Tag Archives: Moroccan Cuisine

Fes Gourmet Festival, A Taste of Morocco in 2015

Fez Gourmet Cuisine Festival

Fez Gourmet Cuisine Festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel Exploration announces our Imperial City fall cuisine tour slated for November 2015 with a focus on Fes-Gourmet. Inclusive in this gastronomic adventure for foodies are daily Morocco food tours and evenings of delight at the celebrate the Fes-Gourmet festival. The Fes Gourmet Festival is an experience not to be missed and a perfect inclusion on a private tour to Morocco for foodies and leading chefs. Visit Fes with Travel Exploration this November for a once in a lifetime culinary adventure and a Taste of Morocco. Participate in dining at over 10 riads in the Fez medina who offer up unique dishes indigenous of traditional Fes.

Fes-Gourmet is the premiere cuisine festival that takes place annually in Fez and was created by the Regional Association for Maison d’Hotes to celebrate and highlight traditional cuisine of Fes. During the period of November 1st – 11th, 2015 a selective group of boutique riads in Fez renowned for their magnificent cuisine traditions will offer exclusive three course menus created specifically as a part of Fes-Gourmet. Guests who participate in the Fes-Gourmet Festival will respectively enjoy a gourmet menu chosen by each riad in Fez. Each menu offers main courses unique to Fes and traditional Moroccan tea. Other amenities on Travel Exploration’s Taste of Morocco adventure are a Fes Souk Tasting Trail Tour of the old Medina, a Cooking Class in Marrakech led by a Daada Chef and a five-course dining experience in Djemaa El Fna Square.

Fez Gourmet Culinary Tour

Fez Gourmet Culinary Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following menus have already been selected for the Fes-Gourmet Cuisine Festival:

FES GOURMET: Prefixed Rate, Water & Tea Included
RIAD DAMIA Quail Know to honey stuffed to the semolina & raisins
RIAD SOUAFINE Couscous Medfoun of Lamb
Ryad Mabrouka Tagine of Lamb Mrouzia, Raisins & Almonds
DAR VICTORIA Kefta of Whiting & eggs of trout in the Atlas,Saffron Rice
DAR EL BALI Tagine of Chicken with Almonds and apricots stuffed
RIAD Bearded Owl-clover Mekfoul of Shin of beef, onions and tomatoes caramelized
DAR ATTAJALI Tagine Vegetarian the Cardoons, turnips, potatoes, artichokes, Dates & walnuts
RIAD THE SUGAR BOWL OF FEZ Tagine of chicken farmer to tomatoes candied
DAR AL SAFADI Fillet of Beef with sweet spices, vegetables in season
RIAD ANATA Tagine of Lamb with Prunes & Almonds

Luxury and Comfort Boutique Riads in Fez participating in “Fes Gourmet” are: Ryad Mabrouka, Dar El Bali, Dar Attajalli, Riad Braya, Riad Norma, Riad Souafine, Dar Damia, Dar El Ghalia, Riad Al Bartal, Riad El Amine, Le Sucrier de Fès

Fez Gourmet Best Riads

Fez Gourmet Best Riads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join Travel Exploration’s Fes- Gourmet and Imperial City Cuisine Tour A Taste of Morocco Today 11 Days/ 10 Nights of Blissful Dining and Culinary Exploration for Foodies

November 1st: Casablanca Arrival. Visit the Grand White Mosque. Seafood tasting and fresh grill of Casablanca. Overnight Casablanca.

November 2nd: Visit Imperial Meknes, the Olive Market, Local Fare and the Roman Ruins of Volbuilis en route to Fes. Fez Gastronomy at a Boutique Riad. Overnight Fes.

November 3rd: Fes Site Seeing Tour. Fes Gastronomy at a Boutique Riad. Overnight Fes.

November 4th: Fes Palaces and Gardens Tour. Fes Gastronomy Dinner at a Boutique Riad. Overnight Fes.

November 5th: Fes Souk Tasting Trails. The best Fes Food Tour. Fes Gastronomy Dinner at a Boutique Riad. Overnight Fes.

November 6th: Cook Up Fes – Participate in a Cooking Class – Options are family style with local specialties or pastry class. Fes Gastronomy Dinner at a Boutique Riad. Overnight Fes.

November 7th: Fes – High Atlas Ifrane Region – Tasting of Local Pastries. Tea with a local family and continue to Marrakech. Marrakech gastronomy dinner. Overnight Marrakech.

