Simply Moroccan Cuisine

by Zakia Arrachidi-Thom

Simply Moroccan Cuisine - The Book

Below are images and descriptions of a few of the recipes in the book.

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Raw Carrot Salad

Simple and quick to prepare, a favorite even of those who don't normally like salads. The sweetness will have everyone asking for a second serving. It can be enjoyed either as an appetizer or dessert.

Harissa

Harissa is a paste of chilies, garlic, and spices used to enhance North African food. It can be used as a marinade for grilled chicken, lamb, ground beef or olives or as a table condiment.

Stuffed Vegetables

Tajine of Beef Tfaya

The only way to describe Tajine Tfaya is orgasmic. It is a festive dish usually prepared for weddings and other important celebrations. This dish consists of beef shanks and hard boiled eggs, garnished with roasted almonds. The meat is simmered slowly in an onion and spice sauce which gives it its unparalleled heavenly taste.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

Let’s be honest, Brussels sprouts seem to have a reputation for being culinary rejects. Prepared in this manner, Brussels sprouts have a whole new lease on life, friends who said they “hated” Brussels sprouts are now converts and often inquire when I will be making them again.

Stuffed Mini Peppers

This is my version of my mother’s recipe, out shopping I found a bag of mixed peppers, the colors called out to me and this recipe was born. It looks great on the plate, the smaller peppers allow the stuffing to cook faster and sauce soaks to the heart of the stuffing distributing flavors throughout.

Couscous with Chicken, Onion, Raisins, and Honey

Sweet and savory, this recipe is a favorite of everyone.

Beet Salad

My husband is not a salad person, however even he makes and exception at the beet salad. Earthy, tangy and colorful, this salad goes well with meat dishes.

Tapenade with Green Olives

This tapenade can be used to flavor pasta like a pesto sauce, added to ground beef when making burgers, or as a spread on fresh bread.

Chickpeas with Saffron

This dish combines my love of saffron with my daughters love of chickpeas. I invented this when my daughter was still eating small portions of food with her fingers. It became a hit with friends and family.

Tajine of Beef with Potato

Originate in Casablanca, this comfort food is filling and flavorful. Long considered as the food of the poor, this aromatic meal is incomparable during rainy days.

Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons are indispensable to Moroccan cooking since their peels and juice are used in both vegetable and tajine recipes. Their tangy yet mellow pickled taste and softened texture adds unique depth to a number of spiced dishes.

Harira

Harira instantly transports me back to my childhood, the smell conjures up memories of Ramadan, coming home from school, from every house I could smell harira, causing my hunger to intensify and my mouth to water. Though too young to fast, I eagerly awaited breakfast with those who were fasting, and my anticipation was always rewarded. Eating harira is an amazing experience; it can be a meal in itself, combining the flavors and textures of the meats, legumes, herbs, and spices, etc. It is sweet, yet sour, smooth yet substantial.

Tajine of Meatballs with Eggs

This is probably, no this is definitely my husband’s favorite Moroccan food (he’s Scottish). It may have been the location he first tasted it, Merzouga in the Moroccan Sahara, or the atmosphere, sun-setting over the sand dunes, a group of locals playing drums, the Moroccan red wine or more likely all the above. Whenever we are having guests for the first time, he suggests this recipe as a typically Moroccan dish. It is accessible to everyone who eats meat, the combination of the meat, spices, eggs, and bread are a hearty meal, going wonderfully with red wine.

Caramelized Baby Carrots

This recipe was born when I observed friends eating baby carrots straight from the bag, I thought there must be a better way. The carrots still crunch, but caramelized and with a hint of orange, they are brought to a whole new level.

Chicken Chourba

A light chicken broth, a great comfort food, and is highly recommended for nursing mothers as it is believed to increase the production of milk. My mother would make this whenever any of the family was under the weather, in the belief that it speeds recovery. My daughter (a soup aficionado at 3 years old) loves this one.

Roast Leg of Lamb

This was my grandfathers favorite meal. Whenever he was coming over, my mother took special pleasure in meticulously preparing the leg of lamb with ginger, garlic, and rosemary. A meal to impress the best cooks and food critics in your friends and family.

Chaariya Medfouna

This dish is best described as treasure hunting, since the flavorful, slowly simmered chicken is hidden beneath layers of chaariya. The anticipation is almost unbearable, but ultimately rewarding.

Lamb Couscous with Vegetables

Hmmmmmm yummy! Highly addictive! A labor of love, bring your appetite, loosen your belt, or better yet invest in a gandora (traditional loose fitting robe, worn by both men and women in Morocco) and prepare to indulge. The traditional preparation of the couscous is time consuming but is worth the effort, boiled or microwaved couscous does not begin to compare. It can be prepared in a vegetarian friendly way, by preparing the meat separately from the vegetables. While serving prepare one platter with meat and one without.