Today we bring you a very special entry for our blog, how could it be otherwise on these days when we get together with family and cook dishes for all of them, we want to talk about Moroccan gastronomy and of course, about the essential protagonists: the spices.
Moroccan gastronomy is characterized by its richness in meat, legumes and vegetables, as well as its intense flavors due to the use of a wide variety of spices. And they are not only used for salted dishes, but are also present in their sweets.
A complete list of all the Moroccan spices would be very extensive, but we will at least try to talk about the ones that are most present:
Cinnamon: you might well think that cinnamon is a spice that is used for sweet dishes, but you would be surprised by the wide variety of savory dishes that are used in Moroccan cuisine, an example would be our Chicken Pastilla, the winner of Sol Over Gudhjem, the biggest food contest in Denmark.
Saffron: it is the most expensive and precious spice, mainly because its collection must be done by hand. It is used very often to perfume legumes and rice.
Ginger: it is one of the best companions of saffron, with which it is often mixed. It has the power to disguise strong aromas or flavors, to limit its role on the plate. In addition, its use as a natural medicine is very common, if one day you feel a sore throat, do not hesitate to try one of our Ginger Shots!
Turmeric: also called karkoum, it is often used as a substitute for saffron, because it is cheaper and has similar qualities, it also gives it that yellow color characteristic of our dishes.
Cumin: although the most common is its use in meats, it is also very present in legume-based dishes. One of its great advantages is that it facilitates digestion.
Za’atar: it is usually composed of hyssop, sumac, toasted or non-roasted sesame seeds and salt. It also usually carries aromatic herbs such as savory, marjoram, thyme, cumin or fennel. This spice gives a unique flavor to dishes, do not hesitate to try it in our Casablanca Sandwich!
Without a doubt, the spices of Morocco reach their quintessence when they form Ras el hanut, a mixture whose true composition varies from region to region, restaurant to restaurant and house to house. And it is kept in the strictest secrecy! It can be made up of just a few herbs and spices, or it can include up to 30 different ingredients. It does not usually lack those that we have mentioned in the list, but others can also be added such as paprika, black pepper or cardamom, also very common in our gastronomy. You can always savor this delicious mix of spices in our tajin!
We hope that this brief review about the different spices and their use will give you some ingenious ideas for your most ethnic dishes.