Eat Like A Local: Munchin’ in Marrakech

Eat Like A Local: Munchin’ in Marrakech
Traditional Moroccan chicken tagine, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

History, culture, art and food, the Moroccan capital only has the best to offer in all respects

Roshni Subramanian
January 18 , 2020
08 Min Read

Striking the right balance between traditional and contemporary, Marrakech’s vibrant landscape is nothing less than intoxicating. There’s no doubt that the Moroccan capital has an abundance of architectural wealth. But did you know that the city also has a thriving street food scene?  In addition to offering a diverse variety of spices and flavours, the Moroccan markets are home to some of the most soul-satisfying delicacies and what better place to treat your senses than Marrakech. Here’s our pick of what not to miss when in the Moroccan capital.

Harira

 
 
 
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‘The national soup of Morocco’, Harira is exactly the thing that you need to break your Ramadan fast. A traditional Moroccan preparation, it’s commonly eaten during the holy month of Ramzan and is an explosion of flavours. Essentially a chickpea and tomato based soup, every Moroccan family has its own version of the recipe. Often infused with flavours of cinnamon, saffron and ginger, it is traditionally served with a slice of lemon and crusty bread. Though fairly simple and light, the addition of either beef or lamb sure packs a punch!

Lamb Tanjia

 
 
 
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Often confused with tangine, the Moroccan lamb tanjia is a meat lover's delight. Sadly, the vegetarian folks will have to give up on this one as there is no plant based alternative. It is typically slow cooked in an earthenware urn in the ashes from the fire used to heat hamams. This dish also comes with an interesting line of history. Extremely popular among men at one point of time, it was called ‘bachelor’s stew’, In Marrakech, artisans would usually shut shop on Friday afternoons (a holy day in Islam). After the mid-day prayer session, men would get together and enjoy their meal together. 

Maakouda

 
 
 
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And we are back again to the good old potato! A household name in all Moroccan families, this potato beignet makes for a great snack and can also be consumed as a side dish or as a sandwich filling. We’d say it’s high time you ditch the diet and gave into the indulgence because a Maakouda sandwich is totally worth it. They are disc-shaped fritters made out of potatoes, herbs and spices, which are dipped in egg wash and then deep-fried. Typically served with fresh bread and sauce, it’s a wholesome meal in itself.

Couscous

Couscous salad

This quintessentially Moroccan dish is a staple in many North African countries. It is usually prepared on a Friday afternoon after prayers and the recipe differs from region to region. Customarily, vegetable couscous consists of semolina and is steamed multiple times in order to get the right texture. Mixed with a generous amount of vegetables and meat, this comforting broth brings the whole family together and is ideal for a dinner party.

Babbouche

 
 
 
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Well, mind you. This one is not for the squeamish. Babbouche or Moroccan snails is an experience you don’t want to miss. Especially popular during the winters, the peppery broth today has found its way into high-end restaurants as well. Though one might find this delicacy in several places in Marrakech, one must try it out in Jemaa al-Fnaa market. The white snails are usually slow-cooked in a broth that is seasoned with aniseed, liquorice root, thyme and even bitter orange peel. Some recipes feature more than 15 seasonings. The spiced broth is usually cooked outdoors and served in small bowls. 

Moroccan Mint Tea

 
 
 
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Haven’t we all had enough of those so called authentic Moroccan Mint tea bags? Well about time we hit the real deal. What kadak adrak chai is to Indians, berber whiskey or green mint tea is to Moroccans. An essential part of everyday life there, Moroccan mint tea is served throughout the day with all meals, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. Though there are several fancy cafes all across Marrakech that serve the popular beverage, a true local would know the pleasures of sipping hot tea in the comfort of their homes. Typically served in tiny quantities, this drink will leave you craving for more. 


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