If you are visiting Morocco, you might have heard something about its delicious spicy food. You may not realize it yet, but Morocco’s cuisine is one of the best cuisines in the world. If you are coming to Morocco for the first time, you are in for a treat. For those who have been to the country already, many were left wishing they would taste Morocco’s tasty food again. From steaming-hot spicy Harira or Bissara bowls, through the various dishes of Tagine, all offering unique tastes, to the widely famous Couscous or the special Pastilla, Moroccan food has a lot to offer, so get ready for an extraordinary journey of unique flavors and overabundant spices. If you do not know any of these dishes, this article is for you. Here is a list of the most famous Moroccan dishes that you must try. This list does not include all of the Moroccan dishes. Moroccan cuisine is so rich with various dishes and combinations that it is difficult to delimit them in one article. Still, these dishes should give you a pretty good feel for what Moroccan cuisine can offer.
Couscous, or as the locals call it, “seksu,” is originally from Morocco and is typically served with meat or vegetable stew. It is the national dish of Morocco. This dish is usually prepared on Fridays, considered a Muslim holy day, but can also be served on occasions or during Ramadan. It is a communal dish, so families usually gather around and eat from one plate.
Couscous is a delicate wheat pasta traditionally rolled by hand. It is steamed over a stew of meat and vegetables. For example, Lamb, Beef, or Chicken is stewed with various vegetables and then arranged on a heap of tender, steamed couscous grains. Usually, the meat is covered by a pyramid of Couscous, the vegetables are pressed into the sides, and the sauce is served separately.
Many attribute the origin of the name to the hissing sound as its steam moves through the holes of the “kesskass” (steamer).
Be sure not to miss this tasty and healthy dish when you come to Morocco. For vegetarians, there is a vegetarian version of Couscous with only legumes. Alternatively, you can try the “Tfaya” Couscous with caramelized onions and raisins, which is also a superb dish.
Tagine is a slow-cooked stew braised at low temperatures. The dish takes its name from the traditional clay or ceramic pot traditionally cooked in. It is arranged in a conical fashion and left undisturbed to cook and resulting in tender meat with aromatic vegetables and sauce. The Tagine pot has a knob-like lid sitting on its top. This famous dish is usually eaten directly from the cooking pot using Bread. It is found everywhere in Morocco at homes, cafes, restaurants, and roadside stops while on your desert tours in Morocco. What makes Tagines unique is that there is no limit to what it can contain, resulting in various types of dishes that might have such ingredients. It can contain Lamb, Chicken, pigeon, beef, root vegetables, meatballs with tomato sauce and eggs, olives, pears, raisins, prunes, dates, nuts, lemon, etc. Tagines rely on spices to produce that unique Moroccan seasoning, including cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cumin, paprika, pepper, saffron, etc. Many other countries have adopted the Tagine and made their local versions, such as France, Italy, and others. However, the Moroccan Tagine is still the real deal if you look for authentic Tagine taste.
For those who love the taste of sweet and salty flavors mixed, you will fall in love with this traditional Moroccan dish. This flaky savory pie is traditionally made with pigeon, but it is also served with Chicken and seafood. Chicken or fish are cooked with a range of spices such as ginger pepper and cinnamon (cheese can be used with fish), and then they have layered within a crispy “warqa” (warqa in Moroccan means paper) pastry with an herb-laden omelet and fried almonds scented with orange flower water or grated cheese or icing sugar.
Unlike Couscous or Tagine, known outside Morocco, Rfissa is a trendy dish in Morocco, but one that may not be so popular overseas. This hidden gem may not be as popular as the other Moroccan dishes, but it is worth your attention. Rarely found in restaurants or cafès, Rfissa is a fantastic food served on occasions or typically around the time a woman has a baby, as the ingredients can help replenish what her body loses in childbirth and replace nutrients. The dish itself presents stewed Chicken and lentils fragrantly seasoned with fenugreek, saffron, and Ras el Hanout. Fenugreek is a distinctive ingredient that is said to help with milk production. What turns such simple ingredients as Chicken and lentils into an exquisite meal with the inclusion of spices and a slow cooking time – until everything is falling apart, delicious.
These are just some of the most known Moroccan foods you should try. In Morocco, you will be treated to many more savory dishes, soups, drinks, and pastry. Be sure to go for them and try as many as you can to make the most of your experience in the country. If you are on a strict diet, be prepared to let go of it if you intend to try these tasty foods. You won’t be able to resist anyway if you taste what Moroccan cuisine has to offer!
Chermoula is a marinade of herbs and spices used to cook and grill fish. It is used in Many Moroccan fish dishes. In addition, it can be used in the preparation of Chicken and other sea foods like shellfish and oysters. The best part of Chermoula is that it is pretty easy to prepare, and you can adjust the flavors of onion, coriander, and Chili pepper according to your taste. For example, some people prefer tomatoes and Potatoes in it.
