Archive for the ‘Moroccan Recipes’ Category

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Ingredients:

For the Bread:

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

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A simple Pastilla recipe – Traditional Moroccan Pastilla Made Easy

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

You may have heard of it but what is it? As our article ‘What is Pastilla?’ explains, a Pastilla is a sweet and savoury Moroccan pie, most commonly filled with pigeon meat, dusted with icing sugar.

If you can’t get hold off pigeon you can substitute with chicken. There are also dessert versions. Here’s a simple Pastilla recipe for the most popular version of this traditional Moroccan dish, for the perfect pastilla. Ingredients

•             2 tbsp vegetable oil

•             6 onions, chopped (more…)

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.

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Moroccan Cuisine

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

One of the most sensual in the world, Moroccan food attracts our senses of smell, sight and taste in a way that few other cuisines can better, due largely to the use of characteristic Moroccan spices.

But while spices characterise the essence of Moroccan cuisine its diversity is explained largely by the disparate nature of Berber, Arab, Mediterranean and Moorish influences.

Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food. Although spices have been imported to Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients, like saffron from Tiliouine, mint and olives from Meknes and oranges and lemons from Fez, are home-grown.

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Easy and Authentic Recipe for Moroccan Lamb Tagine

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

This simple tagine recipe for the classic Moroccan lamb dish is so straightforward that one is virtually guaranteed a perfect result every time. Indeed, the hardest part of this whole recipe is probably getting all the ingredients together!


There are just six simple steps to tagine heaven!

Ingredients

1 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp ground black pepper, 1½ tbsp paprika, 1½ tbsp. ground ginger, 1 tbsp turmeric, 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 x shoulder of lamb, trimmed and cut into 5cm/2in chunks (about 1.1kg/2½lb meat in total), 2 large grated onions, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp argan oil, 3 crushed garlic cloves, 570ml/1 pint tomato juice, 2 400g tinned chopped tomatoes, 115g/4oz dried apricots cut in half, 55g/2oz dates cut in half, 55g/2oz sultanas or raisins, 85g/3oz flaked almonds, 1 tsp saffron stamens soaked in cold water, 600ml/1 pint stock (preferably lamb), 1 tbsp clear honey, 2 tbsp coriander (roughly chopped), 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley (roughly chopped).

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New Menu – French Cuisine and Moroccan Flavours

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Since the day it opened in 2007, Le Jasmin, the restaurant of Les Borjs de la Kasbah, has taken pride in the quality of its cuisine.

However, following employment earlier this year of a top consultant chef from France, gourmet visitors to Les Borjs de la Kasbah will now be treated to an even more memorable dining experience thanks to a new menu featuring French cuisine with distinctive Moroccan overtones, as well as a separate selection of classic local dishes.

Smoked Atlas trout

Smoked Atlas trout

In February we invited Olivier Pichot, former head chef at the Trianon, Paris (where he obtained 2 Michelin stars before handing over the reins to a certain Gordon Ramsay), to have a look at every aspect of catering at Les Borjs de la Kasbah and to make recommendations.

Over a three month period the entire restaurant operation was assessed and a programme of additional training implemented including, not least, the techniques required to produce and serve a number of exciting new dishes, both French and Moroccan.

Salad of gambas prawns

Salad of gambas prawns

The main aim behind the review of dining at Les Borjs was not only to raise the bar a little by presenting a number of new, light and refined dishes, including certain French classics, but to imbue them with the unmistakeable influences of Moroccan herbs and spices.

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3 Top Tagine’s – The best of Marrakech cuisine

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Les Borjs de la Kasbah, one of the best character hotels in Marrakech, has compiled the best recipes for Tagine, the quintessentially Moroccan dish.

Bursting with aromatic spices and flavour, a meat tagine is an exotically spiced, slow cooked casserole, as tender as you can get, its simplicity producing perfect results every time. BK’s popular courses in Moroccan cuisine can help you to become a Marrakech masterchef!

tagine-marrakech-5star-hotel

Jamie Oliver’s beef tagine

We don’t know how much experience of Marrakech Essex boy Jamie Oliver has, but he can rustle up a mean beef Tagine. He describes a Tagine as a “stew with attitude”, this one certainly is. Jamie’s easy steps will ensure you can produce something really special too.

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