A Beginner’s Guide To Moroccan Cuisine: 5 Dishes To Try
- Vritti Bansal
Updated : June 06, 2022 13:06 IST
The flavours are robust without being overbearing and multiple textures come together to create gastronomic harmony.
Last year, Moroccan food was among the top culinary trends. Moroccan cuisine is a treat for all the senses: it’s visually appealing, uses aromatic ingredients, and tastes delicious. It has been influenced by both European and African flavours. Slow-cooking is what makes Moroccan food special and adds to its taste. The flavours are robust without being overbearing and multiple textures come together to create gastronomic harmony. Here are five Moroccan dishes you must try:
A traditional North African soup found in Morocco and Algeria, harira may be eaten as a starter or a light snack. It is a hearty tomato-based soup that also uses lentils and chickpeas, and sometimes meat and vegetables. Since it is very nutritious, harira soup is often eaten to break the day’s fast during the Holy month of Ramadan. Harira soup also sometimes uses fine broken noodles as a garnish, and is loved across Morocco.
Tagine is a popular slow-cooked Moroccan stew that takes its name from the traditional clay or ceramic dish it's traditionally cooked in. The ingredients are arranged in a conical fashion and cooked until tender, resulting in a beautiful final presentation. Tagines are eaten directly from the cooking vessel, using pieces of Moroccan bread (khobz) to mop up the sauce. They are flavourful and sometimes even use dried fruits and nuts.
Couscous is considered the national dish of Morocco and is made of tiny balls of wheat semolina that are steamed until they’re soft and fluffy. After meat or vegetables are stewed, they are arranged on a bed of couscous to form a wholesome meal. Many times, Moroccan people gather around a table to eat from one large communal plate. The dish is prepared weekly in most Moroccan homes.
Chicken with preserved lemon
Usually slow cooked in a tagine, chicken with preserved lemon is given a burst of flavor with tangy preserved lemons. Olives are also added. It is a classic, versatile dish that is one of Morocco’s most popular ones. In Morocco, it can be found in homes, restaurants and even on the streets in small outdoor dining establishments. While cooking chicken with preserved lemon, a rich sauce develops, which is meant to be mopped up with flatbread.
Bastilla is a savoury pie that is served as the course between salad and tagine on special occasions. Traditionally, pigeons were used in the making of the dish, but a lot of cooks now use chicken. To make bastilla, the chicken is cooked with saffron, ginger, pepper, and cinnamon, and then layered inside a crispy pastry along with an herb-laden omelette and fried almonds scented with orange flower water.