A tagine is a type of clay cookware that's common in North Africa
‘Tagine’ means a couple of things throughout North Africa; it is both a dish and cookware. Photo Modified: Flickr/Jamie McCaffrey
‘Tagine’ means a couple of things throughout North Africa; it is both a dish and cookware. As a stew, tagine (also spelled tajine), is mainly composed of meats, vegetables, and sometimes even fruits.
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As a cooking vessel, a tagine is a ceramic shallow pot with a conical lid. It acts like a pressure cooker by allowing ingredients to slowly stew in the trapped moisture. As the moisture collects in the cone, it forms drops before returning to the stew.
Even today, eating from a tagine (or the dish itself), continues to be a communal affair. Given that they are closed, the cooking vessel can function like a portable stove while being set on top of hot coals. With the steam, kebabs, and smoking grill, we can certainly say that we wish we were there ourselves.
Looking for a tasty tagine recipe to make at home? Check out ours for lamb tagine with oranges, saffron, and candied orange peel!
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14 Chicken Recipes for Ramadan to Make Again and Again
Chicken is an easily overlooked menu item during Ramadan, with everyone wanting favorite and specialty foods. But in my opinion, it&rsquos the most important protein source of the fasting month. Chicken is a healthier option, versatile and even more affordable than red meats.
Chicken is always my go-to protein when I need to make something fast that I know most everyone will eat. The recipes shared here go beyond the typical Middle Eastern/Asian dishes commonly associated with Ramadan meals.
Here are a few of my favorite Ramadan chicken recipes for main dishes, finger foods, using ground chicken or pre-shredded chicken, and a few fried treats.
1. Moroccan Mint Tea
You can’t have a traditional Moroccan breakfast without Moroccan mint tea.
This sweet minty drink is hearty and delicious, yet very easy to make.
Moroccan mint tea is served in a Moroccan tea set, which is composed of an artisanal tray, an artisanal teapot, and small tea glasses.
By the way, that link shares a set from my own online marketplace where I showcase artisan-made goods from Morocco.
Moroccan teapots are specifically designed to be in direct contact with heat sources.
In fact, unlike most tea infusions, making Moroccan tea requires boiling the tea leaves and fresh mint for at least a couple of minutes to concentrate the flavors.
Depending on the occasion, Moroccans love to add aromatics to get richer, more complex flavors along with additional health benefits.
The most used aromatics are orange blossom water, rosebuds, and verbena, which are also known for their relaxing properties.
ONE DAY IN MARRAKECH ITINERARY
How to Spend Your Morning in Marrakech?
Visit Majorelle Gardens
There is a fairly good chance that you want to visit the Majorelle gardens in Marrakech, and if you’re planning to do so, we can HIGHLY recommend to do this first thing in the morning. Really, get there before the gates open, so you’re one of the first people in. We were there only half an hour after opening, and it was already super busy! Still worth it, but the sooner you can get in, the better.
If you’re not familiar with the Majorelle gardens, let me explain. Just inside of the old medina, but outside the souk area, you can find these famous gardens that have been the property of Yves Saint Laurent since the s. The garden is a total peace haven (minus the selfie-taking tourists) and it has a massive collection of plants, cacti and even a museum of Islamic art.
We spend about 1-1,5 hours here and if you get a combination ticket, you can also visit the Yves Saint Laurent museum next door, which is exactly what we’re doing next.
SECRET TIP: want to get the photo on the top left, straight from the front? One of the gardeners knows you want to get it, so have 2 Dirham ready when he asks you to take a picture for you, have a little faith and hand over your camera to him, so he can snap a few shots for you.
We didn’t visit the museum as you had to pay extra for it and we just had 8 days of museums, but it should be good! Along the circular path in the garden (it isn’t that big inside), you can find handy signs to read the names of the plants, palm trees and cacti.
Getting a photo of yourself without anyone in it is a CHALLENGE. Good luck! Make sure to check inside the bookshop at the end, the ceiling is incredible! There is also a cafe, but we skipped it as it was quite pricey. We have a tip of a nice place to eat and drink close by coming right up!
Explore the Yves Saint Laurent Museum
After the gardens, Nick and I walked over to the Muséé Yves Saint Laurent, as the architect was of course very interested by this amazing brick building. And I must say that even though I’m not really interested in fashion, I also really enjoyed the museum itself!
