Archive for the ‘Cookery Courses In Marrakech’ Category

Ras El Hanout – recipe for the finest of Moroccan spice blends

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Used mainly by Moroccans in elaborate, celebratory dishes, the aromatic, complex spice blend known as Rass, or Ras El Hanout (literally translated as ‘head, or top, of the shop’), is prepared by grinding together two dozen or more whole spices and dried leaves/roots .

Ingredients of Ras El Hanout recipe

Every shop and spice merchant has his own ‘secret’ recipe for this delightful blend but, as a rule, it will contain a mix of:

  • Cardamom, Clove and Cinnamon
  • Coriander, Cumin and Paprika (sweet and/or hot)
  • Mace and Nutmeg
  • Peppercorn and Turmeric

Other, more exotic ingredients often added by spice sellers include: (more…)

M’rouzia recipe, a spicy-sweet Moroccan lamb tajine

Friday, August 21st, 2015

The M’rouzia is a delicious Moroccan tagine combining lamb, raisins, honey and almonds and a selection of herbs and spices, including Ras El Hanout, to make a deliciously sweet and spicy dish. Here is a M’rouzia recipe for serving six people:


  • About 3 lbs (1½ kg) lamb (neck, shanks or shoulder) cut into pieces of 3″ square
  • Ras El Hanout, 2 tsp (teaspoons)
  • Ground ginger, 2 tsp
  • Salt, 1 ½ tsp
  • Pepper, 1 tsp
  • Turmeric, ½ tsp
  • Crumbled saffron threads, ½ tsp


Themed Break Bargains in Marrakech

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

While enjoying a short sunny break in Marrakech there are many activities you can indulge in, from golf to trekking in the Atlas Mountains and shopping in the souks. But there are many other options for getting the most out of that precious weekend away.

At Les Borjs de la Kasbah, for example, in the Marrakech medina, one can join a cookery class on Moroccan cuisine, enjoy a series of spa treatments including the traditional hammam bath, or visit Marrakech and its surroundings with a series of excursions.

There is even a Romance package with champagne, flowers and more for that special occasion.

The big difference at Les Borjs, however, is that these themed activities are included – i.e. there is no charge at all beyond the cost of a room!


How to make couscous the traditional way

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

How to make couscous the traditional way – The Couscoussier, a vital Utensil in Traditional Moroccan Cooking.

Many recipes for Moroccan dishes involve the preparation of couscous or vegetables in couscoussiers. Prepared in the traditional manner it is a time consuming process! Here is a brief explanation of this cooking utensil and how to make couscous the traditional way.

The Couscoussier 

Traditionally in ceramic or metal (aluminium, copper or steel), couscoussiers comprise two interlocking pots. The larger bottom pot is used to cook broths, stews or soups (although it is also common to fill it with water for use as a steamer) while the smaller upper pot has a perforated base with a lid. Placed on top of the larger pot it is used to steam couscous or vegetables.

Steaming Couscous

Traditionally, couscous is steamed over stews etc, simmering away in the lower part of a couscoussier. The steaming process typically involves two or three stages.

Stage 1 – the first stage of steaming couscous involves dampening it by placing it into a bowl, sprinkling it with slightly salted water and/ or oil and evenly mixing the grains with hands that have first been rubbed in oil, breaking up any lumps that may have formed.


Marrakech recipe – ‘Gazelle Horns’, a tasty Moroccan patisserie

Monday, March 17th, 2014

While Moroccan meals typically conclude with a helping of fresh fruit (figs, dates, oranges with cinnamon), or just a mint tea, the most common dessert is a selection of classic Moroccan patisseries, notable among them being Kaab el Ghazal, or gazelle horns. Flavoured with cinnamon and orange blossom water, they consist of a scented almond paste wrapped in delicate pastry, moulded into a crescent shape and baked until just golden. Here is the recipe.

Making Almond Paste

To make these delicious little sweetmeats, you need first to create the almond paste. For this, you will need the following ingredients (enough to make 50 ‘gazelle horns’).

