Food is royalty - Moroccan dishes & treats
Updated: Jul 21
The moroccan cuisine is the finest and most sophisticated in North Africa. It's famous for its Couscous, crispy foliated pies, wonderful spicy Tagines and their unique combination of meat and fruit. Can we please talk about the mixture of sweet, salty and hot?
The moroccan kitchen is centuries old. Some traditions are rooted in the rutual Amazigh tribes, the indigenous population of North Africa unfortunately mostly known as Berbers since conquerors in the 7th century called them Barbarians :(, but most of the tradition is a legacy of the royal cuisine of large moroccan dynasties such as the Almoravids, Saadians or Alawites with clear influences of Bagdad and moorish Spain. At the time of the Abbasid caliphate, Morocco even opened up to the influence of Persia and adopted the highly developed culture of its kitchen.
Family plays a central role in Morocco, that's why they basically eat at home at a big table with all families members eating with their washed hands out of one big Tagine, a traditional cone-shaped cooking vessel. The fresh bread served at every Moroccan meal serves you as cutlery, you will find a version of my 'Batbout' pan-bread right below the Tagine recipe in this blog post.
**Chicken Tajin with preserved lemons and olives (for about 5 people)**
4-5 chicken legs or escalopes (escalopes must be cutted into pieces)
2 Tsp Curcuma
2 Tsp Paprika
2 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Ginger powder
a bit of Saffron
-> Spices can be replaced by Raz el Hanout
1 big onion
3-5 carotts (optional) peeled, sliced in strips
3-5 potatoes (optional) peeled, sliced in strips
1 sliced tomato (optional)
2 cinnamon sticks
some green olives
1 preserved lemon (cut in 4 pieces)
1-2 dl vegetable or chicken bouillon
Give the parsley into a big bowl and add 3 tbsp of olive oil and all spices except the cinnamon sticks.
Then add the chicken to the spices and rub the spices into that chicken.
Let the spices soak in, all covered over night or at least one hour to get the full flavour,
Slice the onion into 4 pieces. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a Tajin or a simple frying pan on medium heat and add the sliced onion in pieces. Let them roast gently for 2-3 minutes. Then cover the onions with the chicken legs or escalope pieces and let it cook for 10 more minutes covered. Be careful with the heat and watch out for the onions!
Add the carrots and potatoes as you see on my picture and add the tomatos on top. Dash the bouillon over and place the cinnamon sticks on top of all to get a bit of a sweet taste. Push the preserved lemon pieces under the chicken, cover and let it cook for 45 minutes on medium heat. Check the heat regularly, it's not supposed to burn from the bottom so be carefully. I always use to keep a bit of bouillon apart and add it optionally during the whole process. Add the olives in the last 20 minutes of cooking. Cover again. Bsaha!
The perfect side dish -> couscous or the following pan-bread
**Moroccan pan-bread 'Batbout'**
500g durum wheat semolina
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp Instant dry yeast
Pick a bigger bowl and add the semolina, salt and dry yeast. Add the water step by step and kneel the dough during this process until you get a finer dough. Then, give the dough in your kitchen machine and let it kneel for a few minutes until it's really fine. Then I cover my working surface with a bit semolina and roll out the dough until it's about 4 mm thick. Stick out circles and spread them out on a plate scattered with semolina so that it does not stick. Cover the dough-circles with a kitchen towel and let it rest for one hour in a warm place to swell up.
Big frying pan heat on medium level without fats nor oils. Roast each side of our batbouts for about 4 minutes until the dough gets up on each side (they really go up fluffy!)
I truly hope that this recipe served you as an inspiration. And since i'm curious about your results, share your creations and experiences on social media and tag #boavidasoulfood
Have a blessed y'all!