“The more you let yourself go, the less others let you go.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
I am just ridiculously 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 @DimaSharif, 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 (however, in general if you wish to find a recipe of mine just google the name of the recipe with “Dima Sharif” before it and you will find the links).
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 massive 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 brilliant and very flavoursome. The textures are always super tender, melt in your mouth, especially where the meats are concerned and most of the times also applicable to the vegetables which will be whole yet almost melting. 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 any 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 the 2 most famous tagines, and two of them to make sure I 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. Generally, when entertaining, you would want to cater to different guests needs, and this menu helps you do that.
The Traditional Moroccan MenuPress the titles for the recipes
At times, you 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 foods, 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 communicate warmth, comfort and good taste.
Harira Soup (properly pronounced Hreera) is a delicious soup that swept over the Middle East over the past few years, taking the throne from the old red Lentil Soup. Not that lentil soup is not good, but Harira took lentils to another ball game, perhaps even qualifying lentils for the Olympics! There is depth in flavour, aromatic notes from the coriander, saffron, ginger, turmeric… There is texture 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 hooked!
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.
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!
As for the 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 this semolina pasta. This here is not the traditional Moroccan way, not all tagines are served with couscous in Morocco; however, this is my way. 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 my gorgeous 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!
No menu is complete without at least one rocking desert that wins the hearts of your guests and makes them always dream of your food, and jump on the opportunity to be invited over again. Desserts end meals, but they start a relationship between your guests and your food. One where they will always be in anticipation for more. Dessert sticks to their minds as an end to a perfect meal, and that 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 caramelised 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!
Give this menu a try and see how your friends will be singing your praise. You and they will be so happy you cooked and served these heavenly flavours.
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. May all those who are in need be blessed with an angel who prays for them, and offers an act of goodness.
- Palestinian Menu
- Jordanian Menu
- Arabic Desserts Buffet
- Arabic Appetisers Buffet
- Discovering Morocco
- The Mystery of Moroccan Tagines
- Reflections from My Visit To The Moroccan Berbers
- Traditional Upbringing & The Will To Do
- Ramadan in Morocco
- Making Moroccan Pastilla Sheets
- Traditional Moroccan Pigeon Pastilla
- Moroccan Preserved Lemons