There was a really nice exhibition with some of the best work of the fashion designer, showing all the outfits and telling the story of his life and death, which was really unexpected for me just how well it was done. I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside, but you just have to believe me :)
We did take some photos of the building itself, so sit back and enjoy Nick’s photography skills:
Oh those straight lines!
Now that is what we call an impressive entry to a building! Looking at the entrance from the coloured windows inside. Being surrounded by art makes you more creative, it shows!
Have Light Brunch at Le Petit Chantier
After the garden and the museum, we headed over to grab a light brunch. Now, if you’re planning to do the Marrakech Food Tour that we recommend later today (and you really should, like.. really, really should!), then we can advice you to get your brunch/lunch early and as light as possible. You will thank us later!
On about 10-15 minutes walking from the museum, you can find the hip-looking Le Petit Chantier restaurant. It already looked nice from the outside, but when we understood how it ‘worked’, we loved it even more! Basically, it’s a Subway Sandwich-kind of deal, where you choose the element that you want in your dish… but then in the form of a healthy salad!
You get a piece of paper, choose your base (such as green salad or rice, etc.), then you choose either 6 or 9 ingredients (depending on how much you want to pay) and either 2 or 3 toppings + a sauce. They then mix it all together for you ET VOILA! You have a super healthy salad!!
They also do very nice smoothies, juices, mocktails and teas and coffee if you want. And oh yeah, they also do pasta, pancakes and a few meat and fish dishes (but they would be way too heavy if you’re doing the food tour).
You need a bit of French language skills reading the menu (or just ask the waiter, they speak English fine here!), but with everyone at our table we figured it all out pretty easily and were super happy we found this place!
Make your selection and ENJOY!
In a Rush? Have a Quick Lunch with PitaPita
Looking to grab a real quick bite to eat? Then we have another suggestion for you! While we don’t normally enjoy nor encourage people to eat in a mall, there is one exception we love to make with the people of PitaPita in the Carre Eden Food Court in Marrakech.
This tiny stall is managed (at least when we were there) by a super friendly and enthusiastic guy, that appeared to be the owner of the shop since he also featured in the video playing behind him (check it out here). Oh my gosh you guys, he was clearly so proud of his shop, that I think the pita’s tasted 50% better just because of that.
But even without him serving the food, the food was very good here already! They use fresh ingredients you can choose to top your pita bread, quesadilla or nachos and they have good meal deals as well. Perfect if you’re looking for something filling and quickly.
How to Spend Your Afternoon in Marrakech?
See Saadien’s Tombs
As part of our G Adventures Trip, we got a guided tour of the incredible Saadien’s Tombs. These tombs date to time of the Saadian dynasty sultan Ahmad al-Mansur, which was between 1578 and 1603. But the most impressive thing about them is actually that they only got discovered by accident in 1917!
In the stunningly decorated mausoleum, which is composed of three rooms and a lovely garden, there are the interments of about sixty members of the Saadi Dynasty. The most beautiful room has to be the white one with the twelve columns. This room contains the grave of the grandson of the sultan. If you have the time, I can highly recommend paying the tombs a visit.
The decorations of the tombs are unbelievably detailed
We also found a little turtle in the garden!
Walk through the Jewish Quarter
From the tombs, we walked to Bahia Palace through the old Jewish neighbourhood Mellah. I really liked the look and feel of this area, as it’s a lot less crowded than the main square that we’ll show you later and there are many small shops and so-called ‘herboristes’ (herb specialists) that make the area look so special.
The highlight of walking through pretty much every city in Morocco has to be all the decorated doors… love them!
Marvel at Bahia Palace
If you’re a fan of architecture, just like us, then Bahia Palace HAS to be on your to-visit list when you’re in Marrakech. This palace was built in the late 19th century and already during the planning stages, it was intended to be the greatest palace of its time. (‘Bahia’ means ‘brilliance’).
Built for personal use of the grand vizier of the sultan (and former slave), Si Moussa, the palace with its 150 rooms had enough room for him… and his harem. When Si Moussa passed away, his son Bou Ahmed lived here with his four wives and several concubines until his death in 1900. Over the years, he added lush gardens, a small riad surrounding private gardens and decorated each of the rooms in Moroccan style carved stucco and cedarwood.
