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Moroccan Food: 29 Popular Dishes in 5 Categories

More than its rich culture and heritage, Morocco is a popular gastronomic destination in North Africa. Moroccan food is widely known for its bold flavors and unique spices, and we’re here to spare some tips on how to recreate authentic Moroccan flavors in the comforts of your home.

Due to the influence of multiple cultures, Moroccan cuisine features a blend of Arabic, Mediterranean, European, and Berber flavors.

Moroccan food has captivated culinary enthusiasts worldwide, from its popular dishes like couscous to lesser-known, but equally delicious, treats like bastilla and beef tagine.

Get ready to embark on a remarkable experience as we explore must-try Moroccan recipes, some secret recipe tips, and everything you need to know about Moroccan food culture.

Traditional Moroccan Cuisine – More Than Couscous and Mechoui

Traditional Moroccan Cuisine – More Than Couscous and Mechoui

While couscous and mechoui are undeniably delicious trademark dishes of the country, they’re just the tip of the iceberg regarding the diverse and vibrant Moroccan food culture. Moroccan cuisine also boasts a variety of food and exotic flavors that are unlike any other.

In fact, Moroccan cuisine is renowned as one of the best in the world. Check out these popular Moroccan street food options and find out why the country landed a spot on the world’s best gastronomic havens.

The Most Popular Street Food in Morocco

Most Popular Street Food in Morocco

Moroccan streets are bustling with food stalls that sell traditional dishes, filling the air with mouth watering aromas. The most famous Moroccan street food is chebakia, also known as griouech or mkharka.

This pastry is also a Ramadan staple. This delectable cookie lures tourists with its irresistible fragrance, too.

But besides its unique shape and inviting aroma, the native delicacy has a satisfying texture and is oozing with flavors. It features a delicate balance of spice and sweetness and has a crunchy yet chewy texture.

Meanwhile, chebakia is made by meticulously folding and twisting dough strips into intricate shapes resembling flowers. The pieces of dough are then deep-fried until golden brown.

After that, the fried dough is soaked in honey and topped with sesame seeds. Some native recipes incorporate orange water, cinnamon, and anise for more depth.

Apart from chebakia, some Moroccan street foods worth trying are.

Tehal

Tehal

This sausage-like dish is made with camel spleen filled with rich and savory ground beef or camel meat. The Moroccan dish is renowned for its exquisite blend of spices and textures as well.

You can also choose to stuff the ‘tehal’ (camel spleen) with a mixture of meats, olives, and some hump fat. Tehal is served griddled, sliced, or in a sandwich.

Moroccan Fried Liver

Moroccan Fried Liver

Liver is a versatile ingredient in Moroccan cuisine. You can find it in many street foods, including skewers (or, Kouah) and kebabs. Most popular though is their fried liver dish.

It uses a skillful blend of spices, such as cumin and paprika, to marinate the liver beforehand. Moroccans usually use calf or lamb liver to make this dish as it’s both tender and easy to cook. For a sweet kick, they add caramelized onions on top.

Nougat

Nougat

This sweet and chewy dessert bar is made from egg white, toasted nuts (peanuts or pistachios), powdered sugar, and sometimes honey.

It can be enjoyed plain without nuts too, or with chocolate and dried fruits, in case you’re feeling creative. Nougat is especially popular among children as it has a similar consistency and taste to marshmallows yet is more chewy.

Tayb O’hari

Tayb O’hari

The word ‘tayb o’hari’ means ‘cooked and easy to chew’ in Moroccan Arabic. This dish is a popular street food because of how simple it is. It mainly features only one ingredient: chickpeas.

Moroccans boil them in a mix of herbs and spices like cumin, paprika, and chili powder until they’re fully cooked and soft.

Fried Sardines

Fried Sardines

Fun fact: Morocco is a major exporter of sardines worldwide, so it’s no doubt that this fried treat is one of their trademark dishes. We celebrate this meal for its tangy, fresh, and super crispy texture.

To achieve a bold and zesty flavor, the sardines are marinated in tartar sauce. Often, they’re marinated in the delicious Moroccan sauce, chermoula, which is made of ingredients like cumin, paprika, and garlic.