November 8th: Marrakech Site Seeing Tour. A Taste of Marrakech- 5 Course Dinner in Djemaa El Fna Square. Overnight Marrakech.

November 9th: Marrakech Cooking Class Led by a Daada Chef. Marrakech gastronomy dinner. Overnight Marrakech.

November 10th: Marrakech Excursion to the High Atlas for a Berber village lunch and Hike or Excursion to the Coastal town of Essaouira. Seafood gastronomic lunch.  Overnight Marrakech.

November 11th: Marrakech – Casablanca Departure.

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.
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Fes Food, Eating Well in Fes

Riad Dar Roumana, Fes

Riad Dar Roumana, Fes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fes is the culinary and cultural capital of Morocco. The city of Fes is a leader in Moroccan cuisine. The ancient traditions of Fes cuisine come alive at a variety of riads and restaurants throughout the old city of Fes. New on the scene are a wide variety of boutique riads that have opened their doors to the public and are merging traditional Fassis table cuisine with French and International flavors. Morocco Travel Specialist, Alecia Cohen, takes a look at the best places to dine and experience cuisine in Fes to tempt your pallets on a Morocco Tour.

The world famous Fes Sacred Music Festival takes place each June and Dar Roumana’s restaurant at 30 Derb el Amer Zkak, Roumane in Fes Medina is open daily offering pre-concert dinners from 6pm – 8pm Dar Roumana and they also offer a smaller menu (2 starters, 2 mains and 2 desserts) for a reduced price of 300dh for three courses or 225dh for two courses. For those not attending the festival Dar Roumana’s usual dinner service will continue as normal from 7.30pm – 9pm. It is essential to book well beforehand during this busy period. Dinner is served in the patio and on the terrace with spectacular views of the medina and includes varied delicacies such as roasted beetroot, orange, mint and feta salad, spiced roasted quail with dried fruit orzo, moroccan fishcakes with cucumber and radish ribbon salad and sweet harissa dipping sauce, baked chicken thighs with honey, hazelnut and saffron with carrot and cumin mash. Dar Roumana is run by husband and wife team Vanessa and Vincent. Vincent is a Le Cordon Bleue certified chef and serves up a great table in Fes. Vanessa and Vincent are fabulous hosts and dining at Roumana is a must when in Fes.

The garden restaurant attached to Riad Idrissy at 13 Derb Idrissi, Sieje, Sidi Ahmed Chaoui, referred to as the Ruined Garden, is set in the romantic remains of a crumbling riad which has been turned into a delightful garden, with mosaic floors, fountains and exotic foliage. Lunch is prepared using fresh produce from the souk and includes salads – such as zaalouk (smoky aubergine, tomato and paprika puree) and tfaya (chickpeas, onions, raisins and cinnamon) – and street food, cooked to order in the garden, such as sardines marinated in chermoula (garlic, paprika, cumin, olive oil and lemon juice) with a polenta batter and makuda, spiced battered potato cakes. Afternoon tea is a blend of English and Moroccan, including tea made from homegrown mint and wormwood. After 7pm, the garden is open for dinner by prior arrangement only, offering mechoui lamb (anything from a leg to a whole animal) cooked for seven hours over charcoal, Sephardic suppers and Roman banquets. The ruined garden at Riad Idrissy will operate as a festival green room – where artists, journalists and the audience can mingle between the Fes Sacred Music Festival concerts. Opening hours are between 12 noon and 9.30pm. There is also the great boon of no background music.

Another great lunch and dinner venue in Fes is Palais Amani at 12 Derb el Miter, Oued Zhoune.This imposing Art Deco former palace has superb gardens Is known for excellent high class Moroccan cuisine and you can dine in the restaurant or the patio, booking is essential.

Restaurant Numero 7 Fes, Chef in Residence

Restaurant Numero 7 Fes, Chef in Residence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Numero 7 has a rotating Chef in residence program that uses seasonal produce sourced from the markets in Fes and nearby farms for its cuisine. Located in the heart of Moroccan gastronomy each chef in residence utilizes Numero 7 as their center stage to create a table of unique cuisine through their own interpretation. Numero 7 is owned by Stephen di Renza, a former fashion director for Neiman Marcu and Bergdoff Goodman. He divides his time between Fes and Mararkech. Di Renzi is also the creative director of the Yves Saint Laurent Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech. Numero 7 is a must dine experience for those interested in modern, creative cuisine with a Moroccan touch.

