Traditional Moroccan Cooking: Recipes from Fez
This is the Moroccan national dish. It will be served to you at the end of a copious meal by your host anxious to saturate your already failing appetite and you will be incapable of tasting more than one or two mouthfuls. On the other hand, if invited informally by friends and sitting round the table you are given couscous, you can, with impunity, stuff yourself with this semolina, each grain separated from the other, so light, smooth and scented, and digested with incredible ease. You must take in your right hand a chickpea or a raisin with a handful of semolina, press and shape it carefully to form a small ball and an expert twist of the thumb should carry it to your mouth. As you will probably only succeed in besmearing yourself with grease it is better to ask for a spoon. But learn to appreciate the contrast between the softness of the raisins and the sharp burning of the peppery semolina.
1 lb beef — choose fatty meat, if possible from the ribs
Mince the meat very finely and put it in a bowl with the seasoning so that it is very heavily spiced. Mix carefully and leave to marinate. Take a little meat, enough to make a small ball the size of an egg, and pack it tightly around the skewer in the shape of a small sausage. Lay the keftas like this in twos and threes. Grill quickly, turning them often and serve very hot.
Tea-making is a gift of God, a gift that cannot be acquired. There are no proportions, no rules for making tea, no two glasses ever taste the same. The quality of the leaves is of an infinite variety — before the war I was told of more than sixty sorts. The quantity and quality of the mint, everything counts in this infusion. I will try to teach you to make this green tea in a way that I hope will be drinkable without presuming to reach the ultimate perfection where the scented mint brings to the bitterness of the tea its fresh and piquant flavour.
Lemons Preserved in Salt
4 lb ordinary lemons
Put the lemons to soak in water, which must be changed every morning, for five days. At the end of this time divide each lemon in four, taking care that the quarters remain attached. Put a pinch of salt in the middle of each lemon, shut and reshape the fruit. Put the two sorts of lemons into the same jar and place a clean stone on the top. A month later they will be ready. At the end of a few days a juice as thick as honey, but salty, will ooze out and the lemons can be preserved in this indefinitely if kept in a dry place.
This cake is made in large quantities every night during Ramadan. To make it you will need fine flour, water, a little salt, yeast, a frying-pan full of oil, a pailful of honey, and ... a flower pot with a hole in the bottom, or a funnel.