Traditional Food in Morocco

Morocco

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Last updated:
15.10.2021

Moroccan cuisine is known for its subtle flavors and exciting combinations of spices. If you can imagine a dish of tender chicken served with green olives and chopped preserved lemon rind, or pigeon meat pie dusted with cinnamon and icing sugar, or seafood coated in a mixture of herbs and spices, Moroccan meals will inspire you.

Moroccan cuisine combines the mouthwatering flavors of Arabic, Berber, Jewish, and Mediterranean cuisines, creating a unique combination of delicious tastes. When planning your trip to Morocco, add trying Moroccan cooking in your traveling must-do list – it is definitely worth it! Best time to visit Morocco and dive deep into it’s treasures has already come – we've come up with the best traditional meals of Morocco, which guarantee a firework of taste sensations for you!

1. Couscous

One of the foremost popular Moroccan dishes is couscous. Traditionally, it's made from wheat pasta, which is rolled and sliced by hand. It's steamed with stewed meat and seasonal vegetables. While serving, the couscous is covered by meat, then vegetables are placed on top or on the edges of the pyramid. The sauce is served separately. Couscous is usually decorated with sweet raisin jam or within the Berber tradition, a bowl of buttermilk.

Couscous
Moroccan Views
Moroccans can pride themselves on living in a country that is diverse in nature and landscapes. Morocco has beautiful beaches, high mountains, desert landscapes, lush oases as well as snowy landscapes.
Couscous Fact
World’s first manufacturing plant of the production of couscous was established in Algeria in 1907.

2. Tajine

The word "tajine" itself means a clay pot with a conical lid for cooking. Tagines can be seen in every roadside cafe, in first-class restaurants, and in every household. Traditional Moroccan tajine is a dish of vegetables and meat stewed in its own juices. Its incredibly spicy aroma will immerse you in the world of the mysterious East. The spicy taste of the dish comes from the burning harissa paste mixed with sour cream that softens the sharpness. Various interpretations of tajine are presented in different parts of Morocco. If you’d like to have a gastronomy tour and enhance your knowledge of traditional Moroccan cuisine, we welcome you to try a journey through the vastness of Morocco by traveling with Morocco trains. Traveling by train provides a wonderful opportunity to view the beauties of this mysterious land and discover new destinations!

Tajine
The best time for Tajine is...
The best day to eat tajine in Morocco is Friday. That is because Friday means one thing in Morocco: couscous. Moroccans have a few explanations for this. One is that, formerly, Friday was the day they had enough time to make this labor-intensive delicacy. The most common reason you will hear though is that, traditionally, Friday is the holiest day of the week.

3. Harira

If you’re asking yourself “when to visit Morocco?”, we’re here to assist with the solution – in Ramadan time of course! During this holiday season, you’ll have an excellent opportunity to check out the foremost famous feast meals! During Ramadan, one bowl of harira soup is eaten every evening at sunset to break the fast! Served with a sticky sweet pretzel called chebakkiya, this dish features tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, lamb, lemon juice, and chopped coriander.

“Harira”
On guard of your slimness
Harira soup is very dietary, it has only 200 calories! So if you follow the figure or adhere to a certain "fat-free" type of food, then this dish of Moroccan cuisine is created especially for you!

4. Zaalouk

In addition to the eggplant fried in oil and grilled, there's also sweet or hot peppers, fresh tomatoes with garlic, all which comprise the elements of this Moroccan popular dish. Salads are frequently served as entrees during the winter months when Moroccans prefer hot salads over cold ones. Many well-known Moroccan dishes, like zaalouk, are served in some countries within the geographical area as Baba Ghanouj. The preparation process, ingredients, and methods for serving the dish can differ in some Maghreb countries, like Algeria and Tunisia. In any case, the eggplant remains an important ingredient in preparing the dish in all these countries.

“Zaalouk”

Fascinate your friends...cook Zaalouk!

    Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large aubergines
  • 4 medium tomatoes seeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic gloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
  • lemon wedges (optional)

5. Gueddid

Rather than soaking in water, gueddid is preserved by drying beef or lamb, either by sun exposure for a few days, or by burning it over charcoal. Across the globe, ancient cultures use this method of preserving meat. The best time to visit Casablanca is the third day of Eid al-Adha, the largest feast in the Islamic calendar. It is a custom and tradition to cut the meat of the sacrifice into small pieces. This meal is usually cooked by women. Meat slices are placed in large containers, sprinkled with salt and spices, then mixed well and left to soak up to 48 hours. The women wash the intestines thoroughly, then tie the meat cuts and make a variety of meatballs. The meat is sometimes accompanied by couscous or rfissa.