La Maison Bleue offers a classic table in Fes and reservations are also necessary at this elegant riad restaurant. The setting is intimate and romantic, with diners serenaded by an oud player (replaced by livelier Gnawa song and dance at the end of the evening). You’ll be treated to an array of cooked salads, tajines, couscous and bastilla (savoury pastries), plus filo pastry desserts.

At Dar El Ghalia, a restored 18th century palace you will find Dar Tajine, one of the best known restaurants in Fes. You can choose from set menus or à la carte: there are salads, excellent Harira, grills, fresh fish, tagines and couscous.

Chez Vittorio is in the rustic Italian restaurant angle well, right down to the candles and checked cloths. The food is good value, Go for the pizzas or steak and enjoy the wine.

Dar Anebar is a riad you can dine in fne surroundings, in the splendid courtyard, or one of the cosy salons. The menu is strictly Moroccan, but of the highest standard, and wine is available.

Palais Jamaï is a five-star hotel has a superb position overlooking the medina. There’s a French restaurant and a Moroccan restaurant. At lunch they serve a good buffet on the terrace above the pool (or in the dining room in winter): there’s the salad buffet, or the salad buffet with barbecue and dessert.

Fes is truly international and Kiotori restaurant offers sushi with a Japanese chef.

Café Clock is a restored town house and is an important and highly original cultural centre which offers a varied menu with offerings such as falafel, grilled sandwiches, some interesting vegetarian options, a substantial camel burger, and delicious cakes and tarts. It is open right through the day into the evening so you can eat whenever you want.

Fes Cafe, Jardin Des Biehn

Fes Cafe, Jardin Des Biehn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fez Café is set in a fine garden in Le Jardin des Biehn, Dinner is available both before and after and during concerts.

Le Kasbah restaurant is on several floors at Bab Bou Jeloud, and occupies a prime spot: the top floor looks out over the medina, making it a good place to relax over food. The menu is traditional Moroccan fare, tajines, couscous and grilled meat.

Fes is famed for its street food and probably the most well known establishment is Thami’s at Bou Jeloud, 50 Serrajine in the Medina. It is highly recommended by the website “The View from Fez.” They recommend Thami’s kefta tagine with egg, the melange and the fish. Fes has many such small establishments and a visit to the vegetable and spices souks will enrich your knowledge and appreciation of Moroccan daily life and the variety of its cuisine even in very simple establishments.

And for those who want the intimacy of a leafy garden, try Ryad Mabrouka as this delightful guesthouse in the warmer months is perfect for lunch, or in winter in the 1st-floor dining room overlooking the medina. Traditional fare is served in a three-course set menu, and wine is available. It’s necessary to book 24 hours in advance. 

For more information Fes Food or a Fes Tour.

For more information about the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Morocco’s Erfoud Date Festival, Your Morocco Tour Guide

The Erfoud Date Festival takes place in early October for 3 days (dependant on the harvest) and makes for the perfect pitstop on a Morocco Private Tour. Erfoud is a small oasis town in the Moroccan Sahara desert, about 6 hours to the east of Ouarzazate.  It is a quiet little town with red buildings surrounded by beautiful scenery and date palms stretching from Er Rachidia to the North, and Rissani to the south to form the largest expanse of palm groves in Morocco.

Date Picking Draa Valley & Erfoud

Each October, after the dates are harvested, the town comes alive for the celebrations of the annual Date Festival.  Erfoud is at the centre of the date producing area with almost a million date palms. The festivities are accompanied by traditional music, dance and processions and it is a chance for tourists to sample the local festival food, especially dates, and enjoy the fun of the three day celebrations which include a fashion parade through the streets and the crowning of the ‘ Date Queen’. There is also an exciting dromedary race.

Erfoud Date Festival

There are official tents for companies and cooperatives to promote their dates or date related products, with an official Governmental opening held on the first day. There are a hundred different varieties of Moroccan dates with 45 alone in the South of Morocco.

There are various hotels in Erfoud where visitors can stay during the date festival . It is essential to book well in advance. These include the Kasbah hotel, Chez Tonton, Auberge Derkoua Chez Michel and the Belere hotel, amongst  others.

Dates have played an important part in Moroccan cuisine for thousands of years. Archaeological evidence suggests the cultivation of dates all the way back in 6,000 BC in Arabia. The date palm was a major source of life for thousands of people throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa and is said to have provided people with thousands of different uses including the palm and fronds to make  thread, mattresses, lumber, rope making, and many other household and dietary uses.

