16 Feb 2016

Moroccan Preserved Lemon / Pickled Lemons/ L'hamd Mssayr or L'hamd Mra9d

Preserved lemons are called in Morocco "L'hamd Mra9ad" or "L'hamd Mssayr". Hamd Beld or Hamd Marrakshi is mostly used for preserved lemon, but Eureka or Meyer lemons are fine to use. Making your own preserved lemon is so ridiculously easy. You have made enough lemon lemonade, meringue-lemon pies, marmalade and lemon curd, but you still have some Meyer or Eureka lemons left. Why not try preserved lemon if you're a big fan of Moroccan Chicken Tagines?  Your heart always sinks for a moment when you realise that preserved lemon is a crucial ingredient used to enhance your Moroccan Tagine recipe and you know you can't find it in any shop near you. Don't let that simple ingredient stopping you from enjoying your favourite dishes. All you need is Hamd which is lemon in Moroccan Darija. To make preserved lemons, you'll need:

-1 or 2 large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid
-10 (or more) fresh lemons
-Fresh lemon juice from 4 lemons or white vinegar (about 50 ml)
-Lots of salt and salt
-1 teaspoon of baking soda
-2 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil
-Boiled water

30 Jan 2016

Warquat or War9at Bastilla / Moroccan Phyllo Sheets (Filo)

Warquat Bastilla is very thin, small or big and round sheets to make two popular dishes : Bastilla and Briwat. The ingredients of this unleavened, runny and sticky dough are flour and water, some will add a bit of salt or even vegetable oil. To make bastilla sheet you need a special pan which is quiet heavy, a topstove or marjmar (traditional barbecue), love, special skills and luck.

Warquat bastilla is a labour of love and you need plenty of time, patience, accurate performance and diligent hand skills. Bastilla bakers prepare the dough one day before, cover it and let it rest for hours if not the whole night. Then the dough is stirred until it becomes smooth and shiny. The fun part starts then: using only one hand, they pinch a small sticky piece out of the dough , magically form a ball though the dough is so runny, tap it over the hot pan continuously. The tapping keeps going on in a circle way, until the whole pan is covered with a thin dough sheet. The tapping is so fast and accurate that each tap is close to the next and its previous one. This is very important to obtain the ideal thinness of the sheet. Only one hand is used to do all this work, the other hand is used to transfer the thin sheet onto a clean dry tea towel, and brush it with some vegetable oil to keep it soft. It takes only 15 to 20 minutes to make more than 1 kilo of warquat bastilla. If the famous Turkish phyllo called yufka is jazz, Moroccan warquat bastilla is certainly akin to classical art.

Warquat Bastilla Pan


In Morocco you can buy fresh warquat bastilla in some markets or bakeries, where only few bastilla bakers can make it. Of course  you might think it is easy to make at home since all you need is flour and water, why not, but it is not that easy. It is a labour-intensive process requiring lot of skills and experience to obtain a perfect circle sheet with the desired thinness.  Even the best cooks and bakers in Morocco can't make it, they would rather buy it in the shops and markets. Of course The fresher, the better, these fresh sheets should be used within 3 days maximum, otherwise they will  will dry out and become brittle.
Mamatkamal





Warquat bastilla ready to use



I am making a chicken bastilla with these lovely sheets








28 Nov 2015

Tagra, Earthenware Pot of North Morocco


Tagra is a northern fish stew, a speciality of Moroccan Imazighens of Riff. It's a wide and shallow unglazed earthenware cooking base, looks like tagine but without the top. Tagra refers to all the fish dishes in northern Morocco, especially Tangier, Assila, Larache and Tetouan. The traditional shape of tagra is round though its shape has changed over the years and we can see now some tagra in oval sizes and even with a cover.

16 Nov 2015

Good to Know Before Eating Tagine Meat in Morocco!


As most Moroccans, I guess we eat more beef in my house than any type of meat, with chicken queuing close behind, after comes fish, and sea food, then a once a week lamb in Fridays couscous, and to be honest I can't remember the last time I fixed veal, but I probably will be posting a tagine veal soon.

10 May 2015

10 Delicious Moroccan Tagines - Southern Recipes with an Imazighen Accent - My first ebook is out!


I am happy to announce that my first eBook about Moroccan tagine is ready.  It includes 10 delicious tagine recipes, all from Souss region in the south of Morocco.  I have just realised that the process of writing an ebook itself takes longer than expected because I miss some key technical information. My generation grows up with paper book and this new technology of ebooks is completely alien to me. I would like to thank my son Kamal for his technical support and help throughout this whole process. Thank you again son!

3 May 2015

Honey/Date Mahrash - Moroccan Honey/Date Bread - Mahrach aux dattes et miel-Pain Marocain!