While after Bou Ahmed’s death, Bahia Palace was ransacked and all valuables were removed, the building is still one of the best-preserved historical sites of the country. Alongside the palace, there is a 2-acre (8000 square meter) garden with rooms opening onto stunning courtyards, as you can see below. You can visit daily between 9 AM and 4 PM to see a portion of the palace.
The palace is big enough for all visitors, but it can get a bit crowded in some of the gardens. So if you want a nice photo… you need either a lot of patience or good Photoshop skills. When the garden is finally empty… but one guy all the way in the back keeps standing in the doorway for forever and you just give up (photo left)
The details of every single part of the building are just insane!
I totally have new garden-goals right now!
Walk through the Souks in the Medina
After our visit to the tombs and the palace, we are being guided to the famous central square in Marrakech: Jemaa el-Fnaa. After some general pointers from our guide (don’t take photos of people unless you’re happy to pay them, don’t take photos with any animals unless you’re happy to pay them, watch out for pickpockets, watch out for traffic… and don’t forget to enjoy yourself, haha!), we’re left to our own devices, so with a group of people from our tour, we venture out into the souks.
The souks are just a maze of little alleyways all around the old Medina of the city and the shops are filled with anything from kitchenware, leather bags and ottomans, woven products, carpets, lamps, clothing and of course food and drinks. This isn’t just for the tourists (the ones facing the main square are though), but the further you get into the Medina, the more local shops you will find.
After a while I totally understood why so many people told me to bring an empty suitcase. I really wanted to buy everything, haha.
We already bought quite a few souvenirs in other places on our tour, such as Fez, but I must say that (probably because there is much more competition here), souvenirs in Marrakech were a lot cheaper. So if you’re travelling around and you’re ending in Marrakech, get all the items you can see below (and things like tagines and other cooking equipment) here!
In general, I found it perfectly fine and safe to walk through the souks and even take my camera out to take photos, but as everywhere, just be careful where you have your valuables at all time and keep your bag close to you. I’d also make sure to get out of the Medina when it starts getting dark, so you won’t get lost in the dark and might get into trouble. Most people were really super friendly and didn’t ‘harass’ you at all (I’d expected far worse after travelling in Asia a lot, but I found Morocco completely different, much more relaxed), so enjoy yourself, say hi to people, show respect and have a good time!!
So many cats around as well, ‘working hard’, as you can see, haha!
You will at some point be asked by someone to have a look in the tannery/dye area of the Medina, but of course you’re then also shown their shops after a short demonstration. While there was a little pressure, I thought that everyone stayed super friendly when it was clear we didn’t want to buy anything, so don’t worry about it too much. If you don’t want to go there, just say no and you’re fine.
Go on a Food Tour through the Medina
At the end of the day, you might get a bit hungry and while there are quite a few good restaurants around, you might find it hard to know where to go for dinner. Well… I have the perfect solution for you: Go on a guided Food Tour in the Medina!
My friend Amanda, from the travel blog ‘Maroc Mama‘, has been living in Marrakech for years with her Moroccan husband and kids and they run several tours that will show you the places they love to eat at themselves. You will get to experience all the great street food you see everywhere, but probably didn’t know if it was safe to eat or scared to ask for anything. You basically get the best of both worlds, plus in the tour we did, there are a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ stops that you wouldn’t normally get to see as a tourist.
This way, you eat lots of amazing food (trust me: LOTS – again, arrive VERY HUNGRY), get a personal guide to show you the way (no worries of getting lost) and you learn a lot about Moroccan food, culture and daily life!
The tour departs in front of the Post Office from the main square, and you’ll end when it’s dark at the main square again as well.
If you want to see the type of food you get on this tour and our personal experience, make sure to read our review here:
Morocco’s take on the doughnut! All.The.Olives! (and chili’s for Nick)
How to Spend Your Evening in Marrakech?
Hang Around at Jemaa el-Fna (or not)
After the Food Tour, you’re back at the main square of Marrakech, where all the market stalls have been packed away and made space for massive circles of people showing all kinds of shows including acrobats, storytellers, magicians, fire breathers and God (Allah) knows what else!
