10 Moroccan Foods You Must Try in Morocco
Morocco is the most vibrant country in the world. Its culture is as vibrant as its landscapes are colorful. You can see it in its people, its dances and its music, but above all in its food. Each dish fills our palate with a multitude of exotic flavors, making from each of these meals an authentic travel experience.
The best advice is to try everything you can… skewers, nuts, orange or beet juice, their great variety of sweets, but above all you should not miss the following typical dishes:
Couscous (wheat semolina seed) cooked and accompanied by vegetables, lamb meat, veal or chicken, is one of the most traditional dishes that are usually prepared in homes on Fridays (day of worship and prayers), usually dedicated to go to the mosques or the hamman and spend time with families.
It can be prepared with a variety of ingredients: raisins, legumes, etc. but I advise you, especially if you travel during the summer, the couscous saykout, with whipped milk and butter, usually served chilled, and known for giving instant energy.
El Tajín is another dish that can be found almost everywhere in Morocco. Like couscous, you can eat it at a fairly cheap price in any restaurant, and the amount is usually considerable, so you can share between two.
This delicious dish owes its name to the container in which it is prepared, a clay pot with a cone-shaped lid. There are different varieties of Tajine, among which the tajine of lamb that stands out, prepared with legumes, almonds and plums, garnished with cinnamon or saffron, and tajine of chicken, with lemon, olives and a spicy tomato sauce.
The Pastilla, known also as Bastila, has been the great gastronomic discovery of my trip to Morocco. It can also be found in Algerian or Tunisian cuisine. Without a doubt, I recommend that you not fail to taste the perfect balance offered between sweet and salty that is almost aphrodisiac!
It is a very elaborate dish, with layers of puff pastry stuffed with slices of chicken or pigeon meat, interspersed with almond paste, all baked and seasoned with cinnamon and powdered sugar.
The bissara is so popular in Morocco that it is even present in Moroccan famous sayings, like the one that says “he is so poor that he only eats bissara”. It’s a very simple dish, but the truth is that I loved it and it was the most comfort food I have ever tried in Morocco.
It is a simple Bean Purée with a generous stream of olive oil and you can see it being served in many places during breakfast or as a companion to other dishes. Do not miss the opportunity to eat it accompanied by the fluffy Moroccan bread.
5. Harira, typical Moroccan soup
Harira is a soup that is commonly used to break the fast during the days of Ramadan because of its great caloric intake. It is made with lamb or veal meat, vegetables and tomato, seasoned with black pepper, cilantro and ginger, and is usually accompanied with dates.
I must admit that it cost me to include such a strong dish in my menu during the trip, but I could not resist the idea of leaving Morocco without trying it. I ended up eating Harira, and it was definitely worth it!
Kefta is minced meat seasoned with pine nuts, onion, garlic, parsley, spicy paprika, cumin and olive oil, and is served in different ways and all of them are so incredibly good that I cannot decide which one is my favourite.
Also it is a great idea for budget travel that will help you save money. It is the most delicious as a barbecue or kebab skewer accompanied by cheese and can be found practically anywhere! In restaurants usually it is prepared as meatballs with tomato and fried eggs.
7. Touajen and Hout
For lovers of intense flavors, Moroccan have something truly special… the touajen, a stew of pickled lamb or chicken, also can be made with fish, but in this case it is called Hout.
8. Aubergine zaalouk
Th aubergine zaalouk is one of the typical and delicious salads of Morocco, especiality from the city of Fez, and is also known as aubergine caviar.
The dish consists of boiled aubergine and is cooked with a tomato and garlic sauce, seasoned with cumin, sweet red paprika and lemon juice. All this is left to cool for some time in the refrigerator and then all you have to do is to add black olives, chopped cilantro, olive oil, salt, and… it is ready to eat!
Mechoui or meshwi is a whole lamb roasted slowly in a ground oven until the meat comes off easily with your hands, and served with couscous, almonds and plums. Usually included in the menu for special occasions, holidays or when hosting guests.
10. Djaja Mahamara
Our last recommendation is a stewed chicken with raisins, semolina, almonds and raisins.
The sweets and desserts are also incredibly tasty, such as the famous kaab el ghzal or gazelle horn, which is usually served along with green tea as a symbol of hospitality. Do not miss the opportunity to try Moroccan pastries!