Sugar Cane Juice

Sugar Cane Juice

The sugarcane plant is readily available across multiple regions in Morocco – which is why this freshly made juice is sold on every street corner.

It’s the perfect drink to refresh your palate after having a street food feast. Vendors may add in a squeeze of lime or lemon for some punch too. It’s also said to be healthy and is a beloved beverage in other Middle Eastern countries.

Moroccan Shawarma

Moroccan Shawarma

Despite its Ottoman, and possibly, turkish roots, shawarma is a well-loved dish in Moroccan streets. It’s made with shaved beef, perfectly seasoned, and wrapped in pita bread.

What really elevates this dish is the spicy sauce, onions, and pickles it is served with. You can play around with those elements too – opting for garlic sauce, hummus, or pickled veggies, such as turnips and carrots.

Moroccan Food in the World

Moroccan Food in the World

With such high regard in the international scene, there’s no doubt that Morocco’s rich and diverse culinary heritage continues to captivate hearts from all around the globe.

In fact, Morocco’s National Tourism website reports that a British blog awarded the country the second-best gastronomic destination in the world, and it’s also hailed as one of the best international cuisines by the Spanish newspaper La Razon.

The country is among Yahoo’s top 20 countries with the best food in the world as well. But what makes the country’s food culture stand out is its unique blend of flavors, spices, and cooking techniques influenced by various cultures as a result of settlement and colonization.

Therefore, Moroccan cuisine is a delightful fusion of European, Mediterranean, Arab, and Berber, among many others.

The Berbers, or pre-Arab inhabitants of Africa, were the primary influence on Moroccan cuisine, and the national food, couscous, is of Berber origin.

On the other hand, aromatics and spices were heavily influenced by the Arabs who came to Morocco around the seventh century.

How Healthy Moroccan Food Is

How Healthy Moroccan Food Is

On top of their rich flavor profile, Moroccan food is known for being healthy, with many vegan-friendly options.

Moroccan dishes mainly comprise fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals essential for optimal brain function and immune system health. The best examples are saffron, olives, cauliflowers, and apricots.

Whole grains are a staple of Moroccan dishes, too. As high-fiber foods, they aid digestion and cholesterol level control, which is essential in decreasing the risk for certain cardiovascular conditions.

At the same time, Moroccan cuisine incorporates lean meat sources like lamb and beef in their food due to their Islamic roots.

Famous and Popular Moroccan Dishes You Have to Try

Famous and Popular Moroccan Dishes You Have to Try

Whether you’re a fan of savory dishes or indulgent pastries, these simple and easy-to-follow recipes will save you the hassle without compromising on the richness of flavor. Check out these recipes for some popular Moroccan dishes.

Bastilla

Bastilla

Also known as pastilla or chicken pie, this Moroccan dish is made with crispy and flaky phyllo dough with flavorful chicken shreds as filling. It’s a culinary delight, favored in the Maghreb regions.

Moroccans season this rich meal with warm, North African flavors, such as ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and Ras el Hanout (a famous Moroccan spice blend). They often add an omelet and caramelized onions to the chicken filling too.

Chicken Rfissa

Chicken Rfissa

Another timeless Moroccan dish present in almost every occasion is the chicken rfissa – a savory dish made with stewed chicken and lentils.

Ras el hanout makes this dish extra special, adding depth and complexity to the flavors. Ginger, saffron, and olive oil also make an appearance. The chicken, lentils, and onions are served on a plate of shredded msemen, or trid pastry.

Chermoula Stuffed Sardines

Chermoula Stuffed Sardines

Stuffed sardines may sound like a simple dish, but this North African delicacy is stuffed with a pesto-like chermoula sauce that will tickle your taste buds. It’s often considered a variation of fried sardines that we mentioned before.

As with most Moroccan dishes, the secret to this sardine meal lies in the flavorful marinade you soak the fish in. The chermoula filling is made of garlic, parsley, coriander, and other spices.

Ma’akouda

Ma’akouda

Ma’akouda, or potato fritters, is a common Moroccan street food served as a sandwich patty or appetizer. This versatile dish requires few ingredients and will only take less than an hour to make.

