Rich in flavor and taste, Moroccan cuisine is one of the most renowned in the world. The diversity of its dishes is matched by its influences: Arab, Berber, Jewish and African. When you visit Morocco, make sure to go to local restaurants and Riads in the highlights of Morocco.
While there are some dishes very specific to the regions you will visit, here are some famous Moroccan specialties that you should try while visiting Morocco :
1 – Couscous
Probably the most popular dish with tagine, it is certainly the one that comes first to mind when discussing Moroccan gastronomy. Traditionally served on Friday noon, it is now eaten indiscriminately every day of the week. Of Berber origin, the traditional version consists of beef and chicken with multitude of vegetables and legumes (zucchini, turnips, beans, lentils, peas) and of course, wheat semolina. Moroccans eat it straight from the dish and share it with everyone.
2 – Tagine
The tagine is a typical Moroccan dish whose origins are also Berber. It is said that the best tagines are still savored today in Berber territory. There are an endless number of tagine recipes, each more tasty than the next: Chicken tagine with vegetables, saffron or prunes, vegetable tagines with chickpeas, sardine tagines, sheep tagines with onions and chickpeas. etc… Almost a different recipe for each day of the year.
3 – Pastilla
The pastilla is from Fez and served usually during receptions. The traditional version is made from pigeon, but there are again several variations. It can be sweet or savory, the latter version being the most common. This is a puff pastry cake, made with pastry sheets and stuffed with pigeon or chicken mince, before being sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. There are also fish pastillas, others with seafood.
4 – Tanjia
Tanjia is a typical dish in Marrakech: to go there without tasting this iconic dish would be heresy. While they say it was created by workers who, not having time to go home to eat, took all the ingredients they found, meats, spices, vegetables, put them in a jar that they then left to heat overnight. Today, it is a dish of meats and spices cooked for long hours in an earthenware jar and served in many restaurants in Marrakech.
5 – Beef with prunes
The meat is cooked until buttery tender with saffron, ginger, and onions, then topped with prunes that have been poached in syrup with cinnamon and honey. Crunchy fried almonds serve as a garnish.
6 – Meatball tagine with poached eggs
One of the fasted tagine to make and it’s sure very tasty. It’s ground beef or lamb (kefta) with cumin, paprika, and herbs. Tomato sauce cooked with a lot of oignons then some eggs put on top.
7 – Madfouna
Traditionally baked in the sands of the Sahara, Moroccan madfouna is locally called Berber pizza and it is sliced into pieces to be shared among many. It’s filled with oignons and some everyday spices with beef. When booking your desert trip, make sure to have this speciality of the area.
8 – Rfissa
It is one of the dishes you can hardy find it in a restaurant menu. We can definitely make sure you taste it if you want when you visit Morocco by ordering it in advance. It’s a spectacular presentation of stewed chicken and lentils fragrantly seasoned with fenugreek, saffron, and ras el hanout. Rfissa is a special dish that is typically made around the time a women has a baby as it’s strengthen her body.
9 – Harira
It is a traditional Moroccan soup, always appreciated by Moroccans to break the fast of Ramadan. Of Andalusian origin, it is made with tomatoes, meat, onions and pulses. It is served with hard-boiled eggs, honey pancakes or Moroccan pastries.
10 – La Chebakia
Chebakia is the flagship pastry of Ramadan. The dough, made with wheat flour, eggs, orange blossom, anise and almond water, is fried in vegetable oil, then covered with honey and sesame seeds.
11 – Kaab el Ghazal
One of the most famous Moroccan pastries of these is arguably the gazelle horn. Made from crushed almonds coated with a fine shortbread flavored with orange blossom water, it goes perfectly with the mint tea ritual.
12 – Ghribia
It is a traditional Moroccan pastry whose recipe is inspired by mantecados, an Andalusian cake made from pork fat. The Moroccan Ghribia does not include it of course but replaced by vegetable oil, and today it is a cake that is served at engagements, weddings or family celebrations.
13 – Moroccan mint tea
We cannot talk about Moroccan specialties without the traditional mint tea. Served at the end of a good Moroccan meal, it is also the drink of hospitality, one of those that cannot be refused. Based on green tea, sugar and mint. In some areas, ingredients such as sage, verbena, cinnamon or orange blossom water may be added. It goes perfectly with Moroccan pastries, but can also be taken at any time of the day.
We would love to help you plan your trip to Morocco and organize a food tour. Contact us today to help build an itinerary that meets your needs and goes beyond your expectations.