Moroccan dishes are influenced by Berber, Mediterranean, Moorish and Arab cuisines. Moroccans use lots of herbs in all of their food preparations. Parsley, garlic, mint, onion, marjoram, basil, coriander, and za’atar are some of the common herbs used in the preparation of Moroccan dishes. Lamb, beef, camel, goat meat, and fishes are also commonly used. Couscous is the typical Moroccan food which is popular throughout the country. Couscous is a granular type of semolina which is cooked with nuts, vegetables, spices and raisins. Couscous is often served after topping with roasted meats and rich stews.
History of Moroccan Cuisine
The history of Moroccan cuisine can be traced back to 7th and 8th century AD, when the land was conquered by Arabs. The Berbers were the earlier inhabitants of this land and they introduced staple Moroccan dishes like couscous and tagine for the first time. Arabs improvised on tagine by the addition of sweet and sour tastes. The moors introduced olives, citrus fruits and pickles. Turks also invaded Morocco and introduced kebabs. Morocco served as a French colony for short time period and during this period pastries were introduced. Over the years, the cooks from Rabat, Meknes, Fez and Marrakesh, developed dishes which became integral part of the Moroccan cuisine.
Moroccan Ramadan Dishes
- Chebakia: This is a flower shaped cookie which is sweetened with honey. This cookie is normally served during the Iftar dinners held during Ramadan.
- Stuffed Dates: Cinnamon and orange flower water are used for flavoring the filling made up of almond paste. This almond paste is stuffed into dates and served in small paper cups.
- Harira: This is a popular Moroccan tomato and lentil soup. This soup is served during all special and regular days. Many Moroccan families consume this soup for daily breakfast too.
- Makrout with Honey and Dates: This is another sweet served during Ramadan. Mild paste is prepared by crushing the dates and it is then stuffed into semolina dough. The cookies are then sliced in desirable shapes and fried. The cookies are dunked into honey before serving.
- Croissants stuffed with sausages: This croissant is prepared with several kinds of fillers. Sausages, cheeses, fried onions are some of the popular fillers. Merquez sausage is a very popular filling used in savory croissants.
List of Moroccan Dishes
Breakfasts: Most of the Moroccans eat different types of bread with tea, various Moroccan crepes and olive oil.
- Beyssara: Favabean stew, which is prepared with dried favabean and flavored with paprika and cumin.
- Khlea: Kleehe, or Khli are the other names for this dish. It is made of preserved dried meat.
Lunch and Dinner: For most of the Moroccans lunch is the big meal of a day. Some of the typical Moroccan dishes like tajine, couscous, kefta and pastilla are served during the lunch. Dinner is low-key affair in comparison to the lunch. People mostly manage to eat the leftovers of lunch or they prepare some light soups for the dinner.
- Pastilla: Also, known as bisteeya is an Andaluscian dish which was introduced in Spain by Moors. It is a type of pastry, with pigeon or chicken stuffing.
- Couscous: It is also known as seksu. The dish is prepared with seven vegetables, fine semolina and topped with vegetables or meat. Couscous is normally served after Friday’s prayer.
- Tagine: This dish is also known as Tajine and it is a kind of stew prepared with lots of vegetables and meats. Any kind of meat, vegetable or fruit can be used in the preparation of Tagine.