Recipes of Traditional Food from Braised Beef to Lamb Kebabs

Bring Morocco home! Try these recipes at home, light some candles and let your imagination run free as you taste the flavors of Moroccan cuisine.

Moroccan Braised Beef


3 Tablespoons Olive Oil (separately)

2.5lbs beef (cut into quarter inch cubes)

2 cups of onions, chopped 3 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon garam masala (chopped)

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

half teaspoon turmeric

half teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup dry red wine

half cup dry sherry

2 cups beef broth

a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes in juice

1.5 cups gold raisins


Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a big pot. Whilst the oil is heating up, sprinkle your meat with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, put your meat into the pot and sauté until brown. This should take about 5 minutes. Put the meat into a bowl and then put another spoon of olive oil into your pot. Sauté your onions until brown. Then add the garlic, masala, paprika, cumin, turmeric and pepper. Stir this mixture for about a minute or so. Add the wine and sherry and boil until a light glaze. Stir in the tomatoes and juice, broth and raisin. Add the beef to this mixture. Reduce the heat and boil for about an hour uncovered until the mixture is thick, stirring occasionally.

Serves 6-8.

Moroccan Lamb Kebabs


three quarter cup of olive oil

two thirds cup of lemon juice

6 finely copped garlic cloves

2 tablespoons finely chopped mint

4 teaspoons salt

4 teaspoons grated lemon peel

2 teaspoons black pepper (ground)

2 teaspoons coriander (ground)

1 teaspoon cumin (ground)

4lbs lamb (leg) cut into 2in cubes

16 skewers 32 dried apricots (whole) boiled in water for 15 min

4 red onions cut into 8 pieces


Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, mint, salt, lemon, pepper, coriander and cumin together until blended. Set aside half a cup of this mixture in the fridge to use later to baste the kebabs. Put the kebabs in this mixture for 2 hours at room temperature. Ensure they they’re well coated by the marinade. Prepare your barbecue. Thread 3 lamb cubes onto 1 skewer. Then thread 3 apricots and 3 onion chunks alternately on the next skewer. Baste everything with the reserved marinade. Grill the apricot/onion skewers until onions soft & brown. Grill lamb to your preference, basting continuously.

Serve on couscous

Chicken with Preserved Lemons


2 lbs of chicken, whole or in pieces

1 T Ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

7-8 threads of saffron (soaked for 10 minutes in hot water)

3 T olive oil

1 small onion

skin of one preserved lemon cut in four pieces

1 dozen green olives

2 T butter



Brown the chicken with the olive oil in a saucepan, add the salt, butter, ginger, onions, garlic, saffron (and saffron soaking water) and a further 1.5 cups of water. Bring the water to boil and turn the chicken, stir the mixture and reduce the heat to medium simmer. Add more water if necessary, to prevent the sauce from reducing completely. Remove the onion from the pot when it is cooked. When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot, rub it with butter and put it in the oven at 350 degrees, for 10 – 15 minutes or until the skin is brown. Put the chicken back into the pot, add the olives and the preserved lemon, and cook for another 10 – 15 minutes. Place the chicken olives and lemon on a platter, let the sauce thicken and reduce and pour it over the chicken before serving.

Ghoriba with Almonds or Macaroons

Ingredients for 60 to 70 macaroons:

7 beaten eggs

250 g of granulated sugar

1 sachet of chemical yeast

1 zest of shabby lemon

1 kg of hulled and chopped almonds

200 g of fine semolina

water of orange blossom

icing sugar


Beat the eggs. Mix the eggs, sugar, yeast, and the lemon zest. Add the chopped almonds and the semolina. Mix and kneed mixture until it forms a soft dough. Dampen your hands with the water of orange blossom. Roll the dough into small balls, flatten the balls, and roll it into the icing sugar. Arrange them in an oiled baking pan. Bake in middle of oven on 356 ‘F (180’C) for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Salad Zalouk (Egg Plant Salad)


1 kg of egg plant

500 g of tomatoes

5 to 6 cloves of garlic

5 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of lemon juice

1 tbsp of red pepper

1 tbsp of cumin


a half tbsp of pepper

black olives and preserved slice lemon


Cut the egg plant into big pieces and cook for 30 minutes in salty water. Cut tomatoes into pieces, and fry in shallow frying pan, together with the red pepper, cumin, garlic, salt and lemon juice for 5 minutes. When the egg plant is almost done, drain all the water, and add to the tomato mix. Mix everything together and simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve cool.

Couscous Tfaya (couscous and chicken)


2 lbs chicken in parts or lamb

2 lbs onions, thinly sliced

1 lb couscous (not instant)

2 C raisins

1 1/2 C chickpeas soaked overnight (or one can)

1 1/2 t Ginger

1 1/2 t Turmeric

1/2 t Black pepper

1 t Salt

3 t Cinnamon

3-4 T Sugar or honey

Olive oil


Soak the couscous for a half an hour with 1- 1.5 cups of water, rubbing it between your hands to remove any lumps. Place the couscous in the top part of a couscoussier and fill the bottom with water, bring the water to boil and steam the couscous while you prepare the chicken. Fry chicken, half of the onions, in olive until brown, when brown, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add all the spices, the rest of the onions, the raisons, and 1.5 cups of water, (except the cinnamon), simmer for a further 10 minutes. Add the cinnamon and the chickpeas; continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked. When chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the pot, and continue to simmer the chickpeas, onions and raisins. Add more cinnamon to taste and add water to prevent the mixture from burning. After about 10 minutes, add the sugar or honey and let it dissolve, add more water if necessary, simmer until mixture starts caramelizing. Add chicken to warm up. To serve put couscous in a large plate forming a hole in the middle. Put chicken in the whole forming a pyramid; pour the chickpeas, raisins, and onions over the pyramid.

Harira (Lamb, Lentil and Chickpea Soup)

Harira is the traditional meal eaten to break the fast during Ramadan; it is usually served with dates, figs and special sweets called chabakiya. A Moroccan proverb says that if someone tells you the Harira is cold, tell him to put his hand in it.


1 lb of lamb cut in large pieces

1 small onion, minced

1/4 head of cabbage cut in largish pieces

1 C chickpeas soaked overnight (or from a can)

1/3 C lentils

2 quarts of water

1/4 C olive oil

1/3 C fresh parsley, minced

6-7 strands of saffron (soaked in a few tablespoons of hot water)

1/2 – 1 t pepper

2/3 t ginger

1 cube of chicken bouillon


1/2 lemon

Cook the lentils in slated water, when soft drain the water, and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over them.

Cook the rest of the ingredients, in a soup pot over a low heat for 50- 60 minutes until the chickpeas and meat is cooked.

Additional ingredients:

1/4 C rice

1/4 C angel hair pasta, broken up

2 lbs crushed tomatoes (in cans)

3 T flour

1/3 C fresh coriander, minced



Add the tomatoes to the broth and cook for 10 minutes. Mix the flour with a little water to form a paste, add to the soup, and stir continuously to avoid lumps. Bring the soup to a boil, add the pasta, rice, coriander and salt, simmer for a further 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the lentils, cook for further 5 minutes.

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