“Gueddid”
Important to know
Gueddid is not a dish per se, but rather an ingredient of other main dishes or soups. Therefore, it is difficult to think about the Gueddid recipe by portions, since it really depends on the recipe in which it will be used, whether it is Couscous, Tajine or another Moroccan dish that allows meat.

6. Bulfaf

Bulfaf is a popular meal served at wedding parties, birth celebrations, and circumcision parties. Bulfaf is one of Morocco's most famous dishes. Bulfaf is a meat stew made from livers and lungs wrapped in fat, usually grilled on charcoal. On the first day of Eid Al Adha, it is the first dish served after sacrificing the lamb.

“Bulfaf”
Don't be afraid, it's delicious!
For an unprepared traveler, a Bulfaf may seem something extraordinary and even shocking: as such, a barbecue made of offal...But don't be afraid! The offal contains a lot of useful trace elements that have a beneficial effect on human health. Moreover, it is not only in Morocco that dishes are made from similar ingredients. For example, in the UK, Kidney Pudding cooked in kidney fat and Kidney Fried Pie are considered traditional dishes.

7. Harcha

In Morocco, harcha is a popular food dish that is made with semolina, oil, salt, and yeast, and cooked in a hot frying pan. Harcha is a delicious, hearty, and pleasantly fragrant dish, which is considered a Moroccan fast food and is available in most shops, cafes, and even modern bakeries.

“Harcha”
Distant Cousins
Semolina desserts are prepared not only in Morocco, but far beyond its borders. For example, the Russian "Mannik" is the "big brother" of Harcha. "Mannik is a pie made from semolina based on yogurt, milk or sour cream, which gives it a delicate and airy texture

8. Rfissa

Known as zarda in Moroccan dialect, rfissa is prepared during religious celebrations and family reunions. Traditionally, rfissa is prepared on childbirth days. The dish is cooked for mothers who have just given birth because it contains hearty fried chicken, eggs, fenugreek, lentils, and special spices called msakhan that are milk-producing and healthy.

“Rfissa”
The traditional approach
Serving hearty meals to a woman who has just given a child is popular not only in Moroccan culture. Feeding the baby's mother with something simple, satisfying and fatty is also popular in the North Caucasus, Tibet and other northern regions.

9. Pastela

Among Moroccan cuisine's most luxurious dishes is pastela. In terms of taste, as well as ingredients, it is a challenging dish to prepare, which makes it very competitive against other well-known Moroccan dishes, such as couscous and tagine. Specifically, you can eat it with chicken or pigeon in Fes, while in the north of Morocco, it is prepared with fish and seafood. n the south, there is another variety called 'al-Madfuna' that looks like bread. Our Morocco tours include the city of Fes, where you’ll have a fantastic opportunity to enjoy authentic pastela with traditional herbal tea.

“Pastela”
Why Tea?
It is not so often that you will find a combination of a hot pie and an equally hot drink served with it. Why exactly this combination? The answer is very simple: hot herbal drinks help to better digest nutritious food, and also have healing properties and neutralize various irritating factors, whether it is the excessive sharpness of the dish, or its consistency.

10. Chebakia

Moroccan Chebakia is predominantly a dessert served during Ramadan. Many Moroccans consider it a necessary addition to their fasting meals. Typically, it is consumed while drinking mint tea. Known as "the oldest dessert of Moroccan cuisine", Chebakia dates back thousands of years. Featuring honey and sesame seeds, its shape is distinctive. The name "chebakia" derives from the carefully clamped ascending circle of honey and anise that is applied to the paste.

“Chebakia”
In addition to Chebakia
Chebakia, or Mkharka, is a "distant relative" of world-famous Spanish churros and Greek baklava. During your Moroccan tour, you can pay attention to some extra destinations, such as Spain, Portugal, and Greece. Visiting all these gorgeous countries will fill you not only with goodies but also with vivid impressions!

In conclusion, it is worth saying that Moroccan cuisine is not comparable to any other and it is worth acquiring a unique gastronomic experience. Combined with an unforgettable journey through the cities of Morocco, a gastronomic adventure will be an unforgettable gift for yourself and your loved ones. The fairy tale that a Moroccan trip will turn into will leave you wanting to live this adventure again and again! Do not miss the opportunity to plunge into 100 and 1 nights full of golden sands and an infinitely starry sky!

“Spices”