Dates are part of the first breaking of the fast, Iftar, along with milk and a bowl of harira soup. Dates are also very important in Islam with the date palm regarded as the “tree of life” as mentioned in the Story of Genesis They are also important for the local and national economy. Around 90,000 tons of dates are exported from Morocco annually, so the festival allows the people give a harvest thanks giving and pray for a good crop next year.

Moroccan Dates

The largest and perhaps the best-known variety of the Moroccan dates is the Medjool date. Often referred to as “the king of dates” it was once reserved only for Moroccan royalty and their guests. They were, and still are, considered a precious confection and are typically the most expensive of the date varieties because their cultivation is more labor intensive. The date has a soft wrinkled flesh that gives way to a firm meaty center. When ripe, the date turns a dark brown color and with hints of wild honey, caramel, and cinnamon it is no wonder this date is considered a gourmet dessert.

In the 1920’s date palms in Morocco were threatened with extinction by a disease, to save their dates Morocco sent eleven date palms to the USA. Nine of the eleven palms survived and are responsible for the millions of Medjool dates that can be found throughout California and in parts of Arizona.

The Deglet Noor date, originally from Algeria, are the dates commonly used in Moroccan stuffed date recipes. Primarily an export crop, these dates are semi-dry with a firm texture and a sweet and delicate flavor.

The Halawi Date is a soft wrinkled date with a meaty flesh and a sweet caramel flavor. While not as large or as favored as the Medjool Date the Halawi Date is still considered a delicacy and because of its soft sweet flesh and high sugar content it is often served as a dessert at Moroccan meals. Other  date varieties include Boufeggous, Bouskri and  Jihel.

For more information about Erfoud and the Erfoud Date Festival 

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cooking up in Morocco, Best Cooking Classes, Your Morocco Tour Guide

La Maison Arabe Cooking Class

Learning some of the basics of Moroccan cooking can be an enjoyable experience and adds to your own culinary skills back home. Many riads offer cookery classes for their clients during their stay. These usually begin with a trip to the souk accompanied by one of the staff to buy produce and spices. In contrast to shopping at home everything is bought fresh, for home-cooking. The market stalls include  piles of spices, and fresh fruits, nuts and fine local vegetables all beautifully laid out with the fragrance of mint and cilantro . Shopping in the souks of Morocco is a keen sensory experience, as well as a chance to experience local daily life as buyers and sellers haggle over prices.

Learning how to use spices is a key element in Moroccan cuisine. Salt, pepper, ginger and turmeric are essential to many tagines and stews. Make sure you pick up plenty of ras el hanout(the best spices in the store) so that you can cook up authentic Moroccan dishes back home, and consider stocking up on saffron too. Charmoula is a popular Moroccan sauce that can be used on everything from fish to vegetables. Coriander and cumin are the leaders of the spice mix. The spices are ground with garlic, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Spices and pepper can be added for taste to suit individual preference.

Riad Monceau Cooking Class

When you return from the souk you can begin the cooking class under the instruction of an expert chef. Each person in the group is allotted specific tasks in the cooking process and a after a lesson or two you should know how to dress a salad, create a main course and a desert. Longer intensive courses are available and your travel agent should be able to advise you on this. Learning to cook in a Moroccan kitchen gives you a unique insight in to family daily life. Finally you get to sample and enjoy your joint efforts over lunch or dinner.

Some examples of Moroccan dishes include tangines,  slowly cooked  meat and vegetable dishes in a  pot with a cone shaped lid that gently cooks fish, beef, dried fruits and olives. Vegetarians can enjoy vegetable tagines. Other recipes include lamb with prunes and almonds, chicken with lemon and fruits are blended with meat dishes such as lamb with pears.

You can learn how to make couscous, which is small grains of semolina which is steamed and eaten with a spicy broth and vegetables and meat. Moroccan families gather after Friday prayers to get together over a couscous.

Harira is a renowned traditional soup made with tomato paste lentils, chick peas and spices and sometimes pieces of lamb. It is served with dates when Moroccans break their fast during Ramadan.

Madada Mogador Cooking Class

Moroccan salads can be served as a starter or as a side dish and orange blossom water is sometimes used in salads. Moroccan cuisine has strong aromatic qualities.  The Al Fassia restaurant  in Marrakech serves several dishes of salads as a starter and to appreciate the art of salad making and superb tangines it’s a wonderful place to experience the very best in Moroccan cuisine before you start  your own efforts.

