Morocco, an enchanting North African nation, offers a diverse blend of rich culture, ancient traditions, stunning coastal areas, lush mountains, and so much more to explore. Your trip to Morocco, however, cannot be done without trying some of its delectable dishes.
Morocco’s food tells a story of history, culture, and an irresistible love for aromatic dishes and homemade ingredients. So, make sure to not only devour the authentic dishes on your next trip to Morocco but also bring its fragrant spices back home.
If you do not know which cuisines to taste first, here’s the list of top 10 must-try Moroccan dishes to keep the foodie in you happy during your Morocco trip.
1. Tagine: A Moroccan Culinary Masterpiece
Tagine is not just Moroccan food but a significant part of the country’s rich culinary heritage. No wonder this speciality takes its name from the clay pot it was traditionally cooked in. Its conical lid was used to allow condensation which circulated and brought the flavours to the surface making them dense and thus, tasty.
A classic Tagine typically features cuts of lamb or chicken, marinated with several spices like cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and saffron. It is then slow-cooked with a combination of preserved lemons, olives, dried fruits like apricots or dates, and a hint of honey or sugar to bring that perfect balance of flavours. The result is a fragrant, tender, and slightly sweet stew that’s served with crusty Moroccan bread.
It is a ritual for the whole family to sit together around a table and share the first taste of the meal. With changing times, this practice is disappearing but still, many stick by the tradition, especially during festivals or a time of celebration.
2. Couscous: A Top Food in Morocco
Couscous, often referred to as Morocco’s national dish, is a versatile and beloved staple food reflecting the essence of the country’s top cuisine. One of the most famous Moroccan dishes from ancient times, it is a tiny semolina wheat granule that has transcended borders to become a global favourite!
Couscous is prepared by steaming coarsely ground wheat semolina, resulting in delicate, fluffy grains that come in a variety of flavours. It’s typically served with a savoury stew made from ingredients like lamb, chicken, vegetables, and aromatic spices such as cumin, coriander, and saffron.
The couscous absorbs the seasoned juices of the stew, creating a tasteful blend of texture and spices. It is then garnished with chickpeas, raisins, and a drizzle of broth tingling the taste buds to have the first bite.
You can try the succulent Morrocan food anywhere in the world but only the Moroccans know how to serve authentic and delicious couscous dishes. So, waste no time and book your Morocco tour packages today!
3. Loubia: Moroccan Comfort in a Bowl
Loubia, a classic cuisine in Morocco, brings a comforting taste to foodies who are searching for forgotten yet original food recipes around the world.
If cooked well for hours, its humble ingredients and spices will easily transform into a culinary masterpiece.
Loubia is centred around white beans, which are simmered to perfection with aromatic spices like cumin, paprika, and garlic, and often includes small pieces of lamb or beef, although vegetarian variations are also popular.
The dish is further enriched with tomatoes, onions, and a touch of olive oil, resulting in a wholesome stew. Loubia is typically served with crusty Moroccan bread or alongside couscous for a complete meal. You will find this combination in almost all Middle Eastern restaurants around the world but the dish is a top favourite in countries like Tunisia, Libya, and Algeria.
Loubia holds a special place in Moroccan culture and is often enjoyed during family gatherings and celebrations. Its simplicity and heartiness make it a symbol of togetherness and warmth as this delectable cuisine truly embodies the essence of Moroccan hospitality.
4. Pastilla: A Moroccan Delicacy with a Touch of Sweetness
Pastilla, also known as Bastilla or B’stilla, is a popular cuisine in Morrica prepared by combining sweet and appetizing flavours.
One of the most popular Moroccan street foods, Pastilla symbolizes the harmony and balance found in Moroccan traditions. The heart of Pastilla lies in its luscious filling, which, as per traditions, consists of shredded pigeon meat. However, chicken and seafood versions have replaced the original meat fillings in the present time.
Next, the meat is cooked with a blend of exotic spices such as saffron, cinnamon, ginger, and coriander, creating a rich and fragrant mixture. However, what truly sets Pastilla apart is its unique pastry shell!
Yes, layers of thin, delicate phyllo dough encase the mouth-watering filling, and the dish is baked until golden and crispy. Afterwards, it is dusted with a generous helping of powdered sugar and cinnamon, adding a sweet contrast to the Moroccan dish.
So, if you visit Morocco or other African countries, make sure to find this scrumptious pastry dish. It is available in a variety of flavors and carries an authentic taste.
5. Harira: The Nourishing Moroccan Elixir
Harira is a beloved Moroccan soup that holds a special place in the country’s culture. This palatable dish is typically enjoyed during the holy month of Ramadan at the time of breaking fast. However, most people do not wait for a festival or special occasion to try its wonderful flavours and nourishing ingredients.
You can always spice up the soup and experiment with it but here’s how Moroccan people usually prepare Harira.
It started with making a broth in the usual way and later adding tomatoes, lentils, and chickpeas, to the thick texture. To elevate the taste, fragrant spices like cinnamon, ginger, and coriander are also added.
What truly distinguishes Harira from other Moroccan dishes is the inclusion of fresh herbs, particularly cilantro and parsley that lend a vibrant, aromatic depth to the soup.
The broth’s flavour is often enhanced with a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving.
If you are a vegetarian, specifically ask for vegetarian Harira as it usually contains meat, such as lamb or beef, providing an extra layer of richness and taste.
