Kous Kous invites you to spend your Valentine's Day lounging, laughing, and eating with us in our romantic, warm atmosphere. Treat your date to this prix fixe offering for the perfect night out, and one that you two won't soon forget!
Choose from two deliciously designed dinners for your date: Option 1: Moroccan feast. $39.95/guest
Moroccan phyllo pastry with saffron chicken, rose water, and honey-glazed almonds
Roasted Eggplant flavored with cumin, olive oil and lemon preserve
Lentil and white bean salad with Moroccan vinaigrette
Roasted tomato and marinated bell pepper
Mains - All Served Family-Style
Mary’s Free-range Chicken braised in garlic, ginger and saffron sauce, olives and preserved lemons
Berber lamb Tagine
Pasture-raised Strauss lamb shank, saffron, cumin, preserved lemons
Seasonal veggies, caramelized raisins and garbanzo beans.
Fresh-baked Moroccan Bread
Orange Blossom Vanilla Bean Custard
With toasted almonds and dates, paired with honey-glazed strawberries
Option 2: Surf & Turf Feast. $49.95/Guest
Moroccan phyllo pastry with saffron chicken, rose water, and honey-glazed almonds
Lentil and white bean salad with Moroccan vinaigrette
Spicy Shrimp Tagine
Tomato sharmoula sauce.
Tomato & Cucumber Moroccan Salad
Feta cheese, cumin, lemon juice, and extra-virgin olive oil
Fish of the day Tagine
Roasted veggies and sharmoula ragout
Chargrilled lamb chops with ginger garlic mashed potatoes and cinnamon almond yogurt sauce
Seasonal veggies, caramelized raisins and garbanzo beans
Fresh-baked Moroccan Bread
Orange Blossom Vanilla Bean Custard
With toasted almonds and dates, paired with honey-glazed strawberries
Click here to make a reservation!
Can you believe summer is almost over? Now is the perfect time to book a last-minute trip to end the season with a bang!
San Diego is often overlooked in favor of other big California cities like L.A. and San Francisco, but San Diego has hundreds of fantastic attractions. But where should you go? Well, you can never go wrong with a trip to California. If you want a relaxed city that everyone will enjoy, consider San Diego.
With smaller crowds and lower prices, it's the perfect place for a family vacation. There are also so many entertainment options that it can be hard to choose the best things to do in San Diego.
Do you want some inspiration?
Keep reading to discover the four things you have to do when visiting San Diego.
1. Give Surfing a Shot
It's no secret that a beach getaway makes a great family vacation -who doesn't love the warm sand and splashing waves? That's why hitting the beach is a must do in San Diego for everyone.
If you're a thrill seeker, you can take your day at the beach to the next level. San Diego is home to some excellent surfing conditions. Book an afternoon lesson to learn the basics of surfing and give it a go -it's an adventure you'll never forget.
2. Eat All the Food
It may be tempting to pack your itinerary full of all the fun things to do in San Diego. But don't forget to leave room for eating! San Diego has some fantastic restaurants, and meals might be the highlight of your day.
If you're looking for something unique, try the authentic dishes at Kous Kous Moroccan Bistro. The food is so good you'll swear you're in Morocco!
If you're pinched for time, skip the chain fast food restaurants and hit a food truck instead. You'll get healthier and more delicious food at an affordable price. Plus, you'll get another chance to experience the local food that makes San Diego so great.
3. See Some Animals
Do you never pass up an opportunity to see your favorite animals? Then you're in luck! Some of the best things to do in San Diego involve adorable critters.
Of course, no vacation would be complete without exploring the bar scene. Amp yourself up for a night of fun by going on a beer tasting tour beforehand.
There are many breweries to choose from, and you'll get to sample some of the best beers San Diego has to offer. If you want to try something different, see if you can find some traditional Moroccan drinks. It'll give you the chance to experience a different culture right here in America.
The Best Things to Do in San Diego
If you're planning a trip to California, you may want to visit a few different cities. But don't forget to include San Diego on your itinerary! Follow our guide on the best things to do in San Diego to ensure you have a trip you'll never forget!
