5 essential ingredients in Moroccan cooking
Moroccan cuisine have attained significant prestige on a global level. Its intense and contrasting flavors make the recipes remain in the memory of every visitor. Spices, synonymous with Moroccan cuisine, give it its special flavor. The variety of spices used in Moroccan cuisine is actually quite extensive. If you are planning to prepare dishes of this country, keep on reading! This post will give you an idea of what to have on hand in your own kitchen if you plan to cook Moroccan recipes.
5 basic ingredients of Moroccan gastronomy
1. Ras el hanout: This typical spice mix from North Africa is an essential part of Moroccan history. It does not have a unique recipe and the quantity and variety of components can somethimes be a great secret among Moroccan families. In many street markets they sell it already made combining the flavors in a traditional or innovative way. The basic spices of Ras el hanout are cinnamon and cloves. Black and white pepper, cumin and nutmeg are also key ingredients of this characteristic mixture. Do you dare to create your own mixture or do you prefer to buy it already mixed?
2. Chermoula is a marinade used in Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking. It is traditionally used to flavor fish or seafood as it provides a very intense and characteristic flavor. Common ingredients include garlic, cumin, coriander, oil, lemon juice and salt. Regional variations may also include pickled lemons, onion, ground chili peppers, black pepper and other herbs. A Moroccan version of this marinade comprises dried parsley, cumin, paprika and pepper.
3. Pasta harissa: This kind of accompaniment is the key for any Moroccan meal. If you like things a bit spicy, then you will fall in love with this paste. It is used as an accompaniment with many meals, as an appetizer for dipping bread or it is directly included in the dish recipe. The main protagonists are chilli pepper and garlic. As in many Moroccan recipes, every one adds spices according to individual tastes, although the most common are coriander and fennel seeds. Its main component is olive oil.
4. Smen is salted fermented butter, an important cooking ingredient, very common in North African cuisines. It is used as cooking fat in some of Moroccan recipes. Its flavor is very characteristic as it is strong and a bit sour. It is a fermented butter that mature for at least few years.
5. Honey: Like almond, honey is used in Moroccan cuisine as both a garnish and key ingredient. Most Moroccan cakes contain this ingredient, as well as some dishes that are not pastries. A curious combination of sweet and savoury is a characteristic often repeated in Moroccan cuisine.
There are many recipes that you can prepare easily at home. In our blog you can find some of the best known recipes with a description and preparation process.