Harira is more than just a soup; it’s a symbol of community and togetherness in Morocco. Families and friends often gather to share a bowl of Harira during Ramadan, reinforcing bonds and traditions. Its nourishing and comforting qualities provide sustenance for both the body and the soul.
6. M’semen: The Moroccan Pastry Delight
M’semen, also known as M’semen or Rghaif, is a mouthwatering Moroccan pastry that combines layers of flakiness with a delightful blend of flavours. This beloved snack or breakfast item shows the artistry of Moroccan cuisine.
The preparation of M’semen begins with a dough made from simple ingredients, like all-purpose flour, semolina, salt, water, and a touch of vegetable oil. The dough is then divided into small balls, which are flattened and folded inwards multiple times to create layers.
While folding, a mixture of butter or oil and old Moroccan spices like cumin and paprika is often spread between the layers, infusing the pastry with a rich flavour and spongy appearance. Once prepared, the dough is pan-fried until golden brown, resulting in a crispy exterior and a tender, flaky inside.
M’semen is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in various ways. It’s often served with honey, cheese, or jam for breakfast or as a snack. It’s also a popular accompaniment to scrumptious dishes, such as tagine or Harira, creating a delightful contrast of textures and flavours.
7. Tanjia: The Slow-cooked Moroccan Delight
Tanjia, often referred to as Marrakech’s street food treasure, is one of the unique Moroccan dishes. It captures the essence of slow cooking and the flavours of the ancient city.
Tanjia begins with the selection of a specific clay pot of the same name. The dish typically features lean cuts of beef or lamb marinated with an enticing blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, paprika, and saffron.
The most unique feature of Tanjia is the addition of preserved lemons, garlic, and olive oil, infusing the meat with a zesty, citrusy aroma. The dish is then sealed and slow-cooked in a traditional wood-fired oven for hours, allowing the flavours to meld and the meat to become tender. The result is a succulent dish that encapsulates the true essence of Moroccan cuisine.
Tanjia holds cultural significance in Marrakech, particularly among men who used to gather at local hammams (public bathhouses) back in the day. The dish was prepared at home and then taken to the hammam where it was slow-cooked while the men enjoyed the steam and relaxation.
8. Matbucha – The Jewish Essence
Matbucha is a delectable Moroccan dish that has made its way into the hearts and palates of many across the globe. The dish is celebrated for its harmonious blend of flavours and vibrant colours. It is, however, also served as an appetizer in Israel where many Moroccan Jews reside and add Matbucha in salads, sandwiches, and barbecue items.
The originality of Matbucha lies in its ingredients, consisting primarily of ripe tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic, olive oil, and an array of spices like cumin, paprika, and chilli. These ingredients are diced, simmered, and stewed together to create a mouthwatering burst of flavours, making it a versatile addition to any meal. Matbucha can be enjoyed as a dip, spread, or side dish.
This dish also offers health benefits due to its fresh ingredients and antioxidant-rich spices. Perhaps this is the reason behind its popularity even when it is served as a part of larger dishes. So, make sure to get your hands on the wonderful Morrocan Matbucha on your next trip to the country.
9. B’ssara – Tasty but Nutritious Soup
B’ssara is a flavourful soup, a staple of Moroccan cuisine, known for its hearty and nutritious qualities.
The core ingredients of B’ssara include dried split fava beans, garlic, olive oil, cumin, and paprika. The fava beans are soaked overnight and then cooked until tender. They are blended into a creamy soup along with garlic, cumin, paprika, and a drizzle of olive oil.
The result is a velvety, aromatic soup that is traditionally served with a garnish of fresh cilantro, lemon wedges, and a sprinkle of additional cumin.
B’ssara is not only delicious but also nutritious, as fava beans are packed with protein, fibre, and essential vitamins. It’s a wholesome dish with a rich history, often enjoyed as a breakfast item or as a hearty appetizer.
Its distinctive flavours and creamy texture make B’ssara a unique addition to the culinary landscape of the world, showcasing the global appeal of Moroccan cuisine.
10. Chebakia – A Chewy, Crunchy Moroccan Treat
Chebakia is a delightful Moroccan pastry that tantalizes taste buds with its sweet and spiced flavours. This unique treat is not only delicious but also visually appealing, because it has a flower-like shape.
The key ingredients in Chebakia include flour, sesame seeds, honey, orange blossom water, rosewater, anise, and a blend of spices such as cinnamon and sesame seeds. However, people love to experiment with the original recipe adding vegetables and sauces to it as well.
To make Chebakia, the dough is mixed with these ingredients and then shaped into flowers or other decorative forms. After shaping, the pastries are deep-fried until they turn a golden brown colour. Once fried, they are dipped into a fragrant honey and rosewater syrup, which imparts a sweet note to the pastries.
Chebakia is not just a delicious dessert; it’s also a symbol of celebration of Moroccan culture. It is often prepared during special occasions like Ramadan and weddings. Chebakia is one of the best Moroccan sweets.
Make sure to try all these scrumptious dishes while visiting Morocco. Undoubtedly, food is one of the best ways to peep into the culture and history of any country, and so is Moroccan food. So, embark on this wonderful voyage, savouring the finest Moroccan dishes, and book Thomas Cook’s Morocco tour packages.
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