  • 500 g (1 lb) skinned, blanched almonds
  • 275 g (1 1/3 cups) sugar
  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) orange blossom water
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) melted, unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Gum Arabic or mastic powder (optional)

Grind the almonds in a food processor for about five minutes and then mould the resulting mix into a paste. Using your fingers to mix them thoroughly, add the remaining ingredients into the paste, adding extra cinnamon, sugar and/or orange flower water to produce the desired flavour. Shape small portions of this paste into sticks, each roughly the size of the little finger; cover and place them into the fridge.


Learn to cook in Marrakech

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Marrakech is renowned for its tasty food – terrific tagines, beautiful briwats, fabulous faqqas… traditional breads, Atlantic and Mediterranean fish, locally produced fruit and spices galore!

Growing in popularity are cookery courses inspired by a desire on the part of many tourists to learn about Moroccan culinary specialities and how to prepare them. Half day cookery workshops, perfect for time sensitive travellers, aim to introduce novices and even professionals to the secrets of Moroccan cuisine and, above all, to the role in it of local spices. Les Borjs de la Kasbah has been running courses for several years now with conspicuous success.

Residents at the hotel may choose to attend between one and three sessions over several days learning, usually from the chef himself, how to prepare a traditional three-course Moroccan meal from a list of options.

A typical meal might include, for example, a starter selection of Moroccan salads or harira chickpea soup, a main course of chicken tagine with preserved lemons or seven-vegetable couscous and, for dessert, a milk pastilla or orange salad with cinnamon.


Perfect couscous – Marrakech style! How to make perfect couscous

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Couscous is a versatile staple of Moroccan cuisine. It comes in two forms, the standard ‘as-nature-intended’ version or pre-steamed, although the latter, despite being easy and quick to make, tends to lose some of its flavour in the process. Here’s how to make perfect couscous, Marrakech style.

To make this dish one really needs a couscoussier, a perforated steamer, although a fine colander may suffice.

1)      Moisten the couscous by adding ½ cup of water to 3 cups of medium grain couscous. Leave the couscous to absorb the water for 10 minutes.

2)      Repeat this process. Each grain should now be swollen and you should be able to pass each through your fingers without lumps!

3)      Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the couscous.

4)      Bring a pan of water to the boil and steam the couscous on medium heat for 20 minutes.


How to make Marrakech Stuffed Flatbreads (Khobz Bishemar)

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Bread, in some form or other, is served with most meals in Morocco. In Marrakech, as everywhere else in the country, it is normal to prepare bread at home each morning and then have it baked in the traditional manner at one of many communal ovens in the neighbourhood.

One particularly tasty type of speciality bread made in Morocco and other North African countries is Khobz Bishemar, a wholewheat flatbread made with a blend of spices and herbs and filled with beef suet and onions.

Here is a simple and delicious recipe for it which you might wish to try.


For the Bread:

  • 1 packet active dried yeast
  • 60ml lukewarm water
  • 280g unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp salt


What is Pastilla?

Monday, May 14th, 2012

What is Pastilla? A sweet and savoury meat pie made with crisp filo pastry, a Pastilla is a traditional Moroccan dish, usually made with squab (young pigeon).

As squabs can sometimes be hard to come by there are several variations on the Pastilla theme, most commonly shredded chicken and, occasionally, fish or offal. The filling also contains onions, hard boiled eggs and almonds spiced with cinnamon.

Pastilla (pronounced ‘bastiyya’ or, in Berber, ‘bastela’), is generally served as an entrée at the beginning of a special meal. The filling is prepared a day ahead and is made by browning the meat pieces in oil.


7 Unusual Activities around Marrakech

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Marrakech is justly renowned for the colourful animation of its feudal main square, Jemaa el Fna, and never ending labyrinth of its souks. But there’s plenty more to the city and its surroundings to attract the tourist visitor. So here are our suggestions for the top 7 alternative attractions in and around Marrakech.

* Get high in Marrakech. African Sky has been operating for 21 years now and its hot air balloons are perhaps the best way to admire the city and High Atlas landscapes. One can book direct on +212 524 43 28 43 or via Les Borjs de la Kasbah.

* For the ‘kids’. Ludiparc is a recreational haven for youngsters with a series of indoor and outdoor water features. Over 55 species of birds can also be found here, some flying free. Pedal boats and playgrounds make this a ‘must visit’ if you have children with you. The best bit? Adults go free!