For us, it was a bit too much, so we jumped into a taxi back to the hotel, but if you’re up for it, why not enjoy the craziness of Marrakech a little longer?!
Jemaa el-Fna during the day
A bit overwhelmed at first? Get yourself onto a rooftop terrace and peek down below for all the craziness that’s going on. To add onto that: I didn’t approved with the use of animals on the square, but took a photo to show you this is happening and warn you to PLEASE don’t take any photos WITH the animals and encourage these activities. The monkeys seemed incredibly stressed out and we all know snakes only move up like that because they feel threatened, so NO NO NO. Thank you!
Staying Longer? Dinner Tip!
While after the Food Tour we did you REALLY don’t want to eat anything else in the foreseeable future, if you’re planning on staying longer in Marrakech than just the one day, here’s a good dinner tip for you: the restaurant of hotel Le Caspien, from acclaimed chef Jawad Kazouini.
We had our G Adventure’s farewell dinner with the group and the meals were wonderful here! While it was a bit noisy as the restaurant was super busy, so it wasn’t the best place to go with a group that just wants to talk to each other, if you’re with less people, I can highly recommend it!
I hope this article helped you deciding what to do in Marrakech! Here is more information to help you plan your trip:
Time Zone in Morocco? GMT +1
Currency in Morocco? Moroccan Dirham. Check the latest exchange rate here.
Electrical Plugs in Morocco? 220V, Type C and E. We recommend getting a universal travel adapter to never worry about having the right plug on your travels!
Languages Spoken in Morocco? Moroccan Arabic (Darija), Arabic & Berber + French. We had no trouble getting around with just English and our G Adventure guide helped us everywhere, as he was a local and spoke all the languages needed.
Best time to visit Morocco & Marrakech Travel? Spring (March-May) or Autumn (September-October). Summer can be nice on the coast, but will definitely be too warm more inland. Make sure to also take the date of Ramadan, the month of daytime fasting, in account when planning your trip!
Insurance for Morocco? Make sure to get travel insurance! We recommend checking out worldnomads.com
Which organised tours to do in Morocco? We highly recommend organised tours with G Adventures Tour!!
More Great Resources:
Hotels in Marrakech, Morocco:
Stay in a typical Arabic “riad”, with their gorgeous inner courtyards!
- Riad Anayela [see the best deals on booking.com]
- Riad Celia [see the best deals on booking.com]
- Riad Laila [see the best deals on booking.com]
- Riad Palais Des Princesses [see the best deals on booking.com]
- Hotel & Spa Riad El Walaa [see the best deals on booking.com]
- Riad Be Marrakech [see the best deals on booking.com]
Map of Marrakech Tourism Spots
I’ve added some additional restaurant tips on here as well for you!
Make sure to check out our other Morocco articles:
I hope you enjoyed all the suggestions for Marrakech Morocco things to do!
Want to see more of our travel photos? Follow us on Instagram here
Want to see more of our travel videos? Subscribe on YouTube here
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Tours & Other Things to Do in Marrakech Morocco
There are many great tours and activities in Marrakech. Here are some great ones to get your started.
FOOD TOUR (WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS!)
- Marrakech Food Tours –marrakechfoodtours.com
- Marrakech Food Tours is owned and operated by a husband and wife team who have made it their mission to bring the real food of Marrakech to those visiting the red city. READ OUR REVIEW HERE!
- Discover Marrakech TourClick here for availability and current prices
- Enjoy a wonderful half day tour in the charming city of Marrakech to discover its main historical monuments. With your a local and professional guide, get a true taste of the rich culture in Marrakech and visit a local herbalist.
- Discover the ornate palaces and monuments of Marrakech on a 3-hour sightseeing tour, and learn the history of Morocco’s “Red City.” Go to one of the largest mosques of the western Muslim world, visit traditional souks and more.
- Accompanied by a licensed guide, you’ll navigate Marrakech’s labyrinthine medina and its colorful souks. Explore the red city’s major historical sites and palaces and dive deep into the back streets to learn more about the local lifestyle.
- Experience the hustle and bustle of the souks of Marrakech on a private tour of the city’s highlights and hidden gems. Admire stunning Moorish architecture and taste freshly-baked bread at a family-run bakery.
