Moroccan food has become increasingly popular worldwide over the last few years because of its subtle flavours, delicious ingredients and rich history. Never tried cooking it at home? Don't fret, it can seem daunting but we are here to make it much easier for you!
In this beginner's guide, we will cover the main ingredients for Moroccan food, popular dishes and some authentic recipes written by Nadia Hamila, Amboora's founder who is half Moroccan, half Tunisian.
Ingredients used in Moroccan food
- Fish is immensely popular in Morocco, especially in coastal regions like Rif and Tangiers where you rarely see a plate without fish on it. A great meal made up of fish is fish tagine or chermoula marinated fish, recipe here!
- Lamb is one of the most popular meats in Morocco, usually slow cooked in a meat dish, or used in a tagine or stew.
- Vegetables are the centre to most Moroccan dishes, most notably potato, carrot, courgette, aubergine, couscous.
- It's rare you see a table in Morocco without homemade white bread, known as khobz, which is a circular loaf full of flavour.
- Snacks; olives, pulses like chickpeas and beans, and nuts, all add a touch of flavour to tagines and couscous dishes.
- Spices; ras el hanout is the Moroccan spice used to spice up almost any dish. It's our most popular spice, and it's Morocco's too.
- Sauces; a lot of dishes are much improved by a hint of preserved lemon sauce.
- Saffron is used in everything, and along with turmeric, it gives a lovely golden colour to Moroccan food. Morocco is unsurprisingly the 3rd biggest producer of saffron in the world.
- Mint is used as the main component for refreshing teas and a nice touch to fresh salads. Recipe for mint tea here!
Popular Moroccan dishes
- Tagine is Morocco's most famous and most popular dish, it can be made in so many different ways - it's impossible to count them all! This is Nadia's recipe for chicken tagine, preserved lemon chicken tagine, and lamb tagine.
- Couscous is a world renowned specialty that you'll all have tried and tasted, but Moroccan couscous, may we say so, is the best. Seven vegetable couscous is the Moroccan go to, by some families it is even eaten every Friday. You can choose out of courgette, potatoes, carrot, onion, turnips, tomatoes, cabbage or pumpkin to add to your delicious couscous.
- Vegetable salads will freshen up any dinner table, and in Morocco you can find them cooked or cold, all made up of the popular vegetables I mentioned earlier including courgette and carrot.
- Olives are a great side or starting dish, flavoured by all manners of spices.
- You can also find dried, steamed or roasted chickpeas and broad beans on Morocco's street corners, and now - you can make them at home! They come flavoured by either cumin, black pepper, paprika.
- Nuts, like almonds, are commonly sprinkled on tagines and stews to add a sweet taste, but they are also served as a side or starting dish.
We have created our spices and sauces to compliment any of these dishes, and more! This is great starting point on your journey to Moroccan cooking. We'd love to see what you come up with, so please do tag us in your Instagram and Twitter photos!