Other dishes include Bastilla which is pastry dusted with cinnamon and stuffed with sweet and savoury ingredients including pigeon. It can be served as a starter of a main course. Birouettes  are small triangles of pastry with savoury and spicey fillings such as minced lamb or fettah cheese with spinach. It can also be a dessert with groundnuts and honey. Moroccan  pastries are served with honey . Learn to bake Moroccan bread which often has added spices and how to make Moroccan mint tea to accompany the meal.

Cafe Clock Cooking Class

Travel Exploration Morocco’s Recommendations for 4 of Morocco’s Top Cooking Classes are: 

La Maison Arabe – A long standing name in Marrakech for it’s restaurant and boutique, luxury Riad, La Maison Arabe boasts one of the most professional and detailed cooking classes in Morocco. Headed by a Dada Chef guests experience a stroll through the souks, learn how to purchase spices, then cook up a three-course meal. Options of wine pairings to match and everyone departs with a complimentary tajine. This is the cooking workshop for professionals and also for those who love the art of cooking.

Riad Monceau – Haute Cuisine at this French owned Riad and cooking class is what can be prized most. An elegant and charming setting within old Marrakech’s Red Hamra city Riad Monceau’s owner Ludovic Antoine offers guests a top notch class. With their widely esteemed cook book, local chef and hands on approach this is a great way to discover the art of Moroccan cooking in Marrakech.

Cafe Clock – Set within the old Fes Medina just down the street from Maimonides is the ever so hip and charming Cafe Clock. Cafe Clock allows participants to select their own menu, then takes them on an authentic shopping expedition in the Fes souk where you choose your own ingredients, learn about bread baking and other details of Moroccan cuisine. Cafe Clock offers a Moroccan bread baking workshop or a one-day patisserie class. Complimented by their cafe which is an active place for locals and foreigners Cafe Clock serves one of the most exciting cooking workshops in Morocco.

L’Atlier Madada Mogador  – In Seaside Essaouira this fabulous cookery workshops is perfect for small groups who collaborate together in a charming Riad near Morocco’s seacoast. They prepare a full meal before sitting down together to dine in a traditional setting. A walking tour option in the souks after is a nice add on to this day.

For More Information on Moroccan Cooking and Moroccan Cooking Classes 

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Morocco for Vegetarians, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Moroccan Vegetable Tajine

Morocco offers plenty of fulfilling options for vegetarian travelers . It has wonderful  and abundant fresh vegetables and spices like cumin, saffron cinnamon and paprika and seasonal fruits which you will see piled high in local souks.

For breakfast  you will be offered bread with honey and jam and  omelettes . You can also try Moroccan pancakes and crepes called malouai with honey which are often served in local cafes.

Lunch is the main meal of the day and everything stops from noon to 3:00 p.m. Restaurants usually begin by serving a salad, which includes an array of vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, radishes, green peppers, beetroot  and eggplant, with spices and herbs.

Moroccan Vegetable Dish

The main course often consists of a tagine or couscous.  A tagine is a slow-cooked stew  served in an earthen ware pot and funnel shaped cover.  Restaurants in the main cities are now more aware of  vegetarians and vegetable tangines are usually on the menu, but you need to make sure that they are not using a meat stock. Moroccan traditions do change to accommodate tourists but sometimes you have to make sure your requirements have been fully understood. Carry a phrase book in French and Moroccan Arabic. The same is also true for Morocco’s other favourite dish the couscous. Couscous is semolina grains which are steamed above a pot of boiling vegetables. Pieces of meat are also included so vegetarians have to ensure that there is no meat in the couscous and no meat based stock.

During Ramadan and other special occasions, harira with dates is served to break the fast. This  nutritious and delicious soup has a tomato base and is thick with lentils, chickpeas and herbs. Harira is often made with vegetables but you will need to check beforehand with the restaurant to ensure that it is made without meat or meat  based broth.

Street food and restaurant appetizers also offer an array of meatless delights including olives and hummus, dried fruits, roasted nuts and b’sarra (white bean soup with olive oil and garlic).

In Marrakech  Earth Café is well known as an organic vegetarian and vegan restaurant  and it is in the heart of the medina, just off the Jemaa el Fna square. They have six entrees, three of which are vegan at 60 dirhams [about 5 or 6 euros] for huge delicious portions. They also have good fresh juices.  Chez Chegrouni  also offers good vegetarian fare.

Café des Epices  and Terasse des Epices also offer excellent vegetarian meals as does the stylish Le Foundouk restaurant, not far from the Medersa Ben Youssef in the Medina.

Riad 58 Blu is a charming riad which serves excellent vegetarian food to order and  is open to non residents . Food needs to be ordered the night before.

