Looking for ways to experience the world while dealing with COVID-19 restrictions on travel? A great way to start is with food, by bringing international flavours, ingredients and recipes to the dinner table.
Ahead of Throne Day in Morocco, a national celebration on 30 July marking 21 years since King Mohammed VI succeeded his father, Region Media spoke to Karim Medrek, Ambassador of His Majesty the King of Morocco, about how to bring the wonderful scent and spice of Morocco to your table.
How would you describe Moroccan Food?
Moroccan cuisine features one of the richest gastronomies in the world. It is diverse, thanks to the country’s interaction with other cultures and nations over the centuries, including African, Berber, Moorish, Arab, Mediterranean and Jewish influences.
Being aromatic and full of delicious ingredients, Moroccan cuisine, one of the finest globally, has often stood as the Kingdom’s hallmark.
Does Morocco have an iconic national dish?
The most iconic Moroccan dish is the famous Moroccan couscous. This traditional Moroccan dish features couscous with the season’s most beautiful vegetables. Meat or chicken is served alongside this variety of vegetables generously seasoned with ginger, pepper and turmeric.
Also renowned is the Tajine (tagine), which is named after the earthenware pot in which the dish is cooked. Moroccan Tajine is slow-cooked and typically made with sliced meat, poultry or fish together with vegetables, in addition to spices, nuts or dried fruits.
Also, the Pastilla, which comes in the form of a sweet, savoury meat pie or spicy seafood pie prepared with sheets of pastry.
Our national cuisine is also famous for salads which include both raw and cooked vegetables, served either hot or cold. Moroccan salads include Zaalouk, which is an eggplant caviar and tomato mixture, and Taktouka, which is a mixture of tomatoes, smoked green peppers, garlic and spices. There’s also Bakkoula, a delicious blend of greens, olives and spices.
What are your plans for Throne Day?
Due to this year’s exceptional situation caused by COVID-19, we decided to celebrate our National Day differently but with the same spirit. The Embassy has programmed virtual activities in order to commemorate this glorious occasion and to share with our Australian friends and the Moroccan community in Australia and the Pacific Region some highlights of the most remarkable achievements made by the Kingdom during the last decades.
We will be proposing a virtual toast and serving Moroccan tea on this special occasion for our country and wishing more prosperity and welfare to the Kingdom of Morocco under the wise leadership of His Majesty the King.
To help start on your Moroccan food journey, Embassy staff shared the five simple steps to preparing the perfect glass of Moroccan Mint Tea:
- Place Green tea leaves in a teapot and pour in 1 cup of boiling water.
- Swirl gently to warm the pot and rinse the tea.
- Strain and discard water, leaving the tea in the pot.
- Add 4 cups of boiling water to the tea and let it steep for 2 minutes.
- Finally, stir in sugar (to taste) and fresh mint sprigs, and steep for 3 to 4 minutes more, then serve in small heatproof glasses