Food is a major part of Moroccan culture. Its diverse and intense flavors perfectly capture Morocco’s multiethnic background, tumultuous history and rich heritage – and they’re an integral part of the country’s renowned hospitality. Best of all? Moroccan food is absolutely delicious.
Influenced by Arabic, Berber, Andalusian, and French traditions, Morocco’s cuisine is filled with intriguing flavor combinations that will surprise you with every bite. Think fresh sardines seasoned with a tasty combination of parsley, coriander, cumin and a dash of chili. Or an unexpected rich pigeon meat pie coated with cinnamon and sugar icing.
It’s said that Morocco’s traditional dishes are tastiest when served at home. So, eat with a family if you can or at least a family-owned restaurant during your journey through Morocco. If you can’t then some of the best food can also be found in riads.
Our favorite Moroccan food!
Morocco’s most famous dish is actually named after the conical clay pot in which it’s cooked. A staple in every menu – from roadside stalls to top notch restaurants – tagine consists of a warm stew of tender meat and vegetables seasoned with a blend of spices and always served with a side of khobz (bread). Slow-cooked chicken with green olives and lemons is arguably the classic base but make sure to try the kefta variety where minced lamb or beef is rolled into balls, cooked in a tomato and onion sauce, and topped with an egg.
Also called seksu, couscous is another staple in Moroccan cuisine that dates back to the 13thcentury. Traditionally, it’s a time-consuming process to prepare as fine wheat pasta is rolled by hand before being steamed over a stew of meat and vegetables. To serve, the couscous covers the meat in a pyramid shape with vegetables pressed to the side and a sauce served separately. Couscous is usually saved for special days and holidays such as weddings, funerals and the end of Ramadan, but it can always be found in any restaurant throughout Morocco.
Before getting to the tagine or the couscous, though, every Moroccan meal will begin with a vegetable salad and khobz to warm up your appetite. And to spice things up, a side of zaaloukis traditionally served to add some flavor to your entrée. This smoked eggplant dip seasoned with garlic, cumin, paprika and a dash of chili powder is the perfect addition to your Moroccan meal.
When you’re on-the-go in the morning, there’s nothing better than Morocco’s most beloved street food. For a few pennies at a food stall, this hearty soup of dried broad beans will also come with a delicious side of freshly baked khobz. Typically served at breakfast, with olive oil, cumin and sometimes paprika dusted on top, b’ssara is sure to leave you feeling satisfied until lunchtime!
But it’s not all stews and purées: Morocco’s long coastline also means that the national cuisine is filled with tasty fish recipes cooked with the freshest catch of the day. Chermoula is one of the local favorite ways to season it – its tasty combination of herbs and spices is perfect to marinate the fish before grilling or to use as a dipping sauce.