Pepe Nero is a high class riad restaurant with an impressive menu of Moroccan and Italian vegetarian  dishes which need to  be ordered the night before.

Cuisine de Mona‘s  serves superb Lebanese  food  and vegetarian dishes which can be enjoyed  in  the restaurant or as a take away. The restaurant  is on an early  turning off the route de Targa just  before the three pizza  restaurants on the right hand side.

 In Essaouira two recommended restaurants are:

Lalla Mira is an organic and ‘eco’ restaurant, hotel and spa.

La Petite Perle,   a popular  restaurant which serves good vegitarian dishes.

In Fes

Riad Dar Dmana is inside the medina and serves excellent vegetarian meals to its guests which need to be ordered  the night before.

Café Clock  has several vegetarian and vegan dishes on its extensive menu and is a great meeting place in Fes for tourists, expats and locals.

Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Moroccan Cooking Classes, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Moroccan Cooking Class Chef

Moroccan Cooking Class Chef

If you’re planning a Morocco vacation one of the best ways to discover the culture of the Maghreb is to taking a cooking class or a private, cooking course in Morocco’s Imperial Cities of Marrakech and Fes or consider a Moroccan culinary tourMarrakech and Fes offer some of the Morocco’s best cooking classes as a result of their subculture and history of fine cuisine alongside being able to lay claim to some of the best restaurants in Morocco.

A Morocco cooking class usually starts with a comprehensive introduction that highlights the importance of cooking in Moroccan society, and reviews the variety of recipes created by dadas (traditional woman cooks) over the centuries for special occasions such as marriages, holidays such as Ramadan, Eid El Kebir, Moroccan baptisms, and circumcisions.

Moroccan Spices

Moroccan Spices

Before taking a cooking class in Morocco most leading chefs will take you on a tour of the Marrakech or Fes medina on a tour and in search of the most favored spices that are used in Morocco cooking. During your medina tour you will discover spices such as fresh cumin, ginger, wild saffron grown from the Moroccan city of Talouine, indigenous sea salt from the Souss region of Agadir and pepper.

Lahcen's Cooking Class, Spice Shopping Fes

Lahcen's Cooking Class, Spice Shopping Fes

The core spices used in Moroccan cuisine include ginger, saffron, Cumin, ras el hanout (a mixture of up to 35 different spices and a famous Moroccan must in any kitchen), as well as salt and pepper. Olive oil, of which there is an abundance in Morocco, is also an essential ingredient in the local cuisine, as well as ghi (a kind of aged butter).

Most Moroccan recipes use parsley and coriander. Other important herbs such as thyme, oregano, bay leaf, rosemary and basil, are used depending on the recipe being prepared.

Traditionally, Moroccan homes used charcoal and clay pots to cook tajines or couscous. Modern Moroccan homes of course use the same gas or electric ranges found in European or American homes.

Le Jardin Des La Medina Cooking Class, Marrakech

Le Jardin Des La Medina Cooking Class, Marrakech

The cooking workshops at in Marrakech at famous five star Riads such as Le Maison Arabe and Le Jardin Des La Medina are conducted using modern equipment, so that the participants can easily prepare the dishes they have learned once they have returned to their own countries. A typical Moroccan cooking class lasts approximately 3-4 hours depending on the dish of choice you have chosen to make.

The same goes for the top cooking classes in Fes at Lahcen’s Moroccan Cooking class and culinary tour which is acclaimed by the New York Times and also at Café Clock

Before beginning your Moroccan cooking workshop, your chef will first offer an an overview of the most traditional recipes such as pastilla, couscous, and the broad variety of tajines (stews usually made with lamb or chicken), while reviewing some of the basic pillars of Moroccan cuisine.

Then the class will begin and take you away on a Moroccan adventure that will fill tempt your pallet.

Tajine La Maison Arabe Cooking Class

Tajine La Maison Arabe Cooking Class

Moroccan cooking Techniques for a typical tajine recipe calls for searing the meat, softening the onions, bringing to a boil and allowing to slowly simmer. This results in a reduced, thick sauce.

Woman Making Pastilla

Woman Making Pastilla

Techniques for pastilla and couscous will also be reviewed. Finally, before the practical part of the cooking class begins, you will be acquainted with the recipe of the day, whether it’s a chicken tajine with olives and preserved lemons, couscous or pastilla, and review the various vegetables and ingredients that will be used.

