If you’re planning a Morocco vacation one of the best ways to discover the culture of the Maghreb is to taking a cooking class or a private, cooking course in Morocco’s Imperial Cities of Marrakech and Fes or consider a Moroccan culinary tour. Marrakech and Fes offer some of the Morocco’s best cooking classes as a result of their subculture and history of fine cuisine alongside being able to lay claim to some of the best restaurants in Morocco.
A Morocco cooking class usually starts with a comprehensive introduction that highlights the importance of cooking in Moroccan society, and reviews the variety of recipes created by dadas (traditional woman cooks) over the centuries for special occasions such as marriages, holidays such as Ramadan, Eid El Kebir, Moroccan baptisms, and circumcisions.
Before taking a cooking class in Morocco most leading chefs will take you on a tour of the Marrakech or Fes medina on a tour and in search of the most favored spices that are used in Morocco cooking. During your medina tour you will discover spices such as fresh cumin, ginger, wild saffron grown from the Moroccan city of Talouine, indigenous sea salt from the Souss region of Agadir and pepper.
The core spices used in Moroccan cuisine include ginger, saffron, Cumin, ras el hanout (a mixture of up to 35 different spices and a famous Moroccan must in any kitchen), as well as salt and pepper. Olive oil, of which there is an abundance in Morocco, is also an essential ingredient in the local cuisine, as well as ghi (a kind of aged butter).
Most Moroccan recipes use parsley and coriander. Other important herbs such as thyme, oregano, bay leaf, rosemary and basil, are used depending on the recipe being prepared.
Traditionally, Moroccan homes used charcoal and clay pots to cook tajines or couscous. Modern Moroccan homes of course use the same gas or electric ranges found in European or American homes.
The cooking workshops at in Marrakech at famous five star Riads such as Le Maison Arabe and Le Jardin Des La Medina are conducted using modern equipment, so that the participants can easily prepare the dishes they have learned once they have returned to their own countries. A typical Moroccan cooking class lasts approximately 3-4 hours depending on the dish of choice you have chosen to make.
The same goes for the top cooking classes in Fes at Lahcen’s Moroccan Cooking class and culinary tour which is acclaimed by the New York Times and also at Café Clock
Before beginning your Moroccan cooking workshop, your chef will first offer an an overview of the most traditional recipes such as pastilla, couscous, and the broad variety of tajines (stews usually made with lamb or chicken), while reviewing some of the basic pillars of Moroccan cuisine.
Then the class will begin and take you away on a Moroccan adventure that will fill tempt your pallet.
Moroccan cooking Techniques for a typical tajine recipe calls for searing the meat, softening the onions, bringing to a boil and allowing to slowly simmer. This results in a reduced, thick sauce.
Techniques for pastilla and couscous will also be reviewed. Finally, before the practical part of the cooking class begins, you will be acquainted with the recipe of the day, whether it’s a chicken tajine with olives and preserved lemons, couscous or pastilla, and review the various vegetables and ingredients that will be used.
Most Moroccan cooking classes are structured around easy-to- make traditional recipes. Each participant has his or her own workstation and equipment, and follows step-by-step the preparing of that day’s dish. In a typical workshop or Moroccan cooking class you will learn how to make a main course as well as a Moroccan appetizer or salad (for example, eggplant or roasted green peppers with tomatoes).
When the class has finished, you will be able to savor the result of your labor by enjoying the meal you’ve prepared, in the cool shade of an olive or fig tree or in a special part of the Riad where you have taken your Moroccan cooking class.
Listed below are sample offerings that La Maison Arabe in Marrakech has as options of what you learn to cook during your Moroccan cuisine adventure. These recipes duplicated by other cooking classes in Morocco using their own chef’s unique style:
-Assortment of Moroccan briouates (turnovers) – cheese, chicken ground meat, vegetables and seafood
Pastilla class (choice of):
– Chicken with almonds
Tajine class (choice of):
– Chicken tajine with lemon and olives
– Chicken tajine M’derbel (stewed tomatoes with cinnamon and
-Chicken tajine with almonds and boiled eggs
-Lamb tajine with dates and almonds
– Lamb tajine with figs and walnuts
– Beef or lamb tajine Makfoul (steamed tomatoes with small
– Lamb tajine with prunes and apricots
Couscous class (choice of):
– Chicken or lamb with caramelized onions
– Chicken or lamb with seven vegetables
For more information about Moroccan Cooking Classes or a Morocco Culinary Tour
For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial Cities, Seaside Resorts,Sahara Desert, Berber villages, A Taste of Morocco, Magical Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls, Absolute Morocco, The Best of Marrakech, Fes, and Ouarzazate
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