Join our mailing list to receive offers and news.

Traditional Moroccan Cooking: Recipes from Fez

Couscous

> view full size

 

Couscous

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.

Copyright © Madame Guinaudeau, 2007

 
Kefta

> view full size

 

Kefta

1 lb beef — choose fatty meat, if possible from the ribs
A small bunch of finely chopped coriander
A few coarsely chopped parsley leaves
A blade of sweet marjoram
Salt
A pinch of pepper
A good pinch of hot red soudania pepper
1 heaped teaspoon ras el hanout
1 teaspoon powdered cumin
1 finely chopped onion

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.

Copyright © Madame Guinaudeau, 2007

 
Tea

> view full size

 

Tea

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.

Copyright © Madame Guinaudeau, 2007

 
Lemons Preserved in Salt

> view full size

 

Lemons Preserved in Salt

4 lb ordinary lemons
8 lb small thin or
doqq lemons

Utensils: an absolutely clean jar and a stone.

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.

You will find that they are used in a number of dishes - meat and vegetable tagines, chickens browned in butter. Pregnant women suck them all day long to give them an appetite. In salads the salty juice is used to advantage instead of vinegar.

Copyright © Madame Guinaudeau, 2007

 
Chebbakiya

> view full size

 

Chebbakiya

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.

Knead the flour, salt, water and yeast thoroughly, until you have a very soft dough. Put on one side for several hours. Now comes the sleight of hand which is amusing to watch. This is how I have seen it done in Fez Djedid, to the west of the old town. Hold the flower pot filled with dough between your thumb and forefinger high above the pan of boiling oil, with your fourth finger blocking the hole. Remove your finger and trace quickly with the falling dough a flower with round petals about eight inches in diameter. Brown on both sides, turning it with an iron hook, then, while still boiling, dip it in the pailful of liquid honey for about one minute. The hollow parts of the well-risen dough will be filled with honey. When you crunch the scented and sugary chebbakiya, its thick essence will burst into your mouth.

Copyright © Madame Guinaudeau, 2007

 
» OR Books.
twitter facebook instagram pinterest
» Join our mailing list.