Most Moroccan cooking classes are structured around easy-to- make traditional recipes. Each participant has his or her own workstation and equipment, and follows step-by-step the preparing of that day’s dish. In a typical workshop or Moroccan cooking class you will learn how to make a main course as well as a Moroccan appetizer or salad (for example, eggplant or roasted green peppers with tomatoes).

Pigeon Pastilla

Pigeon Pastilla

When the class has finished, you will be able to savor the result of your labor by enjoying the meal you’ve prepared, in the cool shade of an olive or fig tree or in a special part of the Riad where you have taken your Moroccan cooking class.

Listed below are sample offerings that La Maison Arabe in Marrakech has as options of what you learn to cook during your Moroccan cuisine adventure. These recipes duplicated by other cooking classes in Morocco using their own chef’s unique style:

Briouate class:
-Assortment of Moroccan briouates (turnovers) – cheese, chicken ground meat, vegetables and seafood

Pastilla class (choice of):
– Chicken with almonds
– Seafood
– Vegetables

Tajine class (choice of):
– Chicken tajine with lemon and olives
– Chicken tajine M’derbel (stewed tomatoes with cinnamon and
sesame seeds).
-Chicken tajine with almonds and boiled eggs
-Lamb tajine with dates and almonds
– Lamb tajine with figs and walnuts
– Beef or lamb tajine Makfoul (steamed tomatoes with small
onions)
– Lamb tajine with prunes and apricots

Couscous class (choice of):
– Chicken or lamb with caramelized onions
– Chicken or lamb with seven vegetables

For more information about Moroccan Cooking Classes or a Morocco Culinary Tour

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration

Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Moroccan Tajine Recipe, Your Morocco Travel Guide


Moroccan Tajine

Moroccan Tajine

Tajines in Moroccan cuisine are slow-cooked stews braised at low temperatures, resulting in tender meat with aromatic vegetables and sauce. They are traditionally cooked in the tajine pot, whose cover has a knob-like formation at its top to facilitate removal. While simmering, the cover can be lifted off without the aid of a mitten, enabling the cook to inspect the main ingredients, add vegetables, move things around, or add additional braising liquid. To learn how to make a Moroccan tajine first hand, consider taking A Taste of Morocco tour or a local cooking class from a chef at a cooking school or university closest to where you live.

Tajine or tagine is a type of dish found in the North African cuisines of Morocco, which is named after the special pot in which it is cooked. The traditional tajine pot is formed entirely of a heavy clay which is sometimes painted or glazed. It consists of two parts; a base unit which is flat and circular with low sides, and a large cone or dome-shaped cover that rests inside the base during cooking. The cover is designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. With the cover removed, the base can be taken to the table for serving. The clay used to make a tajine comes from various regions in Morocco. Morocco’s Sahara Desert has orange colored clay as does the Ouarzazate region. Some of the best cooking tajines can be found in the Tizin’ Tichka pass and tajines for decorative purposed in the pottery capital, Safi.

Traditional Clay Tajine

Traditional Clay Tajine

Most tagines involve slow simmering of less-expensive meats. For example, the ideal cuts of lamb are the neck, shoulder or shank cooked until it is falling off the bone. Very few Moroccan tajines require initial browning; if there is to be browning it is invariably done after the lamb has been simmered and the flesh has become butter-tender and very moist. In order to accomplish this, the cooking liquid must contain some fat, which may be skimmed off later.

Moroccan tajines often combine lamb or chicken with a medley of ingredients or seasonings: olives, quinces, apples, pears, apricots, raisins, prunes, dates, nuts, with fresh or preserved lemons, with or without honey, with or without a complexity of spices. Traditional spices that are used to flavour tajines include ground cinnamon, saffron, ginger, turmeric, cumin, paprika, pepper, as well as the famous spice blend Ras el hanout. Some famous tajine dishes are mqualli or emshmel (both are pairings of chicken, olives and citrus fruits, though preparation methods differ), kefta (meatballs in an egg and tomato sauce), and mrouzia (lamb, raisins and almonds).

Other ingredients for a tajine include any product that braises well: fish, quail, pigeon, beef, root vegetables, legumes, even amber and aga wood. Modern recipes in the West include pot roasts, ossobuco, lamb shanks and turkey legs. Seasonings can be traditional Moroccan spices, French, Italian or suited to the dish.

Aluminum Modern Tajine

Aluminum Modern Tajine

Morocco, perhaps feeling pressure to catch up with Europe, is beginning to use the efficient pressure cooker to make tajines. Recently, European manufacturers have created tajines with heavy cast iron bottoms that can be fired on a stovetop at high heat. This permits browning meat and vegetables before cooking. While the similar Dutch oven and Sac spell (sach) (a cast iron pot with a tight cover) braises most efficiently in the oven, the tajine braises best on the stovetop.