A Moroccan lantern soup is served before the meal as a starter. You will be served the Harira in almost every good Restaurant and also in Moroccan homes. Many Moroccans also used Harira to break their Fasts during Ramadan. The Harira is loved and used throughout the morocco, and there are many types of Harira, but the most classic one is prepared with tomatoes, Lentils, and chickpeas. Just a pro tip from our side, if you want to enhance the taste of Harira, then add white or brown rice with some red beans, or you can also add noodles to it.
It is best served in Marrakech. Mechoui is a roasted lamb. The whole Lamb is roasted, usually under a pit or on a custom stove, as shown in the above picture. It takes almost 9 to 10 hours to cook because you have to roast the Lamb at a low temperature to get the best results. After all, Mechoui should be so soft that you can easily pull the whole bone from the Lamb at once. People who can not dig whole in their backyard can also enjoy Mechoui, but they have to cut the Lamb and give the Lamb some deep cuts. In-home ovens, you can roast a part of Lamb like you can roast its leg or Shoulder, but remember to cook it to a point where you can easily pull out the bones from the meat. The main ingredient required to cook Mechoui apart from 1 whole Lamb is butter, olive oil, Crushed Saffron, Turmeric, cumin, garlic, and salt. Just remember to roast it well so you can enjoy the buttery flavor of Mechoui.
Khobz is often served with every meal, and it is known as Moroccan white Bread. It is usually baked in big ovens, and the Bread texture is thick and crispy. You can eat it with any meal like Tagine, Mechoui, Rfissa, and even for breakfast, you can eat it with olive oil and honey. Talking about its recipe than it is straightforward. You need Sugar, Yeast, flour, and just half a tablespoon of vegetable oil, half a teaspoon of sugar, and one spoon of salt and yeast mixture. Then mix the ingredients with 1 cup of hot water and make a dough ball. Remember, do not put much water. Just pour that much water so that the ingredients mix well. After that, make the dough ball, put it in your oven, and bake both sides of the Bread for 20 minutes until it becomes golden brown, and then just enjoy the crispy Bread. Apart from Khobz, there are other famous Moroccan pieces of Bread like the buttery Bread known as Harsha, flat BBread famous as half, and lastly, our favorite one is the spongy Bread known as baghrir Bread.
You will find the soup of snails throughout Morocco, especially in the region of the Atlas Mountains. In morocco, this is also known as Babouche. The recipe for snail soup is also straightforward pick some snails from the backyard or the market, then put them in a bowl and dip it in water and clean them thoroughly and again add water, then add Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic, Cumin, a piece of ginger to enhance the smell, Thyme, Lavender, Rosemary, Cinnamon Stick, Pomegranate Skin, Pennyroyal, Mint, Lemon Verbena, Bay Leaf, Chili Pepper, Sage, Galangal, Star Anise, Cardamom and Clove. Boil them for 3 hours and then serve them. Use toothpicks to bring out snails from their shells.
Moroccan Sardines are also one of the popular dishes of Morocco, and the country is the world’s largest exporter of Sardines. Sardines are small oily fish which is widely consumed across the globe. To cook the spicy sardines in a Moroccan way, we first have to cut the Sardines and remove the bones from the fish. Then, put parsley and garlic in the bowl and pour one tablespoon of sunflower oil into it. After that, put some salt in the bowl and some black pepper, cumin and ginger powder, and turmeric. Finally, add paprika powder and Lemon juice to it and mix all the ingredients thoroughly. After that, fill the Sardine with the marinated solution you just prepared. Then dip the Sardine in flour and fry it in a pan, and your delicious Sardine is ready. Try a a marinated Sardines Tagine wile on your day trip from Marrakech to Essaouira.
Tangia is named after the cooking Vessel, which Moroccan use to preserve butter and olive oil. It originated in Marrakech and was made especially for Moroccan men, and that is why its early name was “Bachelor’s stew.” You can now find it throughout the morocco, from hotels to stalls. Also, do not mix it with the famous Moroccan “Tagine,” although both get their names from the pots they cooked in, they are very different.
To enjoy Tangia, you have to be very patient because it takes 5 to 6 hours to cook the dish to soften the meat. To prepare it, you need a slice of good-cut beef from the butcher and some herbs and spices like lemons, garlic, cumin, ghee (Clarified butter), olive oil, and Safran. These are the main items in Tangia; remember, you cannot put potatoes in Tangia. Just put all the ingredients in the pot and wrap the top of the jar with Parchment paper. Then bake it in the oven slowly for 6 hours. In big hotels, you can see that they cook 40-50 Tangias simultaneously. Finally, when ready, do not forget to enjoy it with the Bread or Couscous. Just a pro tip from our side is that when you finish eating Tangia, do not forget to order the Moroccan mint tea because it will help digestion.