It has a crispy exterior, and people usually throw in a few slices of tomatoes and lettuce to compliment it. For a deeper flavor, the meal is topped with sauteed onions, garlic, cilantro, and cumin. It’s an excellent vegetarian dish too!

B’ssara

B’ssara

Get ready for the perfect gluten-free and vegan and vegetarian-friendly dish on our list. It’s the wonderful fusion of fava beans, spices, olive oil, and garlic. It doesn’t just feature in Morocco, but also in Egypt, too.

Lemon juice and red hot pepper is often fused in the mix as well. You can garnish b’ssarah (or besarah) with crisp onions, cumin, paprika, or a drizzle of olive oil. While it’s fulfilling enough to be a meal served with pita bread, it also works as a dip or a soup.

Moroccan Soups & Salads

Moroccan Soups and Salads

Soups and salads best accompany breads or meaty dishes, and they come in refreshing flavors and textures to delight every taste bud. Here are some easy recipes to try.

Salads

Salads

Moroccan cooking isn’t complete without a hearty salad to match it. Pick a flavorful dish from below to make and notice how it elevates your meal.

Zaalouk

Zaalouk

The main ingredient for this savory salad dish is eggplant, and it’s the perfect pair for pita or crusty bread. Moroccan flatbread will also pair well with Zaalouk.

Really, the secret lies in choosing fresh eggplants to roast for the meal. Throw in some tomatoes, and you end up with a smoky, flavorful salad.

You can add olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro, black pepper, and cayenne pepper for an extra kick. Zaalouk is usually served as a side dish or an appetizer, too.

Moroccan Carrot Salad

Moroccan Carrot Salad

For a Vitamin A boost, carrot salad is a go-to choice. It’s simple to make, and compliments grilled meat best. What makes it unique as a salad is that it’s crunchy, savory, and at the same time sweet.

Citrus juices are used to elevate the taste of warm spices used in the salad, including cinnamon and garlic powder. You can also add honey, nuts, raisins, and cilantro as tasty garnishes to the salad.

Taktouka (Spicy Moroccan Salad)

Taktouka (Spicy Moroccan Salad)

This zesty salad recipe, with tomato puree as a key ingredient, makes an excellent dip for pita and white bread. It’s a famous dish among vegans, too, and is very popular with Moroccans.

That’s because the salad features more than just tomatoes. It also has roasted bell peppers, garlic, toasted paprika, and olive oil. And since it’s so simple, and uses only basic ingredients, it’s commonly featured in Moroccan cuisine as a side dip.

Soups

Soups

Soups are a big part of Moroccan culture, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. The people there usually serve their soups with crispy or fresh bread too.

Harira (Moroccan Lentil Chickpea Soup)

Harira (Moroccan Lentil Chickpea Soup)

Harira is a hearty soup and a Moroccan comfort food made with legumes and tomatoes. The soup is packed with herbs and spices – just like any other Moroccan recipe.

The legumes found in this meal are typically lentils and chickpeas. Warm spices, like turmeric, garlic, and cinnamon, along with fresh herbs are thrown in to elevate the soup’s flavor.

Additionally, broken vermicelli pasta or rice is added to make the soup more filling. Fun fact: Harira is usually a part of Ramadan feasts.

Moroccan Turkey Soup

Moroccan Turkey Soup

Another Moroccan comfort dish you should try is this Turkey soup, a rich stew best paired with dinner rolls or sandwiches.

This soul-soothing dish is perfect for colder months especially. With flavorful ingredients, like sweet potatoes, ground turkey, beef bone broth, and ribs, the Moroccan soup becomes robust with flavors.

Diced tomatoes and cinnamon are also used, then the meal is served on warm couscous.

Moroccan Starters, Sandwiches, Sides

Moroccan Starters, Sandwiches, Sides

No full-course Moroccan food experience is complete without some of these starters, sandwiches, and sides. From seasoned vegetables to scrumptious sandwiches, here are easy Moroccan side dishes worth trying.

Starters

Starters

What’s a better way to start your meal than with one of the Moroccan appetizers mentioned below? See for yourself how amazing they are.