Did you like what you read? Check out our blog for more great content like this.
In Morocco, a meal is more than sustenance. It is an instance of a beautiful marriage between conversation and expertly prepared food. It is the history of a country steeped within a recipe, handed down through generations, and laid out on a table in the most gracious of manners.
Meals are often set in lavishly decorated, comfortable dining rooms which help set the mood for an extended visit with family and friends. Food is served family style so that diners can share food from the communal plate. This intimate setting helps encourage rich conversation.
Traditionally, rather than using utensils, your hands are used. It is proper etiquette to eat with your right hand, using your thumb and first two fingers only. The left side is primarily used for passing plates to others and picking up bread. While dining with us at Kous Kous, we welcome you to try this technique, but we do offer utensils to those less inclined.
A unique geographical placement lends Moroccan cuisine a diversity of influences including everyone from the French to the Arabs. A typical Moroccan meal starts with hot and cold salads and will then move to a meat entrée, such as our Beef Tagine, with side dishes like couscous or saffron rice. Moroccan fresh-baked bread is a staple to mealtime and is often used in place of utensils.
With such a vast demographic of flavors from spices and fresh ingredients used in its cuisine, you would, of course, need beverages to match. Mint tea is a national mainstay, fresh fruit juices are very popular, and despite Morocco being predominantly Muslim, there are amazing alcoholic drinks as well. From the French and Spanish influence, there are lovely red wines. Fig and Anise Liqueur is another popular option, as is beer.
Please feel free to contact us for more information on our menu, questions, or for reservations.
M'qualli is a Moroccan word that loosely translates to our word "fried."It is the most common method of cooking Moroccan foods, and it applies not only to a cooking method but also to some of the food's characteristics.
The unique cooking method is used for both special occasions like weddings, as well as for everyday meals, although the sauce may be thinner for daily meals.
Here in the U.S., we think of frying as a quick cooking method which imparts a crispy texture to foods like chicken or fries. In Morocco, it's more akin to a long sauteing process, wherein the food is infused in broth or sauce and then seared toward the end of cooking to lock in all of the juicy goodness.
There are two chief spices which define M'qualli, and those are saffron and ginger. Turmeric is also typically included and is mainly responsible for giving M'qualli foods their distinctive yellow hue. Then, depending on the dish, other flavorings such as garlic and onions, parsley and cilantro will be added, along with olive oil or a mixture of olive and vegetable oils. In other cases, the cook will use less savory flavorings and instead focus on the sweeter taste of cinnamon.
The Special Sauce
McDonalds' fast food restaurants famously coined the phrase "special sauce," referring to the sauce used for its "Big Macs," but all kidding aside, there is a special sauce that makes M'qualli cooking stand out, and it's known as Daghmira.
A sauce made primarily with onions becomes oily as it separates and becomes "waqfa" or "set." The sauce can then be used to further saute meats for special occasions or thinned down to create "marqa," a runny sauce that Moroccans love to use as a dip for their bread during a meal at home.
Making a good Daghmira is an art unto itself, and although it requires patience, the reward is a sauce that's so richly flavored that it's said that if given a choice between the meat or the sauce—but not both—most would choose the sauce. It's that delicious!
Meat in M'qualli
Chicken is the first meat that comes to mind, thanks to the famous Moroccan chicken dish with olives and preserved lemons, but other types of meats are used as well, including lamb, veal, beef, goat, rabbit and even fish.
Daghmira lends its rich flavors to many dishes thanks to its slow cooking which concentrates its delicious flavors! It's also one of the primary sauces used in Tagine --the famous (and varied) Moroccan stew (and the pot it's cooked in!).
M'qualli is One of Four Basic Styles of Moroccan Cooking
M'qualli is one of the four quintessential types of Moroccan cooking, and as Nada Kiffa for Taste of Maroc puts it, "Once you've mastered its logic and it's meaning, you will own the key to dozens of Moroccan dishes."
For countless others, however, you'll also need to study and practice the other three.
