3 best dishes in Moroccan cuisine

moroccan cuisine

Moroccan cuisine is a reflection of the country’s cultural history. It has been influenced by Moroccan Berbers, Arabs, Andalusians, and Jews.

Moroccan cuisine is not just about one dish or one spice. The dishes are typically made of a tajine, tangia, bastilla or moroccan stew, etc, as the center-piece of the meal plus a collection of side dishes to go with it. The centre-piece or main dish depends on the region of the country that you’re at, and it may include chicken or lamb, vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes, herbs like cilantro and parsley.

This type of cuisine is characterised by its use of numerous spices and herbs that give each dish its own unique flavour. One of these ingredients is saffron which can be used in many different dishes including soups, fish dishes, rice dishes, breads and desserts.

The dishes are a combination and mixture of Berber, Middle Eastern, and Andalusian cooking. It is extremely tasty, low in calories and healthy.

The recent popularity of moroccan cuisine:

Moroccan cuisine has been enjoying a widespread popularity in recent years. It is now recognised as one of the most popular cuisines in Europe with international celebrities such as Jamie Oliver who have helped to popularise a couple of its ancient dishes.

It has influenced the cuisines of countries in North Africa and Europe. Some dishes include couscous with raisins, tajine with chicken, or tangia which is a meat stew containing beef and lamb.

The origins of moroccan cuisine:

Some have called it the mother of all cuisines. Moroccan cuisine is a combination of North African Berber, Spanish, Italian, and French dishes and spices. It’s often referred to as “Mediterranean” cuisine.

It is based on the country’s unique cultural and natural resources such as olive oil, organ oil, fresh fruits and vegetables, grains like wheat and barley, herbs and spices like cumin, coriander, paprika and turmeric from the nearby Canary Islands in Spain.

3 best dishes in Moroccan cuisine:

Couscous:

The most popular Moroccan dish is couscous, which has been around since medieval times. It is made with semolina that is steamed with the help of hot boiling water.

This dish can be eaten with vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant and peppers and a variety of herbs like cilantro (coriander). It is usually served with meat, chicken, caramelised onions or vegetables and a variety of hot sauces. It’s mostly cooked in a tagine, which is an earthenware pot with a conical lid.

In Morocco, couscous is a staple food. It is considered by many to be the national dish of Morocco. Most households in Morocco, reserve a day of the week to make it for lunch and to enjoy it with loved ones. Most time it is either Friday or Sunday depending on the schedule of all of the family members and when they’d all be free to gather and enjoy this tasty meal.

It is often served with lben – a Moroccan type of yogurt-based drink that is sweet and salty and that moroccans like to enjoy cold, with a good plate of couscous.

Tangia:

Tangia is a tangy, spicy and aromatic dish made of red meat. While it is a tasty savoury dish with loads of thick caramelised and salty brown sauce coating soft and tasty meat, it is important to consider that it takes many hours to cook.

The ingredients have to be put in a special pot and sealed properly with a lid and clay around its corners, then buried in an underground oven. Some recipes also add spices to make it spicier or to add color.

The meat can be served with bread and eaten with a range of side dishes. Tangia is often served at celebrations such as weddings, birthdays, Eid al-Fitr (the end of Ramadan), or when guests come over to visit. If you’re a tourist in Morocco, you can find it in traditional restaurants if you search long enough.

Not everyone offers this type of dish on their menu, since it is hard to make and also because it requires special cooking pots and an underground oven.

Tajine:

One of the most famous Moroccan dishes is tagine, which is a dish made with lamb or chicken and other ingredients such as tomatoes, potatoes, and green beans. It is also a type of Moroccan stew cooked in a round, conical, clay or earthenware pot called a “tajine” too. The dish is most times served with bread.

Tajines are typical Moroccan dishes and many household will be cooking them close to every day for lunch and only changing the vegetables and ingredients for a change. For example; you can choose to make a chicken famine with caramelised onions sometimes, or a lamb famine with vegetables other times.

In brief, a tajine is a slow-cooked stew of meat with vegetables, and spices. The meat may be chicken, beef, lamb, or even seafood. The vegetables are typically tomatoes, carrots, eggplants, Brussels, green peas or potatoes.

The pot where this dish is cooked is also called a “tajine” like mentioned before, as it is a special cooking base that was specifically made for this dish. Tagines originated in Morocco but were popularized by French people in the mid-1800s when French soldiers brought them back from North Africa to France.

The Mediterranean diet:

In fact, Moroccan cuisine has been called or heavily associated with the “Mediterranean Diet.” It is a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts and grains like wheat and barley that are used in couscous and bread. The Med diet is a healthy diet that is rich in nutrients which makes it the best and healthiest option to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Mediterranean meals are typically very filling and tasty. They can be enjoyed as a main meal or as an appetiser as they are usually light and nutritious. The ancient Greeks knew of this diet and made it one of their top priorities to eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables, while not overeating meat.

Today, this type of healthy lifestyle has become a worldwide phenomenon, with foodies all around the world adopting it to be healthy and slim.

Bottom line:

Moroccan cuisine is very tasty and it is gaining popularity around the world with its diverse range of dishes that can be considered as the best in their own right.

It can be found all over the world and it typically uses spices that originated from Morocco such as saffron to make dishes from lamb, beef, chicken and vegetables stand out.

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