Posts Tagged ‘Moroccan Tajines’

8 Top Restaurants in Marrakech, Chic and Savory Dining

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

Marrakech is the Paris of Morocco. Its lively dining scene makes it a stand out place for foodies. From local fare to the gastronomic table, I will take you on a culinary journey to charming cafes, local Moroccan eats to elegant restaurants. My list of suggested places to dine are bound to excite your palette and make you want to visit Morocco more than once. Chic and savory Moroccan cuisine is now at your fingertips with this 8 Best Restaurants short guide for foodies.

SALT Restaurant, Gastronomic Cuisine

SALT Restaurant, Gastronomic Cuisine

SALT Marrakech
New on the scene is SALT, perfect for those who want to dive deep into Gastro-Moroccan cuisine. The nine-course menu offers exotic flavors and is a new way of cuisine expression for die-hard foodies. Many think Moroccan is all tajines and couscous. Not here! SALT goes the beat with its visiting chef in residency program. The menu serves up dishes such as pickled watermelon with toasted almonds and argan oil, prawn ceviche with Barbara fig dressing, cumin infused carrot bissara with crispy ouarqa, slow cooked lamb’s should with ras el hanout, prunes, apricots and coriander. A journey of exotic flavors will surround you when you dine being served by traditional Moroccan chefs. Located in one of Marrakech’s most beautiful boutique riads, Dar Les Cigognes, this nouvelle chic dining experience is not to be missed. Start with cocktails on the roof terrace or try some local Moroccan wines, Volubilis Cabernet and Medallion white are two that will wet your taste buds and that can be carried over and paired with dinner. Then finish off with one of SALT’S delectable deserts.
Address: Berima Ground Floor، 108 Rue de Berima
Phone: +212-524382740

Nomad Cafe, Saffron Cake with Carmel Sauce

Nomad Cafe, Saffron Cake with Carmel Sauce

Nomad
The chic place to dine and be seen in Marrakech is NOMAD Cafe. This trendy restaurant has some of the most creative and distinct Moroccan modern dishes on the food scene. Tucked away in the medina, NOMAD café has views of the Rahba Kedima (Spice Market & Local Square). The restaurant has a nice mix of indoor and outdoor dining space with cozy indoor salons, rooftop terraces and a sun terrace as well. NOMAD’s menu items are a creative mix of Moroccan and Western dishes. The shaved cauliflower and fennel salad with fresh herbs and toasted almond is a must for vegetarians. The contemporary take on Moroccan bastilla, filled with spiced vegetables, local goat cheese and caramelized tomato comfit is second to none. Mains range from calamari served in a cumin infused sauce to marinated lamb served with olive and red pepper relish. For desert don’t miss the flourless saffron cake with caramelized orange zest and whipped cream, definitely a must!
Address: Rahba Kadema
Phone: +212-524381609

Cafe Clock, Camel Burger

Cafe Clock, Camel Burger

Café Clock
Camel burger anyone? Owned by British foodie, Mike Richardson, this eclectic, local café is frequented by Moroccans and expats alike. With delicious fare that has a contemporary touch, the trend setting Café Clock offers Moroccan mint tea and homemade cakes, tasty falafel and hummus salad, almond milkshakes, crunchy salads and it’s star feature, camel burgers and fries. The Clock, as locals call it, also boasts a wonderful cooking school and weekly Hikayat performances, the traditional art of storytelling. There are rotating showcases of local Moroccan painters, calligraphers and graffiti artists. This café does a fabulous job in making sure your stomach is full while sharing the artisanal heritage of Marrakech.
Address: Derb Chtouka Phone: +212- 524378367

Amal Women’s Training Center & Restaurant
A non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged women has made its way to the Marrakech food scene. Amal “hope” in Arabic lives up to its name fully. Established by Nora Fitzgerald, Amal was conceived to train and serve underprivileged Moroccan women. The restaurant menu changes daily and offers a mix of traditional Moroccan and fusion dishes. Moroccan salads, briouattes, tagines, liver with pureed potatoes and fish dishes are just some of the dishes on their menu. Amal offers traditional couscous on Fridays, the day of prayer. Diners are seated in the outdoor garden or interior salon. Amal has made name for itself for being socially conscious and supporting women. Eating here is an ideal way to support women and include socially responsible travel in your journey.
Address: Rue Allal Ben Ahmed
Phone: +212-524446896

La Famille
A hidden jewel located down a windy alley, just around the corner from the Dar Si Said Museum is the restaurant, La Famille. This unassuming eatery is the perfect place for a lazy Sunday brunch. Spread out on one of their wood tables and lean in to read your favorite magazine while you dine on their meat-free meals. On the menu, grilled vegetables plates, Moroccan couscous with cranberries and apricots, salads, flat breads and frothy cappuccinos. Surrounded by a rustic and charming Mediterranean garden diners can eat at tables or on low lounge chairs. La Famille also has a tiny boutique with local designers featured.
Address: 42 Riad Zitoun Jdid
Phone: +212-669041137

Chez Lamine, Mustapha -Tangia for Foodies

Chez Lamine, Mustapha -Tangia for Foodies

Chez Lamine, Mustapha
This hole-in-the-wall restaurant in the Marrakech souks is the place to go for meat eaters. Owner Mustapha is a legend in the Marrakech’s Djemaa el Fna Food stalls. Wander down Djemma El Fna to Mechoui alley and you will find a stall lined with sheep’s heads and Tangia pots. Mustapha’s recommendation, the top specialty, is called a Tangia Marrakchia, which is slow cooked lamb in an earthen jar. The Tangia is cooked over night (24 hours) inside a local hammam (bathhouse). The process allows the succulent juices to culminate at the bottom of the earthen pot. Also known for the best mechoui (whole roasted lamb) in town, this local eatery is filled with Moroccan families, regulars and travelers alike. Mustapha has a sister branch located in the popular, new town of Gueliz where visitors can sit street side and mingle with the locals.
Address: Souk Ablouh, 18-26 | Guéliz Rue Ibn Aicha N°26
Phone: +212-212661833805

