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Moroccan Cuisine


Moroccan cuisine (Arabic: المطبخ المغربي) is the cuisine of Morocco, fueled by interactions and exchanges with many cultures and nations over the centuries. Moroccan cuisine is usually a mix of Berber, Andalusi, Mediterranean, and Arab cuisines, with minimal European (French and Spanish) and sub-Saharan influences. Like the rest of the Maghrebi cuisine, Moroccan cuisine has more in common with Middle Eastern cuisine than with the rest of Africa.


Spices and ras el hanout are used extensively in Moroccan food. Although some spices have been imported to Morocco through the Arabs, introducing Persian and Arabic cooking influences, many ingredients—like saffron from Talaouine, mint and olives from Meknes, and oranges and lemons from Fes—are home-grown, and are being exported. After the Idrissids established Fes in 789, predominant in Arab culture, many spices were brought from the east. Common spices include cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, ginger, paprika, coriander, saffron, mace, cloves, fennel, anise, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, fenugreek, caraway, black pepper and sesame seeds. Twenty-seven spices are combined for the Moroccan spice mixture ras el hanout.

Common herbs in Moroccan cuisine include mint, parsley, coriander, oregano, peppermint, marjoram, verbena, sage and bay laurel.


What is traditional Moroccan cuisine?

Moroccan cuisine revolves around the traditional Berber diet, featuring lamb, vegetables, and dairy, all complemented by a delicate mix of spices like cumin, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne, as well as aromatic herbs such as mint, coriander, and parsley.

Incorporating influences from Southern Europe, Moroccan dishes often include olives, olive oil, and tomatoes, adding depth to the flavors.


Couscous is probably the dish for which Morocco is best known. It is traditionally eaten on Fridays with the whole family present, after the weekly sermon at the mosques has finished.

Correct preparation often takes the full morning, as one must prepare a stewed chicken, vegetables, or meat with broth, make a sweet, spiced sauce made of onions and raisins, and carefully steam the couscous.

In restaurants, it is often served with lben, a tangy fermented milk much like kefir. It goes well with the rich flavors of couscous.


Introduction to Moroccan Cuisine


Moroccan cuisine is revered worldwide for its rich and diverse flavors. It skillfully blends influences from the country’s historical heritage and unique geographic location. In Morocco, you’ll discover a delightful fusion of Arab and Berber culinary traditions, complemented by inspirations drawn from Southern Europe.

What is traditional Moroccan cuisine?

  • Couscous

  • Tagine

  • Harira

  • Pastilla

  • Khobz

  • Seafood

  • Rfissa: A Beloved Moroccan Delicacy

  • Bisara

  • Mint Tea

  • Seasonal Fruits

  • Dates

What is traditional Moroccan cuisine? Moroccan cuisine revolves around the traditional Berber diet, featuring lamb, vegetables, and dairy, all complemented by a delicate mix of spices like cumin, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne, as well as aromatic herbs such as mint, coriander, and parsley. Incorporating influences from Southern Europe, Moroccan dishes often include olives, olive oil, and tomatoes, adding depth to the flavors. The most popular meals typically center around meat (excluding pork due to Muslim dietary restrictions), making it a bit challenging for vegetarians to find meatless options. If you mention you’re a vegetarian at a restaurant, you might often be offered fish instead! Locals particularly favor beef, prominently featured in couscous and tagine dishes, often slow-roasted for hours before serving. Lunch holds the spotlight as the main meal in Morocco, usually more substantial than breakfast or dinner. It commonly includes a starter salad, followed by beef tagine accompanied by a generous bowl of couscous. Bread serves as a customary accompaniment, and mint tea takes precedence as the beverage of choice. Explore our guide to the main dishes of Morocco and immerse yourself in the delightful flavors of Moroccan cuisine. Couscous Couscous is probably the dish for which Morocco is best known. It is traditionally eaten on Fridays with the whole family present, after the weekly sermon at the mosques has finished. Correct preparation often takes the full morning, as one must prepare a stewed chicken, vegetables, or meat with broth, make a sweet, spiced sauce made of onions and raisins, and carefully steam the couscous. In restaurants, it is often served with lben, a tangy fermented milk much like kefir. It goes well with the rich flavors of couscous. Tajines are some of the most popular dishes throughout the country and can be made with almost anything – vegetables, chicken, fish, shrimp, beef, sheep, or camel. The main ingredient is placed in the dish, along with some oil, a little water, spices, and vegetables. Meat and chicken are also often accompanied by olives, almonds, apricots, or prunes. The dish is covered and baked until the ingredients are tender, fragrant, and piping hot. The combination of all of these ingredients acts to give a sweet and sour flavor. Popular versions include chicken with lemon, beef with prunes, and lamb with dates.


Pastilla is a pastry-like dish made from spiced pigeon, although when pigeon isn’t available, chicken or fish can be used as a substitution.

It’s often served as an appetiser, and locals consume it on special occasions. Similar to a meat pie, the crust of pastilla is flaky and rich, while the meat remains tender and juicy.


Now for the recipes, Enjoy!


foodandwine.com_recipes_fiery-moroccan-lamb-merguez_print
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Download PDF • 97KB

foodandwine.com_recipes_moroccan-chicken-and-couscous-soup_print
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Download PDF • 85KB

foodandwine.com_recipes_saffron-chicken-tagine_print
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Download PDF • 100KB

Looking for more recipes, or perhaps a course in culinary or pastry arts? Look no further, we have dozens of courses online here.

Cheers, and have a great weekend!

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