Mint and Melon Salad

RecipesFor 2-3 people

  • 2 honeydew melons, cut into small pieces
  • 1 soup spoon of sugar
  • 1 cup of chopped mint
  • 2 soup spoons of water of orange flower
  • 100 grams of caramelized almonds

Mix the melons, sugar, mint, and water of orange flower in a bowl. Garnish with almonds and serve!

Choukchouka Salad

For 2-3 people

* 4 green peppers cut into small pieces
* 4 tomatoes cut into small pieces
* 3 heads of garlic
* ½ cup of fresh parsley
* ½ cup of cilantro
* salt
* pepper
* cumin
* paprika
* olive oil

Heat olive oil in a pan. Add peppers and cook for 2 minutes. Add all other ingredients. Let them cook for ten minutes on a low flame.

Zaalouk Salad

The majority of Moroccan salads are not served raw. They are most often cooked mixtures of vegetables that can be eaten with a fork or as a dip. Zaalouk is a traditional Moroccan salad made of eggplant, tomatoes, and zucchini, and cooked to a puree. It can be served hot or cold.

moroccan-salads.jpgFor 2 people

  • 3 eggplants
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 small hot pepper
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 2 soup spoons of olive oil
  • one pinch of ground cumin
  • one pinch of paprika
  • one pinch of ground black pepper
  • one pinch of salt

Peel and cut tomatoes into small pieces. Wash and cut zucchini, hot pepper, and eggplants into small cubes. Steam the eggplant until it is soft. Put all cut and prepared ingredients into a pan with spices and olive oil. Cook on a medium flame and mash the mixture while cooking. Continue to mash and cook until the mixture is ready. Let the salad cool a little bit. Chop the parsley and add to the mixture. Sprinkle lemon juice on top and serve!

Carrots with Cumin Seed and Feta

This light salad works as an appetizer and it is a hit at parties, especially if you serve it with grilled flat bread or Pita bread.

For 4 people

  • 1 kg of carrots
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • 100 grams of feta cheese
  • 1 handful of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Pre-heat oven to 180 C°. Wash and peel carrots. Cut into circles. Put into a casserole with olive oil and salt. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove aluminum paper and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove from the oven. Grind the cumin seeds and add them to the carrots. Mix in a Cuisinart until it becomes a puree. Leave it to cool. Serve in 4 plates. Sprinkle feta and cilantro over the carrots and serve.

Lamb, Prune, and Date Tagine

This dish is a traditional Moroccan tagine. Because it is sweet and it includes dates, it is often served when a family has company over.

lamb-tagine-with-dates.jpgFor 3 people

* ½ kilo of a shoulder of lamb
* 250 grams of dried prunes (around 30 prunes)
* 6 dates (pitted)
* one big red onion, sliced
* 200 grams of roasted almonds
* one cinnamon stick
* one pinch of ginger
* one pinch of saffron (pistils)
* one pinch of salt (or to taste)
* one pinch of pepper (or to taste)

Wash the prunes and put them in one liter of water. Let them sit. Put ginger, saffron, and lamb in a big pot. Cook on medium flame. Mix for one minute. Add olive oil and onion. Leave for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Take the prunes out of the water and put them aside. Keep the water! Pour it into the pot with the lamb. Let the meat cook for 1 ½ hours (or however long it takes to cook) on a medium flame. *You can also leave it on a low flame and let it cook longer. Add the prunes and dates in the last 15 minutes.

Chicken Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemons

Djaj Mqalli

This dish is a traditional Moroccan tagine. It is a fairly common recipe enjoyed by Moroccans at lunch time in their homes.

lamb-tagine-with-dates.jpgFor 2-3 people

* 1 small chicken around 1 kg, quartered
* 2 large sliced onions
* 1 tsp. powdered ginger
* one pinch of saffron (best if pistils)
* 2 preserved lemons
* 1 cup green olives
* 1 cup lemon juice
* sea salt
* pepper
* 1 cup water
* olive oil

One hour before preparation, marinate chicken with sea salt, lemon juice and a cup of water in a large bowl.

Heat olive oil in a large pot or tagine. Cook sliced onions until they start to change color. Add ginger, pepper, saffron and chicken. Add water. Remove the pulp of the preserved lemon and mix it in the Cuisinart. Add to the pot. Cut the skin into quarters. Add to the pot. Cook on a low flame until the chicken is soft and easily falls off of the bone. You don’t want it to be too dry, or too chewy. Add olives before serving.

Vegetable Tagine

Here is a recipe for vegetarians who want to try a tagine. You usually don’t find vegetarian tagines in the bigger cities, but you will find them in Berber communities.

For 2-3 people

* 2 sliced onions
* 2 heads of garlic
* 1 potato, peeled and cut into circles
* 2 carrots, peeled and cut into circles
* 1 cup of peas
* 2 tomatoes, cut into circles
* 2 hot chili peppers diced
* ½ cup of chopped cilantro
* ½ cup of chopped fresh parsley
* salt
* pepper
* powdered ginger or fresh ginger
* cumin
* paprika
* olive oil

Heat olive oil in a big pot, or tagine. Add the onions. Cook for a few minutes, until the onion starts to change color. Add garlic, spices, potatoes, carrots, peas, and chili peppers. Add one cup of water to the pot. Cook for 10 minutes on a low flame. Add the tomatoes, parsley, and cilantro. Cook for 10 more minutes and serve!

This dish can also be cooked in the oven: Start the onions on the stove, as above. After they finish cooking, add all the ingredients to the pot and put in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes on 180-200 ° C.

Cold Radish, Orange, and Fennel Salad

This recipe is one of Lahcen’s own creations and a great summer treat. It has a surprising contrast in tastes between the bite of the radishes and the sweet taste of the oranges and the orange flower water. Although it is not a traditional recipe, it uses some ingredients that are essential in Moroccan cuisine.

orange-flower.JPGFor 4 people

* 1 bunch of radish (approx. 20 small radishes)
* 5 navel oranges
* 2 fennel plants
* 3 soup spoons of orange flower water
* 1 soup spoon of sugar

Put sugar and orange flower water into a big bowl. Slice radishes into small slices. Peel the orange with a knife, so as to remove the white skin. Cut out wedges of the orange. Cut the fennel bulb into small slices. Don’t use the branches of the fennel. Mix all ingredients together in the bowl. Cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes and serve. This recipe will be even more delicious when served next day.

Moroccan Mint Tea

mint-tea.JPGMint tea, or what some Moroccans jokingly call “Moroccan whiskey” is a national icon for hospitality. Like many East Asian countries, Morocco has a tea ritual that is essential to welcoming any guest into your house.

* 2 teaspoons of gunpowder tea
* 1 bunch of mint
* 2 tablespoons of sugar

Boil a kettle of water. Put the tea in a teapot. Pour a little bit of boiled water from the kettle into the teapot. Swirl it around with the tea to wash the tea. Pour out the water. Then fill the teapot with boiled water. Put the teapot back on the stove on a low flame, until the tea starts to simmer. Watch it closely so that it doesn’t boil over! Take the teapot off the stove and add the mint and sugar. Moroccans tend to take their tea very sweet, but you may choose to add less sugar.