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5 Moroccan dishes you’ve never heard of (to add to your bucket list)

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Morocco has a rich culinary fabric, woven with fragrant spices, famously colourful markets and a unique generosity of spirit that’s evident in all its dishes. While most people are familiar with the country’s famous mint tea, tagines and couscous, we explore a handful of lesser-known dishes every food lover should try.

Harira

This classic hearty Moroccan soup is commonly served after sundown during Ramadan. It contains chickpeas, beans or lentils, tomato, spices like saffron, cinnamon and pepper, and sometimes chicken or lamb. Every family will have its own faithfully defended recipe.

Chebbakia

The English spelling of this confectionery is up for debate – Chebakia? Chebakya? – but its deliciousness is not. Another popular treat during Ramadan, these golden deep-fried shapes are meant to resemble roses, and are delicately flavoured with ground sesame seeds, spices, honey and rosewater or orange-blossom water.

Pastilla

Also known as bastille or b’stilla, this Moroccan pie of flaky pastry is usually served at the beginning of the meal. An evocative mixture of sweet, savoury and spicy, the pastilla traditionally contains pigeon, an eggy custard, almonds, saffron, cinnamon and fresh coriander.

A photo posted by (@hajisahar) on

Kab al ghazal or gazelle horns

Orange-blossom water, rose syrup, honey, almonds, dates, cinnamon… You can’t go wrong with any of Morocco’s sweetly spiced pastries. One of the most distinctive are called gazelle horns, little curved parcels filled with almond paste and flavoured with orange-blossom water. Watch this quick video on how to make them.

A photo posted by Jenna Irving (@lapoirebleue) on

Zaalouk

This warm dip, made with roasted aubergine, fresh tomato, garlic, cumin and coriander leaves, is a real crowd pleaser. It usually accompanies grilled meats or fish, kebabs or tagines, but can be enjoyed simply with warm flatbreads.

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