You have reached this interesting post as you might be among those who have asked the following questions: What is traditionally served with tagine? What would you serve with tagine? What goes with Moroccan stew? What are some traditional Moroccan foods? if so, then you have come to the right place.
What Is Traditionally Served with Tagine?
A typical Moroccan meal is served with a variety of salads and side dishes. These dishes can be either hot or cold, and complement the tagine to provide a balanced plate.
For example, on the hot side, there might be carrot salad; creamy white garlic sauce; fennel salad; eggplant salad; taktuka salad, and zucchini with tomatoes.
On the cold side, there is tomato with green pepper and some onion, orange with cinnamon salad, cucumber, and tomato salad, etc.
After the meal, guests may sip at fresh mint tea or coffee. Traditional mint tea is served in small glasses to allow for an infusion of fresh mint leaves.
Food is a sensory experience, and Moroccan cuisine uses a wide range of spices to infuse food with great flavor. Spices are often used to marinate or spice meat before cooking: lamb, fish, or chicken. Though they can be added for flavor at any point during the cooking process. In Morocco, the daily meal you usually find is tagine, and couscous is served on Fridays, and it is topped with a savory vegetable or meat stew seasoned with saffron and other spices.
Cumin, ginger, cinnamon and turmeric are common spices used in Moroccan food. Harissa , a spicy-hot chili paste, can be added to stews at the end of cooking or used on its own, eaten with bread or spooned onto tagines. Rose water is another ingredient that adds an exotic flavor to Moroccan food.
Mint tea is the most popular drink in Morocco and it’s slowly gaining popularity abroad too. It’s made by steeping green tea leaves in boiling water with plenty of fresh mint.
Moroccan salads are typically fresh and light. Many Moroccan salads can be prepared in advance and left to sit for a few hours before serving, which allows the flavors to blend. The top Moroccan salads are:
Salad olives, you will see it in Moroccan breakfast and dinner meals. Tomato salad is also famous in Morocco. The ingredients include chopped tomatoes, green peppers and onions mixed with a generous amount of black olives.
The ingredients for Moroccan carrot salad may change slightly from one part of the country to another, but it always consists of grated carrots mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and cumin.
Zaalouk is a popular Moroccan eggplant salad that’s usually eaten with bread served with tagine. It’s made from eggplant, tomatoes, garlic and olive oil that are sautéed until softened before being mashed together.
Moroccan cucumber salad is a refreshing dish that consists of chopped cucumbers marinated in salt water and vinegar, along with garlic and olive oil, which makes it deliciously crispy.
Moroccan potato salad is made up of boiled potatoes mixed with chopped parsley, cilantro and mint leaves, all bathed in olive oil and lemon juice.
Authentic Moroccan Salad and Side Dishes Recipes
1. Oranges with Orange Flower Water and Cinnamon
One of the most popular desserts around the country is made with fresh oranges or clementines. Cut into slices and sweetened with honey, sugar and orange flower water, they are chilled and then dusted with cinnamon before serving.
I have many American friends who visited us in Marrakech and said that this simple dessert is utterly delicious, especially with a plate of Kaab Ghazal or Ghriba Walnut Cookies.
- 4 plump Valencia oranges
- 1 tsp superfine sugar
- 1⁄8 tsp orange flower water
- Ground cinnamon for dusting
- 4 sprigs of fresh mint for garnishing
Trim off the top and bottom ends of the oranges and reserve. Peel each orange with a knife, removing any of the white pith around the fruits. Cut crosswise into B⁄d-in-/8-mm-thick slices. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
In a small mixing bowl, squeeze the juice from the reserved ends. Add the sugar, orange flower water, and a pinch of cinnamon and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the orange slices, turning to coat.
Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Divide the oranges among four dessert plates, overlapping the slices.
Spoon any remaining juice over the top and dust with cinnamon. Garnish with the mint sprigs and serve.
2. Eggplant Moroccan Salad
- 2 lbs (1 kg) globe eggplants, stems discarded, sliced lengthwise into 4 to 6 pieces
- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stems discarded, leaves finely chopped
- Large pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Pinch of ground cumin
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Blanch the eggplants for 10 minutes in salted boiling water, drain and set aside.
Combine the parsley, salt, vinegar, oil, spices, and garlic in a large bowl. to make a dressing. Dip each piece of cooked eggplant in this dressing and arrange on a serving platter. Serve hot or cold.
Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
3. Wild Moroccan Thyme Potatoes
This simple dish is surprisingly tasty and can be prepared very quickly.
- 1 bunch of wild thyme
- 3 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of ground white pepper
