A trip to Rabat

Since my boyfriend and I started dating I keep talking about my mother’s legendary couscous so when I suggested to go to Morocco for a quick week-end gateway, the idea was met with a lot of enthusiasm.

Before arriving, we obviously asked my mother to cook a couscous for our arrival dinner and I thought it could be a good idea to write an article about some of the food I love in Morocco. So here we go.

Let’s start with the infamous couscous. OK, the picture is horrible but it was so delicious I still wanted to share it. And I admit it, I forgot to take the photo and just went for it, ruining the picture. In between Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia there must be at least a thousand different couscous but I love this particular one because of its rich flavours and lots of vegetables. My mother also uses this very thin grain that makes the texture just perfect. No restaurant can equal this, so if you want to try it you’ll have to ask my mum to cook it!

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The horrible picture of the couscous

Since it was my boyfriend’s first time in Rabat I got to play tourist and do stuff I wouldn’t normally do. One of these activities involved drinking litres of over-sweetened but tasty mint tea.

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Bered atay (Mint tea pot in arabic) with jasmine water on the side

You can have it in a tea pot or just in a glass with mint leaves in it. You can add a few drops of jasmine water to make it even tastier but the common denominator seems to be sugar. To make it sweeter,  it is better enjoyed with a little pastry on the side.

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Tea and pastries a the Café Maure in the Oudayas

Little side note on the Oudayas. If you happen to be in Rabat, don’t forget to visit this old kasbah. It is beautiful, unexpected, and this café has the most amazing view (and obviously tea and biscuits).

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If the tea and biscuits didn’t make you want to visit the Oudayas maybe this view will

Another pastry (I’m not sure you can call it pastry but for lack of a better word that’s what I’m gonna call it) I wanted Louis to try out was baghrir. It is a kind of pancake with a lot of wholes. You add some honey (and in our case walnuts) and you enjoy it with a little glass of mint tea, of course.

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Baghrir

Because I lived in Morocco for such a long time I stop paying attention to the country but having someone new around and wanting to write an article forced me to start paying attention again. All of a sudden, I started noticing again all of this food, tastes and smells that I took for granted .

Is there anything better than eating a donut with caster sugar with your hands full of sand after swimming in the ocean? I don’t think so!

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Guy selling donuts with caster sugar on the beach

The medina is also a great (but uncertain) place to experience food. I would’t eat anywhere in the medina but there’s definitely a lot happening there.

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A street vendor cutting his nougat
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Nuts and dried fruits heaven
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Spices stall – wanted to buy everything
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Mille feuilles in the medina

I remember loving these mille feuilles from this one particular shop. There was nothing fancy about them, the flaky dough wasn’t particularly flaky and I wouldn’t be surprise if they didn’t use real butter for the custard but there was something about eating them still hot from the oven that made an impression on me.

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Pastillas

Chicken pastilla may well be my favourite Moroccan dish so I also had to share that dish with Louis. This sweet and savoury sort of  pie made of chicken and almonds is insanely good so if you go to Morocco don’t miss out on them!

Our trip was quite short but I like to think that we made the most out of it, especially because my mother also treated us with this festive moroccan dish before we left: Seffa Medfouna.

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Seffa Medfouna

It’s another sweet and savoury dish usually prepared for big festivities but in this case my mother just wanted Louis to try it (and trust me, he loved it). Under the pile of thin and short pasta is hidden a piece of chicken cooked with lots of spices. The pasta that covers it is sprinkled with icing sugar, cinnamon and peanuts. It sound like a weird combination but it is really delicious. You have to taste it to believe it.

That’s it for today but I’d love ot heqr about your experience in Morocco. Have you ever been and tried some of the food? What was your Moroccan food highlight?

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