- Explore Marrakech’s vibrant souks and uncover its hidden treasures, stunning colors and extraordinary handicrafts.
- Visit hidden stalls in the Marrakech medina with a local guide on a shopping adventure. Shop for souvenirs such as leather items, lamps, shoes, carpets, spices, and argan oil. Learn how to haggle like a real insider, and enjoy some exclusive discounts.
- Accompanied by a licensed guide, you’ll navigate Marrakech’s labyrinthine medina and its colorful souks, visiting sights such as the Menara Gardens, the Majorelle Gardens and the Koutoubia Minaret.
- Enjoy a historical exploration tour through Marrakech, visiting impressive sights such as the Bab Agnaou gate and Bahia Palace.
- Marrakech Tagine Cookery Class With a LocalClick here for availability and current prices
- Learn to cook authentic Moroccan tagines in Marrakech. Shop for ingredients at a souk, learn about the uses of herbs and spices, and cook a typical Moroccan meal with an expert chef. Then, sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
- Why you just buy it when you have the opportunity to make it? Spend 3.5 hours learning leatherwork in the medina from a traditional Moroccan craftsman. Enjoy tea and a local snack and make your own babouch slippers to take home.
- Learn how to cook traditional dishes from Morocco and how to pair flavors at a half-day cooking class in Marrakech. Prepare authentic dishes to savor with a meal at the end of the class.
- Under the guidance of a head chef, prepare an exquisite 4-course meal in the open air using traditional recipes and small clay coal ovens. Learn about the culture and pleasures of the sweet and salty cuisine of Morocco: traditional slow food.
- Get messy and creative in a traditional pottery workshop in Marrakech!
- Marrakech: Half-Day Desert Quad & Dromedary TourClick here for availability and current prices
- Experience vast desert landscapes on this half-day dromedary and quad bike tour. First, discover authentic Morracan culture on a dromedary tour leading to a Berber village. Then, after a tea break, speed through the desert on your quad bike.
- Enjoy a fun adventure by quad bike on the outskirts of Marrakech. This self-drive quad-biking excursion takes you into the Moroccan countryside with an expert guide, and reveals the beauty of the contrasting landscapes around the palm groves.
- Taste and discover how authentic Moroccan Mint tea is prepared and taste the famous local crepes. Explore the desert and Palm Grove of Marrakech from a camel’s back. Tour traditional villages and palm groves in the countryside.
Looking for more ‘One Day in…’ City Guides?
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Disclaimer: We were hosted on our tour through Morocco by G Adventures. The final night we arranged ourselves and for the food tour, we got 1 complimentary ticket from Food Tours Marrakech. All photos and opinions in this article are, as always, 100% our own. This post contains affiliate links.
Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Olives
This is one of my favourite Moroccan recipes. I love the tangy, salty lemons with the soft chicken. Our driver’s sister prepared it for us when we spent the evening in her home in Tangier whilst we waited for the night train to Marrakech. It was delicious!
A dish of home-cooked chicken with lemon and olives, Tangier
Watch this video to learn how to prepare the dish at home:
Click here to read a recipe for chicken with preserved lemons and olives.
Both Henry and I love to eat, and experiencing the local cuisine of a destination is just as much a part of traveling as anything we see along the way. We hadn’t done a lot of cooking classes on previous vacations, but I was excited about our Moroccan cooking class even before this holiday had started. While you can find heaps of different ones available online, this cooking class was included as part of our tour and to be held at the hotel we were staying at in Marrakech – Riad Princesse du Desert.
The mess we made in the kitchen at Riad Princesse du Desert during our Moroccan cooking class.
We’d spent the morning and part of the afternoon exploring the ancient medina of Marrakech, wandering through its alleyways, admiring its historic architecture, and meeting some of the colorful characters that call it home. It had already been an amazing day by the time we arrived back at Riad Princesse du Desert, ready to get to work in the kitchen.
Khadija, our expert Moroccan cooking instructor, showing us how to prepare the fruit.
Our cooking class was being led by Khadija – a lovely local woman who was a magician in the kitchen – and although she didn’t speak any English, we had the translation help of a couple of the staff members Simo and Appie from Riad Princesse du Desert who by now had become good friends.