Moroccan-Spiced Panko Prawns

Moroccan-Spiced Panko Prawns

You may recognize panko breadcrumbs from Asian cuisine; yet it features in many other recipes, including this crunchy Moroccan starter of prawns.

Before they’re fried, the prawns are marinated in a mixture of spicy flavors. They’re usually peeled, with the tail left behind, making it the perfect single-bite appetizer.

You can serve these prawns with any sauce you like – we recommend a zesty coriander mayo recipe, though.

Classic Moroccan Tomato Salad

Classic Moroccan Tomato Salad

Here’s another quick and simple Moroccan staple that’s loved for how fresh and tasty it is. If you’re a fan of zesty, tangy, and juicy starters, then you should try making this classic tomato salad soon.

Slice up red tomatoes, red onions, and fresh cilantro, then top it off with lemon juice or white vinegar. Olive oil is optional if you wish to add to the meal’s health benefits.

Moroccan Cigar

Moroccan Cigar

At first glance, this appetizer is closely similar to Asian spring rolls. The key difference between Moroccan cigars (or ‘sigarim’) and the well-known spring roll is the type of filling used.

While spring rolls are vegetarian-friendly, Moroccan cigars aren’t. That’s because they use minced lamb or beef meat instead.

Onions, garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, and coriander are added too. In the end, the filling is wrapped in flaky phyllo pastry then fried for the ultimate, crunchy starter.

Sandwiches

Sandwiches

Sandwiches are universal – everyone loves a good, hearty sandwich as a great lunch or a midday snack. Consider any of the following as your next sandwich option.

Hout Quari (Moroccan Fish Sandwich)

Hout Quari (Moroccan Fish Sandwich)

The beauty about a sandwich is that it shouldn’t take no more than a few minutes to make – and the Hout Quari (often labeled the Moroccan Big Mac) only needs 20 minutes of your time.

Unlike the beloved burger meal, Hout Quari is made of sardines. The patty itself is a mix of ground sardines, onions, garlic, tomato sauce, olive oil, and harissa (Middle Eastern spicy sauce).

Butter up and toast some bread then fill it with the patty and what other additions you want to throw in there.

Moroccan Bocadillo

Moroccan Bocadillo

Bocadillo has some Spanish influence next to being a Moroccan delight. It’s similar to a French baguette and the popular Vietnamese sandwich, Banh Mi.

A bocadillo is essentially just three ingredients: a meat element, veggies, and a sauce. Typically, vendors use grilled chicken, pickled vegetables, and some spicy mayo. Pair bocadillo with a refreshing glass of iced mint tea, and you get the perfect afternoon treat.

Moroccan Lamb Meatball Sandwich

Moroccan Lamb Meatball Sandwich

Meatball sandwiches can be found in many cultures – so what makes the Moroccan variation of it any different? They use succulent lamb meat, mix it with garam masala and cumin, then are hand-blended to create the perfect bite-sized meatball.

The bread used can be pita, white, or anything you prefer. In Moroccan culture, they use a yogurt mint sauce, but you can opt for classics, like mayo or mustard.

Sides

Sides

Nothing beats a complimentary side that pairs well with your main dish. Moroccan sides, specifically, burst with flavor and ingredients – while also being easy to make.

Moroccan Spiced Roasted Cauliflower

Moroccan Spiced Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a simple vegetable, but with this Moroccan take, you end up with a spicy, tasteful starter or side. It also only takes a few simple ingredients and a fairly easy process to elevate cauliflower to an irresistible meal.

It’s as straightforward as taking a couple cauliflower florets and tossing them in an expert blend of spices. Moroocans usually use cumin, turmeric, paprika, garlic, and red pepper flakes. To go the extra mile, add diced tomatoes and roasted onions to the mix.

Egg Salad Dip

Egg Salad Dip

Egg salads might seem like nothing special. However, Moroccans seem to be the only ones to take the classic dish to new heights. Ready to learn their exotic recipe?

To chopped and boiled eggs, add olives, olive oil, aioli, and lemon juice. You can adjust the recipe however you like. Some people prefer it to be more briny, others more tangy – the dish easily allows for it, which makes it one of the more versatile sides here.