This is Honey/Date Mahrash, very popular to be served during Ramadan in some southern Imazighen villages. This is not quite a “quick” bread, yet easy to make if you have the patience of a home baker. The most taxing part of making this bread is chopping the dates, then place them in a saucepan on a low heat, adding some honey and orange blossom water. Once cooled, this mixture is to be transferred to the Mahrash dough to make the bread.

19 Apr 2015

Red-White Cake - Happy Birthday Raissa!

Very light and soft sponge meskouta cake with a sweet marriage of orange powder and vanilla flavouring. Three layers tall, romantic, and completely covered in mascarpone and vanilla frosting. Happy birthday Raissa!
Mamatkamal

15 Apr 2015

Naughty Chocolaty-Sweety Cake - Happy Birthday Leo!

Children can give us bizarre ideas how to decorate a cake. When Leo visited us last week, and I was asked to make him a cake for his 8th birthday, I said "How do you want your cake to look like Leo?".  "Lot of chocolate and sweeties please!" he replied with a big smile and shiny eyes.  Leo is such a happy lovely boy, very sociable with a sweet constant question asking habit that I love.

I made this 3 layers chocolate sponge cake all decorated with sweets and chocolate ganache, I thought this would be the perfect cake for him, and now it's ready to be picked by Leo's mum.. Happy birthday sweetheart!
Mamatkamal

10 Apr 2015

Cuisine of Figuig or Ifiyyey : Aghrom Anabsal or Anabssale or N'lebsal / Onion Bread

Figuig is a stunning little town in eastern Morocco near the Atlas Mountains.  The Imazighen locals call their town "Ifiyyey" which is an adjective derived from the verb "Afey" and which means "Cover". Figuig or Ifiyyey has the largest palmeraie  in Morocco with over 150,000 palm trees and I was told that the tall graceful palms are male trees vs female ones which are shorter.

29 Mar 2015

A tribute to My Father - This month, 10 years of my life without my dad!

When I visited my father in December of 2004 in Casablanca, he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He was weak, very jaundice with skin and whites of eyes were yellow as well.  I was so shocked by his appearance that I started crying as I hugged him. I sat down next to him with my face buried in his shoulders as I cried my eyes out.  I could feel his weak hands, touching my hair, and rubbing my back, whispering to me out of the side of his mouth in the way he always did : “Matbkich abnti, rani bikhir", which means: “My daughter, please don't cry, I am fine”.

28 Mar 2015

Chocolate-Strawberry Cake - Happy Birthday Sabrina!


Finally, I put that cake in the box, ready to go! It took me two good hours to finish it. Such a torture to bake and smell a chocolate cake but not be allowed to touch it, it was meant for someone else's Birthday. The torture was getting worse when it came to finalise its decoration, and being a mad chocolaty myself, I let my imagination coming up with ways to fill this cake with a layer upon layer of chocolate and strawberry goodness. In total I sliced 4 layers, it was supposed to be a sky-high four-layered chocolate-strawberry cake, problem though, I ran out of chocolate icing, so I decided to stop at the 3rd layer.

16 Mar 2015

Pour avoir de beaux enfants donnez-leur du LAIT GUIGOZ / Halwat L' Ghoraf” or “ Halwat Guigoz / حلوة الغراف


I'm beginning to believe that I was born in the right place and on the right time, because I would have starved if I was born any earlier when sweets and cookies were a luxury! Blogging about food brings a lot of my childhood memories, and this post is one of them. My children always ask me what is in a dessert I am about to serve, but they never ask me how it got its name and frankly they don't care as long as it tastes good.  The origins of cookies/sweets in Kingdom of Morocco are as interesting as the sweets themselves, and this is one special 60s/80s cookies, which deserves food blog attention.

20 Feb 2015

Fkas Mal7 or 9at3a ( قطعة / فقاس مالح ) Moroccan Colourful Crackers /Moroccan Version of Indian Punjabi Mathri!!

It's time to nominate a better name for these Moroccan savoury cookies, I'm happy to call them “Moroccan colourful crackers" or "Moroccan version of Indian Punjabi Pathri".  The word FKAS pronouced as /FKKAːSS/ and here the letter "K" stands for the Arabic letter "ق" which is non-existent in English alphabet . The word “FKAS“ means, in Moroccan darija, “annoying or irritating", and my mum told me "FKAS" got its name due to the fact that it's notoriously time-consuming, difficult to make, to be baked twice, to be allowed to rest for over 24 hours, then cut thinly into diagonal slices with high precision to get the right thickness of fkas biscuit, and this has always been the old technique used to make either sweet or savoury version of fkas.

5 Feb 2015

In memory of my mum! Khbiza O Zbida! Bread and Butter Sandwich!