Our kefta tagine simmering away during our Moroccan cooking class in Marrakech.
On the menu was a kefta tagine (minced beef meatballs slowly cooked in tomatoes, onion and garlic, and with baked eggs on top), a lamb tagine with dried prunes and apricots, an eggplant stew known as zaalouk, and fresh seasonal fruit sprinkled with cinnamon to finish.
Our Moroccan cooking class instructor Khadija caramelizing apricots.
Khadija carefully led us through every step of the way while Simo and Appie from Riad Princesse du Desert filmed us on the GoPro and added general “silliness” to the whole experience. We had grown really fond of the staff at this riad, and it just felt like we were cooking with friends in their kitchen – one of those authentic and genuine experiences we really crave when traveling!
Simo being silly (yet again!) as he grabbed some ingredients we needed from up high in the kitchen at Riad Princesse du Desert.
Although they didn’t provide us with an ingredients list or printed preparation techniques like most cooking classes do, we really appreciated the patience and talent of our instructor Khadija who guided us through the whole process.
Writing down the ingredients and preparation techniques during our Moroccan cooking class in Marrakech.
The meal we enjoyed at the end of our Moroccan cooking class was absolutely delicious (particularly the meat tagine with prunes and apricots), and we were so pleased to come away with this culinary experience in Morocco and the opportunity to delve a little deeper into the cuisine and uncover some of its secrets.
Simo carrying our two completed tagines to the dinner table for us.
We would both recommend the Moroccan cooking class held at Riad Princesse du Desert in Marrakech. Just come prepared with your own pen and paper to write things down along the way!
The absolutely delicious meat tagine we prepared, with apricots and prunes adding unexpectedly beautiful flavors.
Things to See and Do in Marrakech, Morocco
From historic mosques to the labyrinth-like medina, here are the sights you don't want to miss in Marrakech.
Silhouetted by the Atlas Mountains, Marrakech is a sensory overload as prayers from the mosques and bartering at the souks echo through the arid medina alleys and the aroma of leather and spice hangs in the air.
The heart of Marrakech is its medina, a labyrinth of cobblestone alleyways that weave between red sandstone walls mainly trafficked by pedestrians and bikes.
Ibn Yusuf Mosque
The Ibn Yusuf Mosque (or Ben Youssef Mosque) is the oldest mosque in Marrakesh. Its beautifully restored minaret can be seen throughout the medina quarter.
This lively main square in the medina quarter is bustling all day with entertainers, food stalls and shopping.
Leave plenty of room for souvenirs in your suitcase, because it's nearly impossible to browse the rugs, leathergoods, spices and metalworks of Marrakech souks without practicing your bartering skills and making a few purchases!
It&rsquos hard to miss the towering 250-foot minaret of Koutoubia, the largest mosque in the city located in the medina quarter.
Le Jardin Secret
It's worth the small entry fee to escape the crowded medina, and meander the tranquil garden paths at Le Jardin Secret.
If you want to venture out of city center, visit the beautiful Jardin Majorelle to the north or Agdal Gardens to the south of town.
Your skin will never feel more fresh and clean than after a proper hammam in a steam room, deep scrubbing with black exfoliating soap.
Skip the hotel and rent a room at a riad, a traditional house with an interior courtyard.
Whether it's a patio at your riad or grabbing a bite at an open-air restaurant, some of the absolute best views of the city can be found from the rooftops of its buildings.
Whether you grab a bite from a food stall in the medina or find a cozy restaurant to feast in, the food in Morocco is to die for. A couple of my favorite dinner spots in Marrakech were Terrasse des Epices and Le Tanjia.
An absolute must-order dish while in Morocco, Tagine is traditionally served in an earthenware pot and is a savory stew that includes some mix of meat, vegetables, spices, nuts or dried fruit.
Sweet tea in the South has nothing on the saccharine mint tea that is served in Morocco. (Tip: Ask for the sugar cubes on the side so you can sweeten it to your liking.)
Want to get out of the city? Rent a car or join a tour and go visit the Atlas Mountains or Agafay Desert (much closer than the Sahara).