Spiced Cauliflower and Almond Soup

Spiced Cauliflower and Almond Soup

The side’s name may have caught you off-guard for the unlikely combination it is. Try cooking it, though, and you’ll realize with the first sip why it’s such a staple dish. Its simplicity also helps make it popular.

All it takes is a fresh head of cauliflower, olive oil, ground cinnamon, cumin, coriander, harissa, and sliced almonds. It’s considered a comforting soup to any heart-warming meal you make on a cold day.

Moroccan Main Dishes

Moroccan Main Dishes

Moroccan main dishes often feature a combination of meat, poultry, or fish, with an assortment of vegetables and a unique blend of spices, giving them a distinct flavor profile. Whether you like bold or mild flavors, these Moroccan main dish recipes are worth trying.

Tagine

Tagine

Tagine is a renowned dish across all of North Africa. Its name is derived from the clay pot or earthenware in which the meal is cooked in. In short, tagine is a slow-cooked savory stew that features any type of meat, such as beef, poultry, or fish.

The animal protein you choose is then combined with vegetables – and sometimes fruits. The right collection of spices ties the meal together. We suggest ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, saffron, paprika, and chili.

Spicy Moroccan Rice

Spicy Moroccan Rice

If you’re a fan of spicy food in general, then this aromatic meal of spicy Moroccan rice will be right up your alley. Like most Moroccan dishes, you need to keep your turmeric, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon handy to really bring out the flavor in this meal.

To round out the taste profile, add in chopped onions, red pepper, and fresh, juicy tomatoes. The number of red peppers you use helps adjust the level of spiciness to your preference. Traditionally, Moroccans eat this rice with yogurt and roasted nuts.

Brochettes (Moroccan Style Kebab)

Brochettes (Moroccan Style Kebab)

Brochettes, or kebabs, have a universal appeal nowadays, and aren’t just popular in the Middle East alone. Moroccan-style kebabs are usually made with either beef, chicken, or lamb meat.

You then mix the meat with red onions, parsley, and the perfect blend of aromatic spices. The meat is then skewered and grilled to achieve the ultimate mouth-watering meal. Kebabs are typically served next to pickled cucumbers or beets and garlic sauce.

Couscous

Couscous

Couscous is a North African and Mediterranean staple. It has a similar consistency to quinoa almost, but is actually fluffier. With that, you can say that the Moroccans have perfected couscous with their recipes.

What makes it an iconic dish is the addition of veggies and meats, and the use of tangy spices, like turmeric and cinnamon. Moroccan couscous is best cooked with lamb shank, garbanzo beans, zucchini, and tomato sauce.

Moroccan Bread, Pastries, Dessert

Moroccan Bread, Pastries, Dessert

Besides savory dishes, Moroccan food comprises sweet but light desserts and fluffy pastry options.

Bread

Bread

Who doesn’t love bread? And lucky for us, Moroccan culture has no shortage of bread options to pick from. Check them out.

Pita Bread (Batbout)

Pita Bread (Batbout)

Did you know that what we commonly know as pita bread is referred to in Morocco as batbout? The word loosely translates to fluffy or squishy. This type of bread also has an incredibly long history of over 4,000 years.

It’s most distinguished by its soft, chewy texture and its wide versatility. Moroccans cook pita bread using the stovetop method. A popular variation of pita bread is flatbread – both of which can be used simultaneously for sandwiches and in dips.

Krashel

Krashel

Krachel, also known as Gross or Brioche, is a delightful Moroccan sweet roll that brings a burst of flavors to the table. These brioche-like rolls are enriched with anise seeds, sesame seeds, and the distinct floral notes of orange blossom water.

Krachel is a versatile treat enjoyed during breakfast, tea time, or as a delightful snack. While Krachel does take a few hours to make, its sweet, fragrant, and citrusy taste is totally worth it.

Pastries

Pastries

If you’re into baking, Moroccan cuisine will offer a challenge unlike no other. There are fried options, flaky options, and more. Let’s see what we have.

Sfenj

Sfenj

Also known as Moroccan doughnuts, this pastry is more than just a delectable treat for children. Sfenj is made by deep-frying dough and dusting them with confectioner’s sugar.

