BM # 44
Cooking with Alphabets : M
Category : Lunch / Dinner with Curry
Morocco, officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa.
While choosing countries for this marathon I was very clear about a few countries, I did not even look up substitute countries, and with the alphabet M I knew that my choice had to be either Morocco or Mangolia. I have tasted Mangolian, but never Moroccon, and while browsing I found the recipes doable and interesting.
Moroccan cuisine is influenced by Morocco's interactions and exchanges with other cultures and nations over the centuries.The cuisine has been subject to Berber and Mediterranean influences.
A Moroccon midday meal is the main meal, except during the holy month of Ramadan. A typical meal begins with a series of hot and cold salads and bread is eaten with every meal. Often, for a formal meal, a lamb or chicken dish is next, followed by couscous topped with meat and vegetables. Their desserts are seasonal fruits rather than cooked desserts, and they wind up the meal with sweet minty tea.
Couscous is one of the most popular dish, though quinoa can be substituted for it. They use a lot of olives, oranges and lemons in their food. In fact Pickled lemons called "country lemon" or "leems", are a Moroccan delicacy. These are similar to one of the Indian version of lemon pickle. Incidentally in spite of not eating pickles, we made this pickle this year. Wonder why...perhaps because I needed to use it in this cuisine.
I chose my vegetarian options and made a curry, served it with quinoa, made a salad which is one of the best salads one can ever eat. It was bursting with flavors. It used the lemon pickle and pomegranate molasses . On my trip to US I had tasted this molasses and had loved this tarty syrup, but I could not get it here, so I experimented making it. It turned out real nice, but lacked the deep colour as the pomegranate season was over and we got only the pinkish white ones.unfortunately I could not click that, but I shall give you the recipe. Next was the Harcha, a semolina bread, which tasted awesome but terribly terribly sinful. For sure not for people on a diet. The bread is served with cream cheese. The Moroccans are fond of yogurt and so I prepared coriander yogurt. This is just like our Indian raita, but I used thicker version, almost as good as hung curd.
Moroccan Chickpea Curry
60 ml olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
3 tsp brown sugar
Chopped fresh coriander or parsley
400 gms whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
200 gms chick peas, boiled,drained
250 ml vegetable stock
8-10 baby potatoes, halved
2 carrots,cut into thick roundels
2 red peppers, cubed
1 big zucchini , cut into roundels
Herb salt and ground black pepper to taste
Heat a pan .
Saute onions,garlic in olive oil.
Add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste.
cook till dry.
Add turmeric.paprika,ground cumin, coriander and sugar.
In a bowl microwave the vegetables, all separately and cook till nearly done.
The cooking time depends on the size of the veggies you have cut.
Add vegetable stock and the boiled veggies to the curry.
Add salt and pepper.
Add boiled chick peas.
Simmer till the veggies are completely cooked.
Add fresh coriander.
The complete meal was a hit. The salad was the highlight and my hubby loved the curry. Everyone liked the taste of Harcha but just tasted it...it was too buttery, the combo with cream cheese and bread was great and can be given to growing kids.
A delicious meal which I enjoyed cooking as well as eating.