Even if you don't normally think to reach for prunes at the grocery store, you'll definitely want to add them to your shopping list so that you can try this fabulous dish. Moroccan cooking features a number of sweet and savory dishes that pair meat with fruit, and this particular combination may arguably be the most popular. Lamb or beef is cooked to buttery tenderness with fragrant Moroccan seasoning and then topped with prunes, which have been simmered in a cinnamon and honey syrup.
Morocco Travel Photo Diary: Majorelle Garden
Our trip to Morocco was filled with so much adventure. We started in Fes, traveled up through Chefchaouen, out to the Sahara Desert, down to Marrakech and into Casablanca. It was a total whirlwind!
I realized that while I covered the big parts of our trip, I never shared some of the details that made it so special. One part of that is the Majorelle Garden in Marrakech, a two and half acre botanical garden created by French artist Jacques Majorelle.
It’s an oasis of bamboo trees, marble pools, bougainvillea, cacti, and palms. Because it was designed by an artist, the entire garden is fashioned like a painting, trademarked by the “Majorelle blue” accents and other bright colors. In the 1980s, Yves Saint Laurent purchased and restored the gardens. Today, the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech is open for tours of the gardens, as well as the accompanying YSL Museum.
If you are planning a visit to the Majorelle Garden, the cost is 70 Moroccan dirhams (
$7 U.S. dollars) to enter the garden. If you also want to visit the accompanying museum, it’s an additional 30 Moroccan dirhams. I would recommend arriving early (you can buy tickets right out front) and beating the crowds and heat of the day.
This sprawling garden is absolutely stunning and it’s worth the trip while visiting Marrakech. Lots of people that review it say that it’s touristy (and it is), but the artistic design is really something special. These photos don’t really do it justice!
A taste of Morocco at La Maison Arabe: Chicken tagine & Moroccan salads
One week in Morocco was enough to change my picky palate. While I don’t usually care for bread (why waste stomach space for something so bland?) or eat lamb (too gamey) I left those preferences back in London. In Morocco, I wanted to eat as the Moroccans did.
Last week my friend V and I arrived in Marrakech, the first leg of our week-long Moroccan adventure. Our agenda consisted of 2 days in Marrakech, a 3-day driving tour from Marrakech where we crossed the High Atlas Mountains to camp in the Saharan desert, and finally ended the trip in Fez. I’ll be sharing some photos of the trip itself in the next few posts but today I want to share with you our best meal in Morocco.
A cooking class in Marrakech is called for if you want to learn about the backbone of Moroccan cuisine. We arrived at La Maison Arabe for a 3 hour session with Mohammed, our good humored instructor. Thirty minutes was spent on introducing us to the celebratory foods of Morocco such as mechoui (roast lamb) and pastilla – a sweet & savory meat pie made with phyllo dough and consists of pigeon, lamb or chicken – usually served at weddings or a special event. The 2 most important spices are saffron – the most expensive spice in the world – and ras el hanout, a 27 spice mix usually used for a savory dish.
Then the cooking started. On the menu was a chicken tagine with preserved lemon and olives, crusty Moroccan bread along with two salads, eggplant and green pepper. Once we were able to sit down and eat I realized how delicate Morocco tastes. The flavors were light enough to keep me from being overwhelmed and addictive enough to keep me wanting more.
Here is the recipe for the chicken tagine that we learned to make at La Maison Arabe. I didn’t expect this to be the best meal of our entire trip – and there were some pretty good ones. Perhaps it was the whole experience that added to the delightfulness of the meal but I am for sure going to try to recreate this meal again.
Chicken tagine with preserved lemons
400 grams of chicken cut in big chunks
1/2 of a preserved lemon, remove peel and chop the flesh
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 heaping tsp turmeric
a pinch of saffron
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ghee
4 tbsp water
In a tagine or Dutch oven add the chopped preserved lemon flesh, garlic, parsley & coriander along with all the spices. Then coat the chicken in the marinade and add in onions. Cook over medium heat for 20 – 25 minutes covered with a lid, turning the chicken every so often so the chicken won’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add a tablespoon of water in between turning the chicken to keep moist.
Add the remainder of the water and simmer for 40 – 45 minutes over med-low heat. Once the chicken is nicely browned and the sauce is thick add in the lemon peel and 10 olives (optional), serve with couscous or bread.
Watch the video: 10 tips για καλύτερες φωτογραφίες το βράδυ (September 2021).