When the MKMW destination was announced the first word that came to my mind was EXOTIC!! Spicy!! was the second. So many exotic spices can be found in the food of this North African County. Morocco has been influenced by Romans, Berbers, Portuguese, Muslims all of which contributed to its rich culture and heritage.
The full Arabic name al-Mamlaka al-Maġribiyya (المملكة المغربية) translates to “The Western Kingdom”
- The English name “Morocco” originates from Spanish “Marruecos” or the Portuguese “Marrocos”, from medieval Latin “Morroch”, which referred to the name of the former Almoravid and Almohad capital, Marrakesh
Thank you Wikipedia
There were so many interesting recipes out there. It was hard to choose. Especially when Dorie’s new book came in and there were some Moroccan recipes (with a French flair) in there. In the end I prepared a complete meal –
a Tagine of Chicken with Peas and Potatoes, Curried Veggie Couscous and Batbout.
A tajine is a braised slow-cooked stew common to North Africa. It is named for the pot in which it is usually cooked with a knobbed handle which allows the lid to be lifted without a pot holder or burning the hand.
They are not easy to find here in the deep south – I think I have seen one at an outlet store – so I used my slowcooker instead. Same result but not as neat to use.
This tajine is a basic stew with plenty of spices, herbs, and vegetables. I found the recipe from Christine Benlafquih. I made very few changes to her recipe. I left out the white pepper (didn’t have) and the cilantro (same reason). I am so glad I had purchased some Tumeric at our local Mid-eastern market a few months ago. And thanks to my Foodie Exchange pal – Rossela from Italy – for the crumbled saffron. While the recipe calls for cooking the tajine for about 2 hours I slow cooked mine for about 4 hours until the chicken was tender. Perfect!!
I left the couscous rather plain so as not to distract from the Tajine but did cook it in chicken broth with some garlic, dehydrated carrots, parsley, onions, and a little curry seasoning. According to Christine the tajine should be scooped up with bread, so I made some Moroccan pita – atbout – also from Christine.
This is the first pita bread that has actually worked for me.
Morocco was a wonderful culinary destination. Visit the Round-up after the first for more exciting dishes from North Africa.