That was my favourite childhood sandwich, known in Morocco as “Khbiza O Zbida” = {Khbiza means Bread and Zbida means traditional butter}. Nothing fancy, only bread and traditional butter, but I was always delighted when my mum got to make one for me. This sandwich goes only with one type of bread, the yeasty goodness of fresh, hot home-made bread. I liked mine to get nice and dark crust and the butter had to be oozing out.

1 Jan 2015

Moroccan Cookies / Cakes! Dwaz Atay / دواز أتاي

Moroccan Cookies / Cakes!
Dwaz Atay  /   دواز أتاي  

In Morocco, there are a variety of special cookies and biscuits, all are a wonderful luxury treat for any time! Generally, these Moroccan cookies speak of home and are produced from natural ingredients, using no artificial colours or flavours and are served with hot fresh mint tea and this is why we call them in Morocco "Dwaz Atay"  which means = Cookies that are accompanied by tea. Serving Moroccan tea with rich cookies is widely used throughout the whole Kingdom, and it could be after a meal, or after school, or for an afternoon tea, or simply for the fact it is the weekend, or for any occasion, either special or a family reunion.

You've been warned, this is the show-off territory in Moroccan Cuisine! Though most of home-made Dwaz Atay recipes are simple, however they are meant to make friends, guests and family members "Wowed" as soon as they take their first bite! So we absolutely want to impress everyone who tastes them, and this is the reason why an authentic Moroccan recipe will focus on the combination of  "Great flavour Taste" with "Great-Looking"!

22 Nov 2014

Kingdom of Morocco, country of varied culture!

What you need to know before visiting Morocco!

King and Queen of Morocco

                      Imazighen Flag           National Morocco Flag

1.What is Morocco and who are the Moroccans?

I do love my country for all its faults and virtues!  Lots of my blog readers sent me emails asking if Morocco is a perfect place for tourism?  I don't think there is such a place called "perfect country".  If you decide to travel abroad, the choice of the place will depend on your expectations, planning and goals. Are you an adventure traveller? or comfort-five-stars tourist? or are you looking for long sabbatical travel?  The most common questions I've received by e-mails or via private chat in Google or Facebook are:

20 Nov 2014

Ramadan in Kingdom of Morocco ! What is Ramadan and when is Ramadan?


I often receive emails from my blog readers asking if it is ok to visit Morocco during Ramadan and what this celebration exactly means, and how long it lasts etc..., so I have decided to write this article to talk about Ramadan in Morocco, hoping it will be helpful and answer all your questions.

19 Nov 2014

Top Two (2) Feel-Home Food for Ramadan in Morocco: Sellou or Slilo, a Unique Unbaked Moroccan Sweet for Ramadan!

I always spend my two weeks before Ramadan baking up a storm, but this year is exceptional! I've received a few orders from my blog readers and friends, willing to buy my chabakia and sellou, and this has been the longest uninterrupted two weeks pre-Ramadan ever.  I spent most of my time between work and baking, a lot of baking, but guess what? I loved it, it was a pure delight to me!

25 Sep 2014

عَقْدَةْ اللّوز/Homemade Almond Paste/Pâte d'Amandes!

Almonds are the most commonly used nuts in Morocco and where would Moroccan pastry be without them? The almonds, either whole or sliced or toasted or fried or ground with skin on, or blanched, are a staple in Moroccan dishes, as well as dessert pastes.

Almond and amlou paste are food pastes made from ground, dry almonds, and both versions are very popular in Morocco.  Amlou Paste = أَمْلُو uses ground, dry almonds with skin on, all mixed with Argan oil and pure honey.  Whereas, the almond paste, known in Moroccan language as "3a9dat Louz" = (عَقْدَةْ اللّوز), uses ground, dry, blanched almonds (skin off), and it is widely used as a filling in most moroccan pastries.

11 Sep 2014

European Macarons /Macarons Européens

The first time I tasted macaroons, I was in USA.  They are very delicious cookies, known as American coconut macaroon.  Then a few years ago, I went to France, it was my first trip to Paris.  Wowww, I still remember all those oh-la-la-so-French, exceptionally delicate almond meringue sandwich cookies in many Patisseries windows. I literally gasped when I saw those incredible macarons and I couldn't resist them! So creative, stunning and fashionable. Everything about them sounded perfect : the colour, taste, flavour, filling, etc .......

My attempt to make different flavours of French Macarons!

Last week, I prepared these macarons for my friend daughter first birthday . As you know, I made my first macarons two weeks ago, Orange Flavour Macarons RECIPE HERE; and looking at these pictures I am posting now, I am afraid to admit I might be hooked!

French Heart-Shaped and Dark Macarons/Macarons Français Coeurs et Noirs For Mactweets Challenge!