La Crêperie de Marrakech
If galettes and pancakes are what you fancy then don’t miss the Le Crêperie in Marrakech’s garden district, Gueliz. This is Breton gastronomy at its best. Offering a delicious selection of crepes, buckwheat and wheat pancakes topped with your favorite sweet, savory or tangy ingredient. Prepared daily by the chef and owner, Laurent from Breton and Touria, this tiny café is a true gem. The crepes have fresh, local farm to table ingredients. Tastefully made with richness diners can enjoy a dark chocolate crepe, Roquefort or Chorizo, honey, goat cheese and spinach or butter-sugar and Nutella to the subtle variation of Suzette with oranges. There are even options for a full menu that includes a side salad for those who want some greens along with their savory meal. The décor is also as lively as the cuisine with the resident Parrot who is there to greet those arriving and the collectors’ wall of Breton sardine boxes. Perfect for those with a sweet and spicy tooth on a sunny or even a cold winter day.
Address: Rue du Capitaine Arrigui
Phone: +212 661433272

Le Jardin, Garden Restaurant in Marrakech

Le Jardin, Garden Restaurant in Marrakech

Le Jardin
If your inner compass calls for a day of R&R and International dining then make your way to Le Jardin for a late afternoon lunch. The Muezzin’s call is a far cry away from the oasis of calm at Le Jardin. This trendy restaurant is located in a garden setting offers fresh salads, sandwiches, burgers, tajines, couscous and a short wine list. A must try is their spiced Moroccan coffee or Avocado shake. What awaits you is a magnificent courtyard where you can lounge that is covered with emerald green Moroccan zellij tile, dry tolerant plants, hanging banana trees, birds and botanic flowers. It is the equivalent of dining at an arboretum. Outside dining is available on the terrace or ground floor where turtles scurry their way. Organic produce is sold downstairs in a small nook while the upstairs hosts the main boutique of French-Algerian fashion designer and tastemaker, Norya Ayon.
Address: 32 Route Sidi Abdelaziz
Phone: +212 5243-78295

Marrakech For Foodies – A Guided Food Tasting Tour

For more information about Where to Eat in Marrakech or a Guided Historical Tour

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

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

How to Buy a Tajine to Take Home From Morocco

Sunday, July 31st, 2016
Tajines, Morocco Photograph by Amanda Ponzio Mouttaki

Tajines, Morocco Photograph by Amanda Ponzio Mouttaki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A souvenir at the top of your list when visiting Morocco is most likely an is an authentic Moroccan tajine. That is until you discover how many different options exist for purchase. It can quickly become overwhelming and frustrating. We recommend that you do a little bit of research ahead of time so the experience will be much smoother.

When you first begin to look have an idea in mind of the size tajine you would like. Typically, they are categorized by the number of people they will serve. A small tajine in Morocco is used to serve 1-2 people, a medium for 3-4 and a large for 6+ people.

Cooking Tajines
There are two types of cooking tajines; glazed and unglazed. You will be able to tell a tajine is for cooking in because it will not be painted. It may have decorative etching into the clay but that is the only decoration. A glazed tajine has a shiny appearance and unglazed looks like natural clay material. Different cooks like different types of finishes. Either type may or may not have a small hole at the top of the cone. You shouldn’t worry if you see it – or if you don’t, it’s just a different style.

A glazed tajine is good for the cook who might worry about burning food inside. They clean easier and are more forgiving. Unglazed tajines take a little longer to “break in” and food burns quicker if it gets too hot. Many professional cooks swear by unglazed clay. They also develop a flavor with time.

Decorative Tajines
The other type of tajine you will see in the Moroccan souks are highly decorated with paint. These tajines are not made to or meant to be cooked in. Food is cooked separately and then transferred to the decorative tajine. You should always ask when you’re looking at a tajine if it can or cannot be cooked in just to make sure.

Caring for a Tajine
Once you’ve chosen your tajine and taken it home it’s time to get it ready. Unglazed tajines need the most preparation. They should be first rubbed with olive oil and then submerged in water for at least 24 hours. Let the tajine dry completely (another 24 hours) before using. Gazed tajines can also be pre-soaked but it’s not always necessary – ask the vendor when purchasing what they would recommend as it can vary.

To cook with a tajine always use low heat on a stovetop. You can cook on an electric or gas stove top or oven. If you’re using an electric oven you will need to put a diffuser between the tajine and the coils. They can be purchased online and from many shops in Morocco inexpensively. Be sure to check the water levels in your tajine so that it doesn’t get too low. A dry tajine will crack if there isn’t liquid and it gets too hot.

You should never wash your tajine (especially unglazed) with soap. The clay of the tajine is very porous and the soap will soak into the clay and can leave a funny taste. Instead soak in hot water, and use a coarse scrub brush or steel wool to remove any food stuck to the surface.

There is a learning curve to using a tajine so don’t get discouraged if the first few times it doesn’t work out, but once you’ve mastered it you’ll be ready to make another trip to Morocco for more tajines to stock your kitchen!

For more information about How to Make a Tajine or A Taste of Morocco Food Tour

For more information about how to buy a tajine on a Morocco Private Tour

Amanda Mouttaki is a food and travel writer and blogger, with an expertise on Moroccan culinary traditions and food culture. Her passion is uncovering the stories behind traditional cultures and food around the world. She lives in Marrakech, Morocco with her family.

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

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.