How To Cook Traditional Moroccan Food Recipes
Knowing how to cook food is something of a necessity for anyone who enjoys eating out. Whether it’s Chinese Japanese or Egyptian food, there are hundreds of different ingredients and methods of cooking it. The classic cylindrical, well-defined cookware common to Italian (and many other North African countries) called the engine is very similar to the traditional western world s Dutch Oven. But knowing how to cook ethnic (read traditional Moroccan) engines on a stove is quite a different skill set, at least in some ways.
Traditional Moroccan cuisine revolves around a food preparation that mixing meat and vegetables in varying amounts. Think of meat, fish, shellfish, vegetable, and rice; mix these up to come to a dish that is sumptuous and satisfying. Meat is the main staple, though milk and yogurt are also used frequently. Vegetables are almost always cooked in a combination of butter and oil along with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices.
Because traditional Moroccan foods are rich and spicy, they often require a bit more preparation than other foods.
To begin with, one should not be intimidated when gathering the ingredients. There are whole sections dedicated to preparing these types of foods, so learning how to do them will not be a hassle. Some ethnic dishes are very simple, requiring nothing more than oil and salt. Others, like the famous “hummus” of Morocco (or “houses”), are more elaborate requiring numerous ingredients and techniques. But, no matter what type of cuisine you want to prepare, it is always a good idea to use a bit of salt and pepper for flavoring purposes.
There are two types of Moroccan cooking traditions: secular and religious. In secular dishes, which are the majority of Moroccan foods, religion plays a minimal role. The word translated literally means “web-shaped.” Muslim Jewish, and Christian are some of the major religions that are practiced in Morocco.
When it comes to religious Moroccan cooking, the true focus is on aroma, taste, and fragrance rather than strict dietary guidelines. In this type of cooking, meat is used liberally.
The most popular type of meat is beef, though goat, chicken, and even pork are acceptable. The fish and poultry mentioned here are rarely used as proteins. As with all types of Indian cuisine, the spices used are seldom ground or roasted and are instead combined with a variety of ingredients to produce a savory flavor. This is one reason many people prefer to cook Indian cuisine rather than Western food: the spices used to create an almost mystical experience.
One of the most popular ingredients used in Moroccan recipes is cardamom. Cardamom is used in a variety of Moroccan recipes from starters and main courses to desserts and deserts. Cardamom is also added sparingly to many Middle Eastern dishes because it adds a depth of flavor not found in other ingredients.
Common spices for Moroccan cooking include cinnamon, cumin, ginger, turmeric, garlic, black pepper, paprika, chili, and fried onions. Spices can also be ground like cumin and added to a stew or soup to enhance their spices.
Because of the wide range of possibilities for spices used in Moroccan cooking, it is not surprising that traditional recipes often call for foreign ingredients, such as cloves, cardamom, and curry leaves. The idea is to use these spices and flavorings sparingly and only to enhance the true taste of the dish. Cardamom is often considered too strong and overpowering; therefore, it is usually included in recipes in the form of a spice. However, there is no limit to the creativity of a chef and the possibilities are almost endless.
Although Garlic and Cilantro seem like common additives, other spices have also been used in traditional recipes, which gives an idea of their popularity among culinary enthusiasts. Cayenne Pepper is often found in casseroles and sauces and is very popular for its piquant flavor. Peppermint is loved because of its distinctive spiciness. Crushed red chilies or reconstituted dried chilies are also used as a flavoring agent. In fact, chilies make up one of the main ingredients in Mexican cuisine.