5 delicious recipes from morocco " TAJINE - HARIRA - COUSCOUS RECIPES ..."

HARIRA SOUP




By day the main square in Marrakesh, the Djmaa el-Fna, is the haunt of colourful snake-charmers, water-sellers and trinket-sellers; as night falls out come the storytellers, fire-eaters, acrobats and magicians, who provide entertainment among the rows of open-air food-stalls lit by blazing kerosene lanterns. Customers sit at simple wooden tables on long benches and choose portions of whatever takes their fancy from the mounds of tempting food on display.
There are lots of different recipes for harira soup. We ate this version as an early snack before dinner in the night market, where it is served from huge pans and eaten with wooden spoons. Some stalls sell nothing but harira soup, and become very busy during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, when a bowl of harira is a popular way to break the day’s fast.

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground saffron or turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 medium potatoes, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 125g/4oz green lentils
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 450g/1lb tomatoes, puréed in a food processor
  • 600ml/1 pint stock
  • 225g/8oz cooked or drained canned chickpeas
  • 60g/2oz cooked or drained canned white beans
  • 125g/4oz vermicelli, broken up
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. When it is hot, fry the onions and garlic until they soften.
  2. Add the parsley, ginger, black pepper, saffron or turmeric, cayenne, paprika and ground coriander, stirring to prevent sticking.
  3. Then add the potatoes, carrots and celery, green lentils and tomato purée.
  4. Stir well and add the puréed fresh tomatoes, stock and enough water to cover all the ingredients well.
  5. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, adding more water when necessary (pulses do soak up a lot of water during cooking).
  6. The general aim is for a thickish soup.
    Now add the cooked chickpeas, white beans and vermicelli and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the vermicelli are soft.
  7. Finally pour in the lemon juice and season to taste.



MARRAKESH TAJINE 


The Marrakesh markets are full of every imaginable herb, spice and dried fruit, and we found that tajines tend to be much richer there than elsewhere in Morocco. We watched a sixty-year-old chef cook this tajine in the heart of the medina. Vegetables are cooked slowly and are served very soft, almost crumbling into the sauce. They are cut in large pieces to prevent them from disintegrating completely.

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 level tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground saffron or turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 aubergine, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into 1cm/1/2 in half-rounds
  • 4 small potatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped into large chunks
  • 1 red and 1 green pepper, deseeded and cut lengthwise into 2.5cm/1in strips
  • salt
  • 6 artichoke hearts (fresh or canned)
  • 125g/4oz fine green beans
  • 4 medium tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus more to garnish
  • handful of coriander leaves, chopped, plus more to garnish
  • small handful of raisins
  • small handful of dried apricots
  • 85g/3oz stoned olives

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and, when hot, fry the onions until they start to soften.
  2. Add the spices, stirring to prevent sticking.
  3. Add the aubergine, potatoes, sweet potato and green and red peppers.
  4. Sprinkle with a little salt as this helps prevent the aubergine from absorbing all the oil.
  5. When the aubergine starts to soften, add all the remaining vegetables and the tomato purée with just enough water barely to cover the vegetables.
  6. Add the parsley, coriander, raisins, apricots and olives.
  7. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until all the vegetables are really soft and the sauce is reduced until it is thick and rich, with the oil returning on the top.
  8. Garnish with lots of parsley and coriander, and serve with harissa and crunchy baguette or couscous.

OUARZAZATE COUSCOUS RECIPES



We spent a few days in an amazing house overlooking a huge lake on the edge of the desert between the High Atlas and the Anti-Atlas mountains. Only a few miles along the Dades valley was an impressive collection of grand kasbahs (citadels) set among lush palmeraies in the oasis of Skoura. The house was very remote, but the wonderful resident cook brought our evenings alive with nightly cookery lessons.
The food in the desert is much simpler than that found in the cities. We particularly liked a dish of vegetables cooked almost like a soup and served with lots of fluffy couscous to soak up the sauce. The vegetables were kept whole and simmered until really soft, while the couscous was steamed for two hours over a huge pot. However, we have devised a much quicker way of making it, given in this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red onions, sliced from top to bottom into 4 wedges
  • 1 large handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus more to garnish
  • 3 tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground saffron or turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 6 small carrots
  • 6 small turnips, halved if large
  • 1 small white cabbage (about 450g/1lb), cut into six lengthwise
  • 600ml/1 pint stock
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • 450g/1lb pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into large cubes
  • 6 small courgettes, part peeled lengthwise to create a striped effect
  • salt
  • harissa , to serve (optional)
  • For the couscous
  • 450g/1lb fine couscous
  • 600ml/1 pint boiling water
  • large knob of butter
  • 125g/4oz toasted flaked almonds
  • ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a large heavy-based saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onion until it starts to soften.
  2. Then add the parsley, tomatoes and spices. Stir to avoid sticking.
  3. Add the carrots, turnips and cabbage, and fry to soften.
  4. Add the stock and the preserved lemon. If necessary, add more water so the vegetables are nearly covered in liquid. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add the pumpkin
  6. and the courgettes. Simmer for another 10–15 minutes or so, until all the vegetables are very soft, adding more water if needed. The end result should be quite soupy.
  7. While the vegetables are cooking you can prepare the couscous: place the couscous in a large bowl, add the boiling water and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  8. Now fluff the couscous with a fork or with your fingers until the grains are separated.
  9. To keep it warm, either sprinkle with water, cover and leave in a preheated low oven; or, if you have a steamer, steam on top of the vegetables for 10 minutes prior to serving.
  10. To serve, season the vegetables and pour them into a colourful bowl, or a tajine if you are lucky enough to possess one.
  11. Garnish with chopped parsley.
  12. Stir the butter into the hot couscous, then pile on a large flat plate or bowl.
  13. Shape into a mound and sprinkle with the toasted flaked almonds and cinnamon.
  14. If you like spicy food, this is delicious served with harissa to give it a kick.

HARISSA



Ingredients

  • about 20 dried red chillies
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 11/2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Soak the chillies in boiling water for half an hour.
  2. Meanwhile dry-roast the cumin and coriander in a small frying pan until aromatic.
  3. Remove from the heat and grind to a powder.
  4. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until a thickish paste forms.
  5. Scoop into a jar and pour a little olive oil over the surface to form a seal.
  6. Store in a fridge in an airtight container and serve with salads or couscous or to spice up cooked Moroccan vegetable dishes.
  7. Harissa is a strongly spiced condiment, so use with caution.

PRESERVED LEMONS 



Ingredients

  • 450g/1lb lemons (4–6), plus juice of about 4 more lemons
  • 60g/2oz salt

Directions

  1. Cut the lemons into quarters, and cover the cut surfaces with salt.
  2. Put the lemons in a shallow bowl and cover with a weighted plate to help release juices.
  3. Leave for about 30 minutes.
  4. Put the lemons and any juices that have collected in the bowl into a sterilized jar, pour on more lemon juice to moisten the lemons and just cover them, then seal.
  5. The preserved lemons can be used after about 3 weeks.
  6. Alternatively, a quicker way is simply to cut lemons into quarters and blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute, then refresh them in cold water.
  7. This method isn’t quite as authentic,but allows you to have almost the real thing in minutes, and you can do just enough for Ouarzazate Couscous

enjoy your day



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