I was planning to make these macarons for Mac Attack 3 last week, but I was hesitant for one reason: THE WEATHER.  Last week the weather was horrible; it was pouring and snowing outside, then I decided to start making my first batch of heart-shaped macarons.  I chose pink powder colour.  I never tried this shape before, it was a big challenge for me!  However, I was disappointed with the filling, because the butter cream I bought, as you may see in the picture, breaks.  It must be made with margarine instead of real butter.  This will teach me to make my own butter cream next time.

French, Saffron, Curcuma Macarons For Mac Attack 5!


First I would like to wish you all a very happy Mother's Day!  Many countries of the world celebrate their own Mother's Day at different times throughout the year.  In UK, it is today, March 14, 2010 : the Mothering Sunday Date.  UK holds the prestige of being the first country in the world to celebrate that very special day.

French Macarons Rings / Bagues Macarons Français for MacAttack!


I had specially made these Macarons for Mactweets February Challenge that Deeba of Passionate about baking and Jamie of Life's a feast are hosting. This month theme is "Valentine Special"  Macarons. 

French Coffee Macarons/Macarons Français Au Café/For Mac Attack 7

This month's challenge at Mac attack is "MacTell Me A Story!" and our favourite book as a child. Mine,  was "One thousand and one nights"‎.  I basically grew up on this book.

French Chocolate and Almond Macarons / Macarons Français aux Chocolat et Amandes/Mac Attack #18


My love for chocolate gets me back to Mactweet attack! I really heart chocolate and my favourite is Dark Chocolate with Almonds! And who doesn’t love the combination of chocolate and almonds?  I think chocolate is one of the most mysterious sweets and so many questions were raised about the industry of chocolate, its consistency, texture, flavour, its secrets, etc.....  I served those macarons on Chocolate Dessert Cups with Strawberry and Moroccan Almond Briwat or Triangles! So delicious!

Violet and Mint French Macarons / Macarons Français Violets et à la Menthe

I should have posted these a long time ago. I made those mint-violet macarons quite a few weeks ago, but I haven't had the time to post them. Whenever I decide to make macarons, I always seem to make them after 8h00 pm or when it's raining or worst, on a hot humid day. When I decide to make macarons, nothing could change my mind.  So I decided to make these treats, so be it.

Another day, another macaron!


For recipe, I always use my usual recipe adapted from La cuisine de Mercotte...

Bûche au chocolat blanc et orange / Gâteau roulé!


Ingrédients:

-Gâteau roulé préparé en avance.

- Comme garniture, j'ai mis la crème au chocolat blanc dont voici la recette Cliquez pour lire la recette: Crème au chocolat blanc!

-Pour décorer, fleurs de pâte à sucre que j'ai préparées en avance dont voici le lien Cliquez pour lire la recette: Fleur faite à base de pâte de fleurs / Finger flower made with Sugar Florist Paste

Gâteau aux carottes, Spécialité Nord-Américaine! / Carrot Cake, North American Specialty!




Ingredients:

- 225 gr farine self-raising (si vous utilisez farine normale: il faut y ajouter à la recette 1 c à thé de levure chimique et 1/4 c à thé de bicarbonate de soude. / 225 gr self-raising four, should you use normal pastry flour , add 1 tea spoon of baking powder and 1/4 tea spoon of baking soda.  Self- raising flour has sodium bicarbonate or similar in it so no need to put baking powder 

- 250 gr de sucre semoule / 250 gr caster sugar

- 1/4 c à thé de levure chimique / 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

- 1 c à soupe de cannelle moulue / 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

- 2 oeufs de taille moyenne / 2 medium eggs

- 170 ml de l'huile / 170 ml oil

- 2 carrottes râpées / 2 grated carrots

- 100 grde noix / 100 gr chopped walnuts

- 125 ml de compote de pommes / 125 ml apple compote

Raspberry and White Chocolate Mousse Charlotte / Charlotte à la mousse au chocolat blanc et framboises



This charlotte double mousse recipe is an easy variation of the elegant fanciful French Cake.  Instead of lady fingers, I used 2 rolled cakes, sliced and soaked in a raspberry syrup.  You might use any recipe of a rich chocolate and raspberry mousse as a filling, and you have to chill it for several hours prior to serving.  As for the presentation, I didn't need to add anything special or any elaborated decoration, surprisingly it turned out nice and tasted delicious!
Mamatkamal

Pièce montée / Croquembouche for DB Challenge of May 2010


The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a croquembouche.  The recipes she chose come from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and were originally created by famed pastry chef, Nick Malgieri.
We were asked to make our own pate a choux (puff pastry) and crème patissière and the piece montée needs to be a mounted structure with some height to it.

The Australia's National Dish: Pavlova!




They call it the Australia's National Dish, named after Anna Pavlova, a Russian dancer, one of the finest classical ballet dancers in history.  Since I'm a big fan of meringue, I thought about it for a while and decided that I could make a Pavlova myself and why not?   I knew this would take sometime and practice, but nothing could stop me from making it.
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