Being one of the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean,
you can imagine the type of fish and seafood available in the Moroccan city Essaouira. The first thing I experienced there, as soon as we arrived, was being greeted by all those open restaurants by the coast, outside of the old city (known as Medina). The many, many grills, the woofs of BBQ aromas and the beautiful Sardines, the king crabs and that heavenly grilled Monkfish we had as soon as we stepped foot in that area! Truly a unique experience that is not to be missed when there. You are greeted with the smiling faces of the locals advising you to eat at their shop and then you sit in the outdoors, listening to the seagulls and smelling that BBQ aroma that is playing all sorts of hunger games with your stomach! Then you eat and music plays in your head… Heaven under an open blue sky by the ocean in the Moroccan west side!
All of this, is nothing to prepare you for the Medina (see the info at the end of the post). That old, walled and gated city, which as soon as you enter you seem to be walking in a maze of alleys, lined with beautiful, colourful linens that are hung by the storefronts every which way you look. Still trying to take all the beauty and colour you get distracted with strong aromas of the spice shops and the beauty of all types of tagine pots and table arts.. Absolutely beautiful! And you walk until you reach the riad, this beautiful, home-like, local hotel where you will stay is your first introduction to what it feels like had you decided to become a local resident. The beauty of the old, adapted into this fast, technological time we live in, makes you feel like you stepped back and instantly you feel relaxed.
One of the things you must do when in Essaouira is visit the fish market, shop at the small galleries, spice shops and buy some of the most beautiful table arts and wood carving pieces they are very well known for. And the one most important thing to do is eat at the grill shops outside of the Medina, have that monkfish it is unforgettable!
This recipe is one that I learnt and cooked with the local Essaouiran ladies I met when I was there. It is really one very unique flavour that I tasted in Morocco. We could not stop munching, dipping bread in and tasting this very interesting combination. They are known for this dish everywhere in Morocco. The mixing of sweet and savoury is their specialty. I loved this dish and wanted to share it with you.
So her you go, hope you like it :))