Qadra - A delicate style of cooking famous in cities such as Fez, Meknes, Marrakech, and Rabat.
M'hammar - A style of sauteing or oven roasting known for its distinctive red color and often reserved for special occasions.
Mchermel - A style that requires marinating the main ingredient --whether it's meat, fish or vegetables and then using the remaining marinade as a cooking sauce as well.
But M'qualli is a great place to begin if you're starting to explore Moroccan cuisine, and you can experience some of the very best M'qualli-style dishes at Kous Kous Moroccan Bistro and Lounge in San Diego, California!
What's a tasty dish without an accompanying dip? We know not every meal needs a sauce, but we know that those that do give us an elevated dining experience. Whether you're making Italian, French, or Thai, sauces add sensuality, flavor, and complexity.
Every type of different cuisine has their own set of spices and sauces they are known for, and Moroccan is no different.
Here are 5 Moroccan Condiment You Need to Try: 1. Chermoula Sauce
Chermoula sauce is a combination of chiles, garlic, onions, cumin, and olive oil and can't be classified as just one thing. This sauce is excellent to use as a salad dressing to spice up a light lunch or to use as a marinade for fish and meat.
If you decide to use it as a marinade, it pairs better with fish but will work with other meats too. Just rub the chermoula on the surface of the meat and leave to marinate for 30-60 minutes before roasting. Want some extra flavor? Stuff some inside the protein, too.
To use as a salad dressing, we recommend adding more oil along with two tablespoons of white wine. Heat in a pan for a few minutes and enjoy. Other ways to incorporate this sauce in your meals is by stirring it into rice, mix with sour cream and spread on a baked potato, or use it as a garnish.
No matter how you decide to use this sauce, the heat and flavor will leave you wanting more.
2. Tahini Sauce
Originally a condiment of eastern Mediterranean cuisine, Tahini sauce worked its way into Moroccan food and has made quite an impact. Though it isn't traditionally from Morroco, tahini is often served and made in Moroccan dishes.
Tahini is a creamy, brownish paste made from toasted sesame seeds and is typically served with pita bread as a dipping sauce with drizzled olive oil on top. It can also be used as a condiment for lamb and other protein. If you want to try it with something different, use it as a topping for sandwiches, wraps, or as an appetizer with salads.
3. Harissa Sauce
Harissa sauce is a heated sauce which is a primary flavoring agent in Tunisian cuisine. Despite it sitting on the hotter side, it is easy to add to a variety of dishes.
Use it as a condiment for grilled fish or meat, top roasted vegetables with it, or stir it into soups and stews. Add it to a Moroccan dish of couscous or rice. Though it is meant to stay hot, if you need to adjust the heat you can do so by reducing or increasing the number of chiles you add.
4. Spicy Moroccan Tomato Sauce
Did you know other types of cuisine have recipes for tomato sauce? It looks like Italy didn't monopolize it after all!
This spicy Moroccan tomato sauce can be served cold or warm adding uniqueness to the recipe. It pairs best with chicken or as a dipping sauce. Side dishes or mixing it with couscous are other great options when eating this tomato sauce.
5. Yogurt-Lemon Sauce
Typical Moroccan dishes are hot and spicy, but this yogurt-lemon sauce cools down the tongue and goes well with a range of dishes. Make it with chicken and harissa sauce and watch as the lemon enhances the flavor.
Top 5 Moroccan Sauces to Try
There are so many Moroccan dishes to try. Adding traditional Moroccan sauces make that experience for your taste buds more exciting and sumptuous.
Check out some of our other blog posts to learn more about Moroccan recipes. Want to try traditional and well-made Moroccan food? Come to the restaurant! We are open every day from 4pm-10pm. Check out our menu to get your stomach growling.
The Kingdom of Morocco is a country nestled in western North Africa. Bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the country is influenced by Arab, Berber, African, European culture.
Morocco is known for its fantastic cuisine, which uses flavorful spices and features couscous, bread, and mint tea (the national drink of Morocco).