Tajine makers, who want to remain loyal to the original cooking methods but save time, can still cook with saucepans and casseroles, but place them over gas versus a slow fire. Regardless of how you make tajine, you should make it with love and care as this will assure a delicious result. Also, keep in mind that it is difficult to make tajines for large groups because they don’t contain much more than sauce. As a result, a tajine is better prepared for your family or an intimate gathering of friends.

Tajines are a delicious meal if you enjoy exotic ingredients like lamb or chicken marinated in olive oil and garlic. (If you are vegetarian, you can request your tajine to be made without meat during your Moroccan travels). Meats are always first sautéed and then embellished with combinations of marinades including saffron, cumin, crushed red pepper, fresh coriander, parsley, chickpeas, and almonds. To be playful with the dishes, Moroccans sometimes add prunes, ginger, or hard boiled eggs. The standard dish will always include chicken, olives and salted lemons.

Some tricks to get your tajine like those of Moroccan mothers include using cooking butter (you can substitute for olive oil) and large quantities of chopped onions. Warm the onions until they reach their softest state; this will help the tajine sauce taste creamier. Adding a touch of honey is another secret.

Some differences in how tajines vary between regions include details of what spices, fats, and seasonal produce are used. Regardless of where your ingredients come from, one similarity throughout Morocco is that upon preparation, the tajine is commonly ate with couscous or thick wedges of freshly made hot bread used to scoop up the meat and vegetables.

Decorative Moroccan Tajine

Decorative Moroccan Tajine

MOROCCAN TAJINE RECIPES: The following are a few of the most popular tajine recipes to recreate at home.

Recipe: Beef Tajine with Almonds and Prunes

Ingredients:

3 Lb. beef

4.oz butter

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 large onions

1 teaspoon

salt

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 strip lemon peel

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1 Ib dried prunes

1/2 teaspoon powdered saffron

blanched almonds

3 short cinnamon sticks

fresh water cress or mint

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Making a Beef Tajine with Almonds and Prunes:
Combine the oil and ground spices in a bow, then cut the beef into cubes, chop onions finely, and mix both into oil and spices. Let stand. Sear the meat lightly in butter, add any remaining marinade and enough water to cover-simmer until meat is tender while the meat is cooking, cover the prunes with boiling water. Set aside for 20 minutes. Drain the prunes and cook them in a small amount of liquid from the meat. Add the lemon peel, cinnamon sticks, and half the sugar. Stir the remaining sugar into the meat. Arrange the meat, prunes, and their sauce on serving dish. Boil the remaining liquid from the meat rapidly to reduce it by half. Pour sauce over the meat and prunes. Garnish with almonds sautéed in a little butter and with watercress or mint. Serve with fresh bread, rice or couscous.

Chicken Olive and Preserved Lemon Tajine

Chicken Olive and Preserved Lemon Tajine

Recipe: Chicken Tajine with Olives and Preserved Lemons

Rock salt

1 whole large chicken, cut into 8 pieces

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 large bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon real saffron

Pinch fine salt

1/2 pound onions, chopped

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 pound gizzards, optional

1/4 pound chicken liver, optional

1/4 cup mixed olives, pitted

3 small preserved lemons

Making a Chicken Tajine with Olives and Preserved Lemons:
First rub the rock salt into the chicken pieces and then wash the chicken in the white wine vinegar and water. Leave for 10 minutes. Rinse and dry and place onto a clean plate. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, coriander, cinnamon, saffron, fine salt, 1/2 the onions, garlic, cumin, ginger, paprika, turmeric. Mix all these ingredients into the oil and crush the garlic and add a little water to make a paste. Roll the chicken pieces into the marinade and leave for 10 to 15 minutes. For cooking, use an earthenware tajine (traditional Moroccan dish) or a deep, heavy bottom casserole dish. Heat the dish up and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the hot dish. Drop in the chicken and pour over the excess marinade juices. Add the remaining onions, gizzards, chicken livers, olives, and chopped preserved lemons (no pulp). Cook on a gas or electric stove for 45 minutes – 1 Hour. Allow the tajine to have a slight burn on the inside bottom. Serve with fresh bread.

For more information about Moroccan Tajine recipes

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Seaside Resorts,Sahara Desert, Berber villages, A Taste of Morocco, Magical Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls, Absolute Morocco, The Best of Marrakech, Fes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration

Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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