Moroccan food is one of the great cuisines of the world and in the hands of the skilled and knowledgeable cook strikes a beautiful balance of sweetness, saltiness, sourness and heady aromatic flavours. In Morocco this soup is traditionally served to break the fast during the holy month of Ramadan. There are thousands of different recipes for the soup, with each household adding their own twist. I prefer to use lamb rather than beef and find a more balanced flavour is achieved. This is a purely personal preference - and I don't think there is a right or a wrong combination of ingredients. You may find the addition of the rice at the end of cooking to be an unusual choice, but it gives a velvety finish to the soup. Sometimes the rice is replaced with tiny bits of pasta, like orzo. This soup is substantial - I like to serve it with lots of fresh chopped coriander and a lemon wedge on the side. The warmer the weather, the more inclined I am to squeeze a little juice into the soup.
I keep a jar of this hot and spiced North African-inspired paste in the fridge most of the time. I find it a really useful condiment for seasoning and marinating and on some occasions for adding a little heat to certain dishes.I use it with grilled lamb, pork and chicken, with oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, on hard boiled eggs and in an omelette, stirred through a mayonnaise as a sauce or through olive oil to make a slightly hot vinaigrette for crisp and cool salad leaves. I use medium hot chillies such as a Cayenne, Jalapeno or Serrano and find that gives me a level of heat that is obvious but not too scorching.
From: Neven Maguire: Home Chef
I like to make my tagines a little richer than is traditional in Morocco. This involves browning the meat, frying off the spices, reducing the sauce and cooking it all gently in the oven with the delicious Medjool dates. The flavour of this tagine only improves with time - just leave it to cool completely, then place in the fridge for up to 2 days. This also allows any excess fat to rise to the top so that it can be easily removed. Flaked almonds are sprinkled on top just before serving, as is the custom in the Middle East.
This whole chicken recipe has Moroccan origins. It is a great way of keeping the chicken moist throughout the cooking. You can omit the couscous if you like and start from paragraph 5 in the method. Stuff the chicken with a lemon, a head of garlic, and some rosemary. If you want to use olive oil instead of butter, you can! Furthermore, white wine or cider will also do the job. The best way to cook a whole chicken is to cook it slowly at low temperature for longer and then turn up the oven at the end to achieve the Maillard reaction. You can brine you chicken (8% brine solution) overnight for a more complex flavour, as the brine will help keep the chicken juicy and moist. Brine breaks down the protein and makes for softer meat.
From: Four Live
A great midweek dish