If you haven't already tried Moroccan cuisine, you should find a Moroccan restaurant near you to find out what the well-deserved hype is all about.
If you want to start your day right, keep reading for amazing meal options for a traditional Moroccan breakfast.
What does a Traditional Moroccan Breakfast Include?
Before we get into some tasty Moroccan breakfast dishes, we need the essential meal complements.
Moroccan breakfasts always feature bread (khobz), which is often used to scoop food and spreads instead of utensils. Bread is often complemented with jams, chutneys, olive oil, or butter.
For beverages to complement breakfast, Moroccans often drink sweet, mint tea or fresh orange juice.
So grab some bread, mint tea, or orange juice, and let's explore some traditional Moroccan breakfast ideas.
Enjoy These Mouthwatering Moroccan Breakfasts
Here, we'll share five amazing Moroccan breakfast dishes. You can either find recipes for these or be sure to scope them out on a menu at your local Moroccan restaurant.
Harcha is a pan-fried semolina flatbread, which has the texture of cornbread. These flatbreads are often served with sweet jams, chutneys, soft cheeses,and even honey. You typically break off a large piece to dip into a spread or soft cheese.
2. Khlea and Eggs
Khlea, or khlii, is a type of dried meat. When eaten for breakfast, it is often paired with fried eggs and complemented with other traditional staples, such as bread and mint tea.
3. Khobz b'Chehma
Khobz b'Chehma is a stuffed bread that is heartily filled with beef or lamb, onions, parsley, and a myriad of spices. The bread is then pan-fried to perfection.
Beghrir is Moroccan pancake and is a staple among Moroccan families. These Moroccan pancakes are made from semolina flour and are usually served warm, covered in a syrup consisting of melted butter and honey.
The pancakes have a lot of air pockets and bubbles in the top, which give them a light and airy texture. This phenomenon arises when yeast is added to the batter, causing the bubbles to form and break along the surface of the pancakes.
Sfenj is a type of deep-fried batter, similar to a churro or fritter. Moroccan families typically purchase sfenj from a local vendor early in the mornings. These fried fritters are eaten while still hot, and can be eaten first for breakfast or later in the afternoon during tea time.
Because they're often plentiful among Moroccan vendors, families usually do not make sfenj at home. If you want to try to make some yourself, you'll need to anticipatea lengthy rising period for the batter.
A delicious Moroccan breakfast is a great way to start your day and will give you an insight into the delicious cuisine the Moroccan culture offers.
For more insight into Moroccan culture, dining, and other meals you have to try, explore our blog.
Looking to spice up your cuisine and dig into Moroccan foods? If you fancy trying your hand at Moroccan food, then you've better stock up on these essential spices and herbs! You'll need to gather a few things first, and we're here to help you make your choices in the herb aisle.
One of the most critical factors in nailing foreign cuisine is having the right herbs and spices. It is true for Moroccan food as well. Moroccan cuisine has Mediterranean, European, and Arabic influences, making it wildly delicious and exciting to cook and eat.
So, if you're interested in taking your taste buds on a ride, stock up on the following herbs and spices for your Moroccan dish.
Herbs and Spices Needed for Moroccan Food
The list of common Moroccan spices is pretty extensive, so we'll be covering only the most essential ones in this article.
Ras el Hanout
This spice is native to Northern Africa and means "top of the shelf" in Arabic. It is used in some savory dishes and doesn't have one definitive recipe. The makeup of each store, restaurant, or shop's Ras el Hanout is a combination of the best spices that they have to offer.
There are typically over twelve spices, with proportions decided on by the person making it. The ingredients generally are cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, dry ginger, chili peppers, and many other spices that are typically natural to the region.
A very subtle, fragrant spice, saffron is a little sweet but most challenging to describe. It's one of those things that's hard to talk about but easy to identify. It is also costly, coming in at around ten dollars a gram.
It is because the flower yields very little, and it only blooms for one week out of the year. This makes it both rare and scarce, two things that will always jack up the price of a product. Most saffron in the United States is imported, as it is typically harvested in Greece, Morocco, and India.
