This Moroccan Couscous Recipe Will Immerse You In Authentic Culture

moroccan couscous

Moroccan couscous. Photo via etorres/Shutterstock; Edited by Epicure & Culture.

By Ikram Elharti of So Moroccan 

Morocco has several tourist attractions and exotic locations; however, the one thing that unites a low-key budget experience with a grand tour package is the food. Food is a very large part of culture. A spice palette, dining etiquette and traditional food preparation methods give you a taste of the entire nation in one dish. A tour of Morocco must include a taste of its most famous traditional dish, Moroccan couscous.

Couscous is a special dish made every Friday in Moroccan homes. Typically the week’s leftover vegetables are used to make the stew for the couscous. Now this isn’t a dish made by merely putting together meat and vegetables; a lot of love and effort is stewed into the broth. Traditionally couscous is steamed for hours in a special pot, called a Couscoussier. A rich broth of seasonal vegetables and meat is then prepared simultaneously.

The best thing about this dish is that it is made accessible to everybody. It has simplistic ingredients like carrots, tomatoes, onions, beans, chicken or beef depending on what’s available.

Origins Of Moroccan Couscous

Before it gained national popularity, couscous was a staple in regions like North Africa, Libya and some parts of the Middle East. It came to be most frequently consumed by the Berber tribe in Morocco. Couscous continued to be a favorite among people in the 20th century due to its simplicity and affordability. It is most commonly served with the entire family gathered around for a feast in clay pots. The dish is also generously shared with friends and neighbors.

moroccan couscous

Moroccan spices. Photo via Milosz Maslanka/Shutterstock.

A Symbol Of Family, Unity & Hospitality

While many can claim they have tasted delicious couscous in their home countries, enjoying it in Morocco, prepared by Moroccans in their home, is a truly unique experience. Moroccans are some of the most welcoming people — it’s part of their culture and traditions. So, if you are lucky enough to make a friend on your visit and get an invite, they will show you the true meaning of hospitality.

Remember, Moroccan couscous is not just a dish; it binds the people from all strata of society together. It is an experience closest to the heart of Moroccan cooking and culture.

Traditional dishes give you an insight into the lives and values of a country, a state, society and a home. A hot pot of couscous is a dish without which the experience of Morocco would be incomplete. And even if you can’t travel to Morocco, the below recipe can be made at home to give you a taste of the country.

moroccan couscous

Vegetarian couscous. Photo via Elena Veselova/Shutterstock.

Vegetarian Moroccan Couscous Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz vegetable medley (carrots, cauliflower, zucchini squash), coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup pre-sliced onion
  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 25 parsley and cilantro sprigs tied together
  • 1 tomato, quartered
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking plain couscous

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until softened. Add seasoning including saffron, turmeric, ginger salt and black Pepper. Place in tomatoes and herbs.

2. Add broth and water, bring to a boil.

3. Add the vegetables, cook for 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are ready.

4. Cook couscous according to package directions.

5. In a serving plate, place the couscous with the vegetables. Pour some of the broth
on top.

6. Serve hot.

7. Enjoy!

moroccan couscous

About Ikram Elharti

Ikram is a blogger and mom who resides in Florida. She enjoys sharing her passion for Moroccan culture and style in her blog www.somoroccan.com. She loves cooking authentic Moroccan food as well as sharing her best-kept secrets, what and where to eat like a local and other travel tips on Morocco, where she was born and raised.

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The Complete Middle East Cookbook by Tess Mallos [Great Reads]

YogaDownload.com Yoga On The Go [Travel Health]

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Jessica Festa

Jessica Festa is the editor of Epicure & Culture as well as Jessie on a Journey. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia, agritouring through Tuscany, and volunteering in Ghana.

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