Other times, Moroccans dip it in honey and pair the pastry with strong black coffee. While it may not have the same versatility of toppings as regular donuts, you can still play around with the traditional Moroccan recipe if you wish.

That said, both pastries share the same chewy inside and crispy exterior.

Kaab el Ghazal

Kaab el Ghazal

Kaab el Ghazal translates to gazelle ankles; yet it’s more commonly referred to as gazelle horns instead, named after how the pastry is shaped.

The dough is pretty simple to make, but the secret lies in the unique almond filling that oozes in every bite. It’s made from ground almonds, orange blossom water, and other complementary ingredients.

Those can include spices like cinnamon or other nuts, such as cashew and pistachios. Once the pastry is fried, you get a delicious, crispy, and nutty snack.

Dessert

Dessert

Nothing beats a delicious dessert after a hearty Moroccan meal. What are some examples of dessert staples over there, you ask? Take a look.

Sellou

Sellou

Sellou, also known as slilou or sfouf, is a traditional Moroccan dessert that holds special significance, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. Interestingly, Sellou is an unbaked dish.

It takes the right preparation and mixing of already-cooked ingredients. You have your roasted flour, and you add to that a collection of nuts, preferably almonds.

Honey and sesame seeds are also thrown in. Butter and other spices help elevate the taste further, turning the dessert into an energy-packed dish great for any special occasion.

Ghoriba Bahla

Ghoriba Bahla

Ghoriba Bahla, a delightful Moroccan shortbread cookie, is best known for its unique crunchiness and slightly crumbly texture. The name "Ghoriba Bahla" translates to "silly stranger".

The name could be inspired by the distinctive cracks that develop on the cookie’s surface after baking – but we don’t quite know.

Aside from its whimsical name, the dessert uses sesame seeds, blanched almonds, and vanilla sugar. Much like kaab el ghazal, ghoriba bahla is loved for its nutty and sweet flavor profile.

Moroccan Secret Recipe Tips

Moroccan Secret Recipe Tips

The technique lies in choosing the right spice blends and ingredients to capture the authentic depth and flavor of traditional Moroccan dishes.

One no-brainer technique is incorporating ras el hanout spice blend instead of multiple spices. This blend comprises over 20 different spices like ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric and complements both sweet and tasty recipes.

Another popular recipe element is preserved lemons, an excellent alternative to regular lemon juice. It’s made by preserving lemon in a jar with salt and water. As a result, it incorporates a tangy, slightly bitter, and citrusy kick to salads, soups, and stews.

Moroccan Beverages

Moroccan Beverages

More than their rich flavor, Moroccan drinks also hold a cultural significance, and are often served as a sign of hospitality. Here are some of our favorite Moroccan thirst quenchers.

Moroccan Mint Tea

Moroccan Mint Tea

Moroccan mint tea, also known as Meghrebi tea, is a cherished beverage in that region that holds a central place on the social scene.

In Moroccan culture, serving mint tea is a ritual steeped in ceremonial times. It signifies warmth and hospitality to your home guests, for instance.

The drink is quick to make, too, needing no more than gunpowder green tea, fresh mint leaves, and sugar. Because of that, the brew is packed with nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, copper, and fluoride, and healthy benefits, like digestive aid.

Moroccan Spiced Coffee

Moroccan Spiced Coffee

Arabian coffee is a big deal in North Africa. If you’ve ever had it, you understand how strong the beverage is. Moroccans offer a unique take on this popular drink, creating a more spicy flavor profile.

What’s the added twist? Throwing in cardamom and cinnamon. But why limit themselves? You can also find Moroccan spiced coffee with anise stars, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice stirred in there, too.

Not all the spices are used together at once, of course – the drinker has the chance to experiment and find what combination works best for their taste buds.

Raib

Raib

Have you ever had a yogurt drink? Well, that is what Raib is, and it has a special place in Moroccan kitchens. Raib isn’t limited to Morocco, though, it exists in other North African areas, including Egypt and Lebanon.

Typically prepared at home, it involves crafting a base with milk, yogurt, and sugar, with optional flavorings such as orange blossom water, rose water, syrups, mint, or orange.

