Guest Post: Moroccan Food 101

I found another cool blog full of yummy Moroccan food, and you all know what's coming next I asked for a guest post! so here is Nisrine to give us the low down on Moroccan food with a recipe, what a treat. Be sure to visit her blog Dinners and Dreams:

I was grabbing my quasi-habitual afternoon coffee a few weeks ago when the barista stared at my credit card, difficultly trying to read my flamboyantly foreign name, and asked me where I was from. My answer was that I’m from Morocco. After oohing and aahing for a bit about how fascinated he is with Morocco and how he’d love to visit it one day, he proceeded with the ever predictable question about the kind of food eaten there.

I have grown so accustomed to receiving this question whenever I mentioned my country of origin that I’ve actually prepared a boxed answer to deliver in instances like this one when I needed to quickly grab my coffee and go. I am amazed every time I’m asked this question at how much the food of a certain country ranks up there with its geographic location and language. It’s almost as if people feel that they don’t know a country well enough until they’ve known the kind of food its people eat.

Unlike that day at the coffee counter, today I have time to share some details about Moroccan food. It shares particularities commonly known about Mediterranean food such as the freshness of the ingredients used and the simple, hearty flavors. Below are some examples of popular Moroccan specialties:

Couscous is one of the most familiar Moroccan specialties, appreciated for its ease of preparation and versatility. It can be dressed up elegantly with fruits, nuts and spices, or presented lightly seasoned for everyday dinners.

Tagine comes second in popularity and refers to any kind of chicken, beef or lamb stew slow-cooked in a tagine, a round clay pot with a dome-shaped lid that yields delicious earthy flavors. Tagines are often seasoned with saffron, cumin, harissa and preserved lemons.

Brewats and b’stilla are dainty creations made with b’stilla or phyllo dough in the shape of triangles, cigars or pies filled with spiced kefta, saffron chicken, or lemony seafood. They are also made for dessert filled with nuts and drizzled with honey.

Other dishes which might be less known but are just as impressive include warm vegetable salads, legume soups, nut cookies, and fish with shermoula sauce. They are delicacies waiting to be discovered.

Couscous Salad with Almonds and Raisins

4 servings

1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup instant couscous
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash ground clove
8 mint leaves, stemmed and chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Confectioner’s sugar (optional)

Bring the water to a boil. Stir in the salt, butter, and couscous. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes.

Fluff the couscous with a fork and add the almonds, raisins, cinnamon, ground clove and mint. In another bowl, stir together the olive oil and lemon juice. Gently incorporate the liquid mixture into the couscous, season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss.

Chill the salad and serve in small bowls, plates, or dessert cups. If you wish, garnish with confectioner’s sugar and mint leaves before serving.

Nisrine Merzouki

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  1. I love Moroccan food, especially couscous! I found a place here that sells Israeli couscous too...

    Great guest post!

  2. Wow, your last name is similar to my step dad's. He is from Egypt. And this was so exciting to read, thank you Rebecca for having this post, I am so excited because I am going to Morocco this summer. Only for a few days during a longer trip to other places, but I am looking forward to trying the food.

  3. A new dish to me but looks very delicious. I heard quite a lot about Moroccan food...delicious.

  4. WOW! This is a beautiful dish. I must visit the Moroccan restaurant now after seeing this delicious dish.

  5. Great post. The couscous looks delicious--I love Moroccan food. ;-)

  6. Thank you, Nizrene! And Rebecca! This is a fabulous couscous recipe!

  7. Moroccan food is absolutely one of my favorite cuisines. Love this recipe!

  8. Are you the same Nisrine who always comments on Joumana's Taste of Beirut site? (One of my favorites.) Well, it looks like I have another blog to add to my google reader! Thanks for a great recipe.

  9. I love Moroccan food and would love to go there one day. :)

  10. Absolutely love couscous. I just wish I'd discovered it for myself sooner.

  11. Funny, i didn't even know that couscous is a Moroccan staple. IN that case, I've already tried Moroccan food hihihi.

    The dish looks fabulous!

  12. Splendid dish. I love anything made out of couscous!

  13. I have never tasted moroccan food...couscous looks very delicious with nuts...

  14. That's new to me..haven't tried couscous yet..Now I realize that it's high time I try some

  15. A very fun guest post! The couscous looks terrific.

  16. Rebecca, thank you so much for the opportunity to do a guest post for your wonderful blog. I appreciate it much!!


  17. Melinda, what a fun coincidence that your step dad's last name is similar to mine. Have fun in Morocco this summer!

    Trix, yes I'm the same Nisrine you saw on on Joumana's blog. Nice to finally meet here.

  18. Thanks Rebecca and Nisreen. I love Moroccan food. I'm from Middle East so cook similar but still different cuisines. I've just made a Tunisian couscous and stew recipe, and often make Maftool, which is a larger couscous made in Jordan/Palestine/Lebanon

    Will check your blog!

  19. I'm new to Moroccan food and this just sound so delicious. Great guest post.

  20. love couscous and this is a great recipe. I'm going to give it a try soon. thank you

  21. Moroccan food is such a treasure. Couscous can be a great side dish or main dish.


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