Embark on a culinary adventure by trying
your hand at these Moroccan dishes, full of spice and flavour
A Month in Marrakesh; recipes from the
heart of Morocco, by Andy Harris (Hardie Grant, $26.34), is both a travel guide
and a cookery book. Having spent 10 summers exploring the colourful food
markets and souks of Marrakesh, Harris, the editor of Jamie Oliver’s magazine,
Jamie, is something of an expert when it comes to this vibrant cuisine.
During his travels, Harris has picked up
the secrets to creating sumptuous Moroccan dishes, and built up a collection of
authentic earthenware tagines from his favourite shops and stalls in the souks
– a tagine is a traditional north African Berber dish named after the special
earthenware pot in which it’s cooked.
This book covers everything from breakfasts
through to desserts, with the obligatory chapter on tagines – although he does
include refreshingly unusual recipes, including Fish and Fennel Tagine and Baby
Octopus and Green Olive Tagine. These pots of food are traditionally placed in
the middle of the table for everyone to share, so make a fantastic dinner party
idea. Imagine your friends’ appreciative grins as they tuck into the steaming food.
The book is punctuated with mouth-watering
imagery from talented food and lifestyle photographer David Loftus. With every
turn of the page, you’re taken on a tour of Harris’ foody haunts. With
evocative images of market life, you can almost smell the freshly brewed mint
tea, taste the cinnamon and cumin and hear the hubbub.
A Street Foods section includes offerings
such as Stuffed Potato Croquettes, Fish Kefta, Spicy Squid with Harissa Yoghurt
and Lamb Brochettes. There’s also a handy glossary of essential herbs and
spices that Harris uses in abundance.
Moroccan cooking, with its African and
Mediterranean, inspiration is very healthy – most recipes contain a protein
source such as chicken, lamb or fish with lots of vegetables, plus a host of
health-promoting herbs and spices. Couscous, pulses and lentils are used to
bulk up dishes or provide a nutritious carbohydrate accompaniment to rich
Preserved lemons are a storecupboard
essential for Moroccan dishes. Simply soak one lemon in a jar with one part
salt to one part water for two months.
Moroccan tuna Niçoise with roasted tomatoes
Serves: 4; Cooking time: 45 minutes
464 calories, 26g protein, 35g fat (6g
saturated fat),11g carbohydrates, 10g sugar, 7g fibre, 0.9g salt
8 ripe tomatoes
8 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp capers, drained
¼ tbsp ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend)
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g green beans, trimmed and blanched
250g canned tuna, drained
3 boiled eggs, halved, peeled and thinly sliced
100g mixed olives, drained then crushed
2 small red onions, finely sliced Juice of 1
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180oC/gas mark 4. Cut four tomatoes in half and
the rest into quarters, and place in a roasting tin. Add the garlic, capers,
ras el hanout, parsley and oil. Season.
2. Combine well then roast for 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are
cooked. Remove from the oven and cool.
3. Meanwhile, combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and season
with salt and pepper.
4. To assemble, place the tomatoes on a platter, add the beans, flaked
tuna, boiled eggs and olives. Drizzle over the dressing and serve with
For an authentic lunch, serve with toasted
or grilled arab-style flatbread