After combining the ingredients, the mixture is left to rest for several hours in a warm place. In addition to being a creamy delight, you can further enhance it with pomegranate or mint syrup.

Nous Nous

Nous Nous

Nous nous translates into ‘half and half’ and that’s due to the drink’s nature. In short, nous nous is a beverage of equal parts black coffee and hot, steamed milk.

Its popularity stems from how simple it is to make, while still being delicious. Fun fact: the drink is more than not drunk by Moroccan women than men, with the latter gender preferring black or spiced coffee instead.

Traditional Moroccan Ingredients

Traditional Moroccan Ingredients

As an Islamic nation, Moroccan dishes comprise non-pork meat like lamb, chicken, and beef. Extra-virgin olive oil is also a staple and versatile ingredient for sauteing, frying, and adding a rich base for salad preps.

On the other hand, protein-rich legumes like lentils and chickpeas are present in many Moroccan recipes, including stews, sandwiches, desserts, and pastries. Of course, no Moroccan dish is complete without aromatic spices and herbs for a harmonious blend of flavors.

Herbs and Spices

Herbs and Spices

Fragrant herbs and earthy spices are trademarks of every Moroccan dish, and apart from ras el hanout, here are other common herbs and spices incorporated in Moroccan food.

Mint

Mint

You may have noticed that mint heavily features in Moroccan cuisine. And who can blame them? Mint enhances the flavors of multiple Moroccan dishes, including tagines, stews, and couscous.

And because Moroccan cooking is typically heavy on the stomach and rich with spices, mint can aid in digesting after the meal is done. Mint can also help with heartburn, improve focus, and restore your youthful glow.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is, hands down, one of the most popular spices featured in Moroccan cooking. That’s usually because it contributes a sweet and aromatic flavor to any dish it’s added to.

Cinnamon is used in both of its forms in Moroccan dishes too – whether ground or bark pieces. While cinnamon is the main spice you use in desserts and pastries, Moroccans use it to complement meats, fruits, and soups, like harira.

Ras el Hanout

Ras el Hanout

Originating in North Africa, Ras el Hanout is most famously associated with Moroccan cuisine but can also be found in variations in Algeria and Tunisia.

Since then, Ras el Hanout has been a staple in Moroccan cooking because of its aromatic and rich addition to meals. Its name directly translates to ‘top of the shop’, referring to the best spices a vendor has to offer.

Typically, the spices in Ras el Hanout include cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne pepper, black pepper, ground anise, and more. They use it in marinades and multiple dishes. As an interesting twist, some Moroccans add it to their morning coffees.

Harissa

Harissa

No spicy lover can refuse the spiciness of harissa – and if you haven’t tried it out yet, what are you waiting for? Harissa is the new spicy, after all.

It’s a king of Tunisian hot sauce that’s quickly made its way across North Africa. The unique blend of dried chilies, preserved lemon, and traditional spices gives harissa its distinctive flavor.

Because of its fiery kick and complex profile, it adds depth to any dish. It can be a simple meal, like an omelet, or something more complicated, such as tagine. Harissa also makes for a great side or condiment.

Moroccan Food Culture

Moroccan Food Culture

Moroccan food culture infuses various techniques and traditions passed down through generations and various civilizations. Here’s everything you need to know about Moroccan people’s eating habits, etiquette, and meal structure.

Eating Habits

Eating Habits

Moroccans usually eat four meals daily, excluding religious occasions like Eid al-Adha and Ramadan, where they fast and only consume light soups like harira. That said, Moroccans' eating habits consist of ftour or breakfast, ghda or lunch, light snacks in the afternoon, and dinner.

Meal Structure

Meal Structure

During breakfast, Moroccans usually consume pastries (like Moroccan flat bread), soups, and fresh juices (orange juice). They eat veggies, stews, and meaty dishes for lunch and dinner. They also love snacking with sweet pastries, desserts, and fritters throughout the day.

Etiquette

Etiquette

Eating with bare hands is accepted in Morocco, but only using three fingers of your right hand (thumb, second, and middle finger). Meanwhile, you should only use your left hand to pass dishes. At the same time, It’s offensive to decline food offered by the host.

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