Morocco is known to be one of the top tourist destinations in the world with rich and vibrant traditions and culture, and beautiful landscape of mountain ranges and arid deserts. In addition to its beauty, the North African country is known to have one of the greatest cuisines in the world, full of intriguing spices and flavour.
A tagine is a North African Berber dish that is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. A tagine is the clay cooking pot with a conical lid that gives its name to a myriad of dishes. Tajine dishes are slow-cooked savory stews, typically made with sliced meat, poultry or fish together with vegetables or fruit. Spices, nuts, and dried fruits are also used. Common spices include ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron. Paprika and chili are used in vegetable tajine. Tajines are generally served with bread.
Harira is a soup rich with tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas and lamb, finished off with a squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped coriander, and then served with a sticky sweet pretzel called chebakkiya. During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims in Morocco usually break their fast with a bowl of harira soup.
Couscous is a traditional Berber dish of semolina or fine wheat pasta cooked by steaming. It is traditionally served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it. To serve, the meat is covered by a pyramid of couscous, the vegetables are pressed into the sides and the sauce served separately. It is often garnished with a sweet raisin preserve, or in the Berber tradition, with a bowl of buttermilk.
Being one of the richest fish territories in the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, Morocco consists many popular fishing spots and boasts a rich array of fish dishes. The fish chermoula is a popular dish in Morocco, which is a combination of herbs and spices used as a marinade before grilling over coals, and as a dipping sauce.
One of the most popular and favored teas, especially in the Arab world, is the Moroccan tea, which is also known as Maghrebi tea as it is traditional to the Greater Maghreb region. It’s mint green tea prepared with spearmint leaves and sugar. It is served in a tradition Moroccan teapot with few sprigs of spearmint and poured into a tea glass from a height to create a froth called the crown.
A very special pie in Morocco, the b’stilla is layers of a paper-thin pastry coddle a blend of pigeon meat, almonds and eggs spiced with saffron, cinnamon and fresh coriander, finished with icing sugar and cinnamon.
Marhaba Picks: Moroccan restaurants to try in Doha (in no particular order):
- Tangia Restaurant, Wyndham Grand Regency Doha | 4434 3333
- Tajine Restaurant, Souq Waqif | 44355554
- Argan, Al Jasra Boutique Hotel, Souq Waqif | 4433 6888
- Marrakech Restaurant, Lagoona Mall | 4433 5555
Source: BBC Good Food
Author: Ola Diab
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