one up. Soon realising this was a HUGE mistake. These delicious fruit actually grow off a cactus plant. Figured out why we are enemies yet? Yes my and was covered on cactus spikes! You are suppose to let the vendor peel them and hand it over – or if you take them home be careful in the handling process. Anyways these yummy fruits are packed full of health benefits and are a cross between a watermelon and a pear. So as you can imagine pretty tasty.
Chebakia is pronounced how its spelt, thankfully, and is a traditional Arabic sweet. Not the healthiest of sweets I must admit as its deep fried pastry rolled into the shape of a rose. You will only need to eat a couple as they are extremely sweet, however the Moroccan’s you will find ADORE sweet things. I lovd this mainly for the sesame seeds that are sprinkled on top and the slight hint of rose water that is added to the honey glaze, yum yum. Forget chocolate I will have one of these any day.
(Picture taken from cookingwithalia.com)