The distinct flavor of preserved lemons is standard in many dishes from Morocco. Because they are not extremely common in the United States, you may have to preserve your lemons. This requires that you have lemons and kosher salt.
It takes a long time to preserve lemons, though, so make sure that you have around a month to let them cure before you dig in.
Unhulled sesame seeds are extremely common as garnishes in Moroccan dishes. They provide a texture to bread and many other baked goods in the region. Two common Moroccan dishes, sellou, and ghoribas are typically served with sesame seeds.
Explore Moroccan Dishes
There is a wealth of great Moroccan dishes that you can quickly make in your home. All you need to do is find a recipe, go to the store, and get on your way with the dish.
We have a lot of information on Moroccan cuisine, recipes, culture, and more. If you're interested in exploring Moroccan food in your own home, we have everything you need.
One of the unexpected pleasures of Moroccan cuisine is the Mezze table, a course of richly colored, vibrant, sumptuous salads and tasty bites before the main meal. For those not familiar with this custom, the Mezze course is so luxurious that you might think it's the main meal. If you don't have a plan, you'll fill up on Mezze and be surprised—and full—when the next course arrives.
In a Moroccan household, there is always something beautiful and delicious to eat and a glass of tea with fresh mint, even if you drop in unexpectedly. If the Mezze course is gorgeous, you can trust the remaining entrees will be as well. Here's a plan for approaching the Mezze: if you want to try everything, just take one piece or a small bite of each item.
The variety is an asset if you're planning a party! Your Moroccan-style Mezze table will carry the party all by itself without additional courses. Plan your items, so they're easy for your guests to take while they're moving around a room. Refill trays periodically or add newitems to liven things through the event.
This is a chance for a delicious and creative spread. Choose any colorful vegetable and make a great salad out of it. Moroccan seasonings include olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, ginger, garlic, cumin, turmeric, paprika (or hot paprika), coriander, cilantro, salt, of course, and more.
Here are three examples of salads you can prepare: SPICY OLIVE SALAD
Ingredients Extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup Garlic, 5-6 cloves Tomato paste, one 6 oz. can Plum tomatoes, 6-8 petite diced (or one 32 oz. can petite diced) Lemon, 1/2 unpeeled Hot chili powder, two tsp. Szeged hot paprika, 1 TB Swad chili pepper (very hot), 1/2 tsp. Cilantro, 1/2 bunch/cup, chopped Mediterranean green pitted olives, two-and-a-half 19.5 oz. cans (drained)
Wash (but do not peel) and slice the lemon into thin slices, then quarter the slices. Set aside. Add extra virgin olive oil to a pan with a lid, then the garlic. Saute briefly, then add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings (not the cilantro). Stir the mixture, add the quartered lemon slices, and simmer covered until the lemon slices soften. When all the flavors are blended, the lemon slices are slightly softened, and the sauce is creamy and thick, add the drained olives. Serve as part of a Mezze on small plates or shallow bowls.
Ingredients Walnuts, 2 cups Pomegranate molasses, 4 TB Red Bell Peppers, four large, roasted Garlic, two cloves Extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup Pita crumbs, dried/toasted, 1/2 cup Cumin, two tsp. Crushed red pepper, two tsp. Tomato paste, 2 TB Salt, one tsp.
Roast the washed but unpeeled peppers in the oven until skins are lightly browned and will peel easily. Remove the peppers from the oven, cool, peel and set aside. Add garlic cloves to a food processor and process briefly. Then add homemade pita chips, enough to make about 1/2 cup of crumbs, and pulse until evenly crumbled. Add the peeled peppers, walnuts, extra virgin olive oil, pomegranate molasses, cumin, crushed red pepper, tomato paste, and salt. Pulse until all is relatively evenly chopped, then run until as smooth as you like it, stopping to scrape down the sides. Serve spread around a small dish or shallow bowl garnished with walnuts and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses.
