I really don't remember the
first time I ate Moroccan food, although somehow I had a prior knowledge
about the Moroccan spice mix ras el hanout. Ras el hanout means "top
of the shop" or "head of the shop". It's a spice mix used
often in Moroccan cuisine. There are probably a hundred different variations
on this spice mix. I consider it to be similar to garam masala, a spice
mix found in Indian cuisine, which, while widely used in recipes varies
from region to region.
photo by Dave Erickson
While I have enjoyed all these Moroccan recipes that I'm sharing with
you (both the preparation and the eating) I have to say that for me, the
one that summed up what Moroccan cuisine is all about was the Chicken
B'stilla. This is an amazing chicken pie flavored with almonds, confectioners
sugar and cinnamon layered in flaky filo dough. Not only is it a beautiful
presentation, but the flavor is unforgettable.
Another classic Moroccan dish
is a one pot meal (basically a slow cooked stew) called a tagine, after
the vessel it is cooked in. Tagines contain a variety of meat, poultry
or seafood, vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts and seasonings. You'll also
find preserved lemons and olives quite common in tagines. Vegetarian tagines
are quite tasty and easy to prepare. No, you don't need a special cooking
vessel to make a tagine, I use a cast iron Dutch oven and it works fine.
All of these Moroccan recipes
are easy to print recipes and come from trusted sources. Some include
helpful Cooks Tips.
very easy to find all the necessary spices and ingredients you need to
cook just about any cuisine you can imagine. Zamouri
spices has a great selection of Moroccan ingredients and spices.