Vote for my Shawerma Tuna Flavour for a chance to win AED 15,000

Friday, 27 July 2012

A Moroccan Menu to tickle your taste buds and awaken your imagination

Moroccan Cuisine is flavoursome and truly heart warming

"The more you let yourself go, the less others let you go."  - Friedrich Nietzsche 

I am just foolishly happy with your excitement about me posting menus. I am getting all these requests for all types of Menus and I will be posting more of these for you to enjoy :) You know that I am also posting daily suggested Menus on Twitter, so make sure to find them there too. The links to all the recipes in the tweeted menus are included in the tweets to spare you the trouble of looking for them. So I am hoping this would help with all your requests. I do however want to ask you to please post your requests here in the comments section rather than in an email. Because due to the ridiculous amount of emails I am receiving, I find it hard to keep up and reply to all of you. It is easier to do that here.

These days it seems that every time I am asked what I would like to have for Iftar, I am always suggesting Moroccan Food! I feel like it is a change from the everyday same foods that we keep on having. Moroccan food is brilliantly falvoursome. The foods are always super tender, melt in your mouth kind of texture. The meats are extremely tender, the vegetables whole yet almost melting, and the depth of the flavours of Moroccan foods is never matched in any other cuisine! I love it, and these days more than ever I appreciate the thought behind every dish that comes out of a Moroccan kitchen.

I have therefore decided to go for a Moroccan menu, that includes the most brilliant and best loved Moroccan concoctions. I have included 2 tagines to cater for different palates. Many people haven't discovered the goodness of lamb and believe they don't like lamb. Therefore a chicken tagine allows them to enjoy this menu too. You would want to cater to different guests needs, and this menu helps you do that.

Ramadan Moroccan Menu
On this heavenly menu...
Almond Flakes Studded CousCous (recipe Below)

Menu Rationale
At times you would want to change and serve a menu that you do not usually cook. At times you want to impress your guests with new dishes they are not used to you serving them. Other times, you want to serve a wave of comfort food, tuck in with your family to the aromas, the textures and flavours of comfort. This is a menu that is good for any of those times. It is one that is packed with flavour, warm, welcoming and comforting. It is one I would serve when welcoming someone new as my guest. Because through this menu, I hint warmth, comfort and good taste.

Moroccan Hareera Soup

Hareera Soup (properly pronounced Hreera) is a delicious soup that swept over the Middle East taking the throne from the old Lentil Soup. Not that lentil soup is not good, but Hareera took lentils to another ball game. Hareera qualified lentils for the Olympics! There is depth in flavour, aromatic tones from the coriander, saffron, ginger, turmeric... There is crunch from the chickpeas and the fried onions, there is slight acidity from the tomatoes, there is goodness in every bite and imagination in every breath. This is a soup recipe that you will want to hold on to because once you make it, you will be making it lots! (Find my Hareera Soup Recipe here)

Tagine of Lamb & Prunes
I try, I really do, but I can't understand how anyone can not love lamb meat! There is something about lamb, especially when cooked slowly for long, when it pulls off the bone as soon as you touch it. There is something about the quality of an experience where the meat is so tender it literally melts in your mouth! No other meat can do what lamb does to your palate! The richness and depth in the resulting juices, which make up the stew liquids is insanely good. Lamb is the food of the heavens, because no other meat can give you so many qualities and so much flavour. When lamb is paired with the light and natural sweetness of fruits, it is just taken to another place. A little caramelisation on a piece of lamb from the prune's sugars, giving you distant breaths of fruitiness against the saltiness and tenderness of the meat... what more can I say to convince you that lamb is good?! This tagine, is my favourite Moroccan Tagine ever, and I urge you to try it. (Find the recipe here)

Chicken and Olive Tagine
On another and totally different note, this chicken tagine is ultra fresh. With the savoury sour flavours from the prepared lemons and the green olives, against the milder tasting tender chicken, this is a dish very distinctly flavoured and one that is light. This Tagine will never leave you feeling full and bothered, which is especially good in this heat. The tangy stew liquids will brighten up the blander CousCous when drizzled on top and will keep your palate asking for more, in an attempt to keep experiencing the flavours over and over and over... A dish that is very uniquely flavoured requires very unique and good quality ingredients. Otherwise don't bother making it, because with the wrong ingredients it can go sour! (Find the recipe for this light hearted and flirty dish here)

Almond Studded CousCous
In my opinion, every Tagine must be accompanied by a CousCous of sorts. The experience is not complete without the texture of the tiny individual grains of pasta. There are many ways to prepare the CousCous, I however like to serve tagines with one that will only enhance the experience without meddling with the flavour. I go for a plain CousCous which I sprinkle with black pepper a little bit of salt and a dash of olive oil then mix all together. I top the CousCous with enough water to cover it, not too much water, about 1 inch on top. Then place a heavy plate or lid to seal the water in. The CousCous cooks this way and becomes tender. Once all the liquid has been absorbed I remove the lid, and add the toasted flaked almonds, I gently fluff with a fork in order not to get the grains stuck together, and mix all this way. Place in a serving dish and serve immediately. Ah! All this talk is making me hungry now!

Pistachio Cake with Rosewater Cream
No menu is complete without at least 1 rocking desert that wins the hearts of your guests and make them always dream of your food, and jump on the opportunity to be invited over again. Dessert ends the meals, but it starts a relationship between your guests and your food. One where they will always be in anticipation for. Dessert sticks to their minds as an end to a perfect meal, and what dessert is this cake, alongside a cup of Moroccan Tea?! A food affair, a passion on the palate, or a comfort for the soul! Cakes! Cakes are pure love! Love for ingredients, flavour, heat, creaminess... Cakes were invented by angels. We must have had a taste of cake way before and kept trying in the kitchen until finally we realised perfection and created the Cake! This is one such cake, with the mystique flavours of Arabia from the rosewater and pistachio, which by the way are a match made at the doorsteps of the highest heaven. To the creaminess of the frosting, to the crunch from the cramelised pistachio bark, or the romantic aroma from the edible roses. This cake is a Ballad of flavour and texture... You have got to try it to know it! (Find this cake's Recipe here)

If you like to serve Arabic Coffee (Ahwe Sada) here is the recipe

Now that you have cooked up a storm of flavours, textures and goodness all you need to do is say a prayer for all those who need it this Ramadan and wait for the prayer to be called and enjoy the company of those you love alongside the company of this fabulous menu and its flavours. May all your wishes come true, and may all those who are in need be blessed with an angel who prays for them, and offers an act of goodness.

I hope you enjoyed today's Menu, and that you will try these mouthwatering recipes. I look forward to all your comments, and don't forget to take pictures of recipes you carry out from this blog and share them with me for a chance to win fabulous giveaways. Since a good chunk of my readers are internationally based, I am offering cash prizes for lucky winners outside of GCC and some cool foodie giveaways for those in GCC. No one will miss out, so make sure you are in! Find out more here. All part of Dima's Kitchen Ramadan Special ;)

Think of others this Ramadan, nothing like being kind
Ramadan Kareem