Ingredients Eggplant, three large Salt, 1 TB Garlic, 3-4 cloves, minced Mediterranean pickles, 1-2, rough chopped Red onion, 1/4 sliced Cilantro, 1/2 bunch, chopped Moroccan Eggplant Sauce, 1 cup (see recipe below)
SAUCE Tomato paste, 6 oz. can Lemon, juice of 1 lemon Water, to 1-1/2 cups Sea salt, 1/2 tsp. Cumin, one tsp. Szeged hot paprika, one tsp.
You'll need to start this recipe a day ahead. Mix the sauce ingredients and refrigerate until you are ready to put the salad together. Cut the eggplant into thin slices, the quarter the slices. Layer into a large bowl with 1 TB salt. Cover the pot and refrigerate overnight. The next day, drain (and perhaps squeeze out additional moisture) the eggplant. Deep fry at 375 degreesuntil slices are slightly browned. Drain the fried eggplant, then add to a bowl. Fold in the remaining salad ingredients including the sauce very lightly. Do not mash.
A WORD ABOUT PITA
Here are a couple of ways to manage your pita so it will work nicely for your party. Use the thin Lebanese pita. Cut it into 2-4" squares or strips. Spread on a roasting tray and roast/toast in the oven at about 250 degrees until thoroughly dried, perhaps slightly browned but not much. These make great chips!
If you don't want your guests to dip, you can make little cups with the same pita. Use a cookie cutter to cut 3-4" rounds. Press the rounds into tiny muffin cups, and roast/toast until they are dried cups. Fill each cup with a spoonful from any of these recipes and arrange filled cups on trays for your Mezze table.
DON'T FORGET THE TEA!
Don't forget the glasses, hot water, tea bags and a bowl of beautiful fresh mint leaves for your guests to enjoy Moroccan-style tea! Enjoy your party.
Vegetarianism has been linked to a decreased risk of hypertension, obesity, and heart disease.
These health benefits are reason enough to start eating more vegetarian meals, but it can be hard to come up with various recipes to cook every night. But vegetarian Moroccan food is a great way to spice things up.
We've put together a list of the best recipes for you to try. Check it out to learn more about all the options you have.
5 Moroccan Food Vegetarian Recipes that Are Healthy and Delicious
Moroccan food is not only exciting and flavorful, but it also lends itself well to a vegetarian diet. Vegetarian Moroccan food showcases the most nutrient-rich ingredients in the culture's diet.
1. Moroccan Carrot Salad
Moroccan food is all about fresh, vibrant ingredients prepared simply and deliciously. The Moroccan carrot salad is the perfect representation of this philosophy.
Carrots are a fantastic source of Vitamin A and the garlic in the recipe can help lower blood pressure. This salad is also low in calories,which makes it the a an excellent dish wanting to cut down.
We recommend serving this salad with warm pita bread or with whole grain toast and a fried egg for a hearty breakfast.
2. Hearty Lentil Stew
Lentils are heavily nutrient-packed but are sometimes tricky to incorporate into your diet. Any vegetarian should use lentils because of their iron content and their ability to make any dish hearty and filling. Lentils also help maintain even blood sugar levels, which helps keep you feeling fuller longer.
Give lentil stew a try. It's completely vegan, and the warm, welcoming Moroccan spices such as cinnamon and coriander give this stew its unique taste. Cinnamon also has excellent anti-inflammatory properties which are beneficial to digestion and reducing joint pain.
Pair lentil stew with couscous or wild rice for an extra boost calories from whole grain.
3. Chickpea and Date Tagine
This next recipe combines one of the most classic Moroccan ingredients with one of the most classic Moroccan dishes. Chickpeas are found in almost all Moroccan cooking. They have a high-fiber content and are shown to help with weight loss.
The chickpea and date tagine packs a nutritious punch with the replacement of regular couscous with whole grain couscous. Dates add a distinctive fruity sweetness and texture to the tagine, which is common in Moroccan cuisine.
You can top off this tagine with a yogurt sauce or just serve it on its own for lunch or dinner.
4. Shakshouka with Eggplant
In America, we tend to associate eggs with breakfast and not with other meals. However, eggs are inexpensive and are actually considered a superfood. They're rich in B vitamins that contribute to better skin and hair.
Shakshouka with eggplant is a tasty farel that can be made for any meal. Shakshouka merely is eggs poached in a rich, satisfying tomato broth with Moroccan spices. As they cook the eggs absorb the flavors of the dish. Because this is a meal that is typically prepared in one pan, you also retain the full nutritional benefits of the vegetables.
Serve your shakshouka with leftover couscous or any of your favorite carb.
5. Beet Salad with Avocado
Citrus and fresh cilantro elevate the salad from a simple side dish to the star entree of a meal. Lemon and preserved lemon factor significantly into Moroccan cuisine, and its an excellent source of Vitamin C.
The beetroot salad with avocado has a variety of different textures and tastes with healthy fats. Relatively simple to cook, this recipe has a balance of flavors that makes for a great introduction to Moroccan cuisine.
Accompany this salad with a vegetable tagine for a complete, balanced meal.
Have Fun with Moroccan Flavors
Moroccan food vegetarian options are plentiful. Moroccan food is an exciting world cuisine that is both nutritious and delightful.
To really embrace Moroccan food check out these traditional drinks to serve with your vegetarian meal.
Did you know that the famous line "Play it again, Sam" was never actually spoken in the movie Casablanca? If your only familiarity with Morocco comes from watching the classic Bogart flick, you're in for a treat! Moroccan food is flavorful, reasonably healthy, and unforgettably delicious.
Reading a Moroccan menu can be somewhat intimidating to anyone who's new to the cuisine. That's why we've pulled together some helpful information for getting the most enjoyment from a traditional Moroccan meal!
A Primer on Traditional Moroccan Menu Items
Before you sit down to enjoy couscous, tagine, and kefta, it's a good idea to learn about the spices, flavors, and ingredients that are traditionally used in this type of cuisine.
Consider the Couscous
Just as rice is de rigeur in Asian cooking, so couscous is a staple of Moroccan households and Moroccan menus alike. Made from wheat semolina, couscous looks and acts like a grain, but is, in fact, a form of pasta.
You will usually find it steamed and served as a base for chicken, beef, lamb, and vegetables. Often, a couscous dish is a communal dish.
Try a Tagine
Tagine is another staple of Moroccan cuisine. It's a slow-cooked stew that can take many forms. In traditional Moroccan restaurants, tagine is made in a distinctive, conical clay cooking pot (also called a tagine).
The Spices That Make Moroccan Food Sing
Moroccan food is richly spiced --which does not necessarily mean that it's spicy, just flavorful. Some of the most commonly used spices include ginger, turmeric, saffron, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and white pepper.
Ras El Hanout is a spice blend that many Moroccan cooks consider all-purpose. It generally contains a combination of cardamom, nutmeg, anise, mace, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric.
For Heat, There's Harissa
Like your food to pack a little heat? Then you'll need to know about harissa, a chili paste that's common to several North African countries. Harissa contains hot peppers, garlic, roasted red peppers, and other savory components.
Like any hot sauce, harissa can vary widely regarding how spicy it is. Do your taste buds lean to the lower end of the Scoville scale? Start out with a tiny amount and increase your harissa intake accordingly.
Kefta Keeps It Interesting
Another dish you're likely to find on a Moroccan menu is kefta. Ground meat (either beef, lamb, or a combination) is mixed with herbs and spices. The kefta can be shaped into balls --think Morocco's answer to the meatball --or into torpedo shapes.
Kefta is often grilled, but can also be pan-fried and incorporated into a tagine dish.
Traditional Moroccan Drinks
Mint tea is standard on a Moroccan menu. However, you might be surprised by the quality of Moroccan wine and beer. The majority of Morocco's residents are Muslim, which means that they don't consume alcohol --but that just means more for the rest of us!
We hope you've enjoyed this brief primer on Moroccan foods. By now, you're probably feeling hungry, huh?
Want to experience all that Moroccan menus have to offer? Can't decide between all the delicious offerings? Check out the feasts we serve, and try a little bit of everything!