“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.

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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 Menu

Press the titles for the recipes 

Starter

Main

Side dish

Dessert

 

Moroccan Harira Soup

Menu Rationale

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.

 

Relative Links

 

Ramadan Kareem

 

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18 responses to “A Moroccan Menu to tickle your taste buds and awaken your imagination

    1. Oh Jehan, hope I did not cause fasting to become more of a challenge. See the posts in the evening sweety, it is easier I know 🙂
      I am glad though that you were appetised 🙂

  1. I love Moroccan food and make tagines very often at home. Like you I adore lamb and smile when people say they do not like/eat lamb. I usually invite them over and make a lamb tagine (of course with other options too) and let them try. They are usually converted after that fairly quickly. Lovely menu!

    1. Thank you Meeta, Funny enough I have the same strategy. I find that the tagine cooking method enhances the meet tremendously that people can't help but fall in love with it. A perfect introduction to lamb is in my opinion a Tagine of lamb 🙂
      Am happy you liked the menu…

    1. this is me Rawan Otoom… i already sent u some photos for the dishes i made and some to come enshallah… Sweet Dima wanna try some Persian recipes to make in 3azomet Ramadan… can u suggest some impressive recipes that every one can like…
      another Question i used to make Grt Macarons they Come Out Crispy and chewy from inside with gorgeous feets… but only i tried chocolate Mint Flavor… i wanna try different flavors but would that affect the basic recipe or not… i already made my own home made Pistachio Paste and turned out beautiful in order to use for the ganache filling but wht about the shell? thnx alot hun <3

    2. Hi Rawan, I don't know how I missed this comment. Try my macaron recipe, you can add flavours to it. The recipe is on the blog, and it mentions flavouring too. If you still have questions after you read it, let me know.
      As for the Persian recipes, I still have to try some recipes, that is why I still have not posted them. Because all the recipes posted must be tried to make sure they are fail proof. So please bear with me…

    3. u mentioned not to use liquid flavours.. i dont have powder… can i use liquid ones or it will affect the results for example vanilla extract or Orange Blossom water just few drops

    4. It is best to use powdered flavours, these are the sachets of powdered vanilla. Well if you must you can use liquid essences, you might have to readjust the quantity of the icing sugar. Of course depending on how much of the essence you will use. Don't forget with icing sugar, a drop of liquid goes a long way!

    1. Ishita, you can cook tagine in a cast iron pot too. Same results, just make sure to keep space for the steam above the food 🙂 By the way, I saw some tagine pots for a very good price in Barsha Co-op, they look good too.. You have to try these recipes you will love them

  2. hi dima… ye3teeki el 3afieh… excellent idea for ramadan… i'm always out of ideas before maghreb and too full tothink of food after iftar!:) giving us an idea every ramadani day is just great… i tried the pistachi cake.. Oh HEAVEN… will send you the photo soon;)

    1. Allah y3afeeki ya rab! Thank you nisreen. Yes I too sometimes have to think what to cook for iftar, even for lunch when its not Ramadan. I try to remind everyone of the good foods in our cuisine, and at times to remind us all of the old traditional concoctions that we tend to forget the goodness of which. Then at other times, it is nice to try something new, and I try to bring that as well to the table. Am happy you are enjoying this and finding it useful.
      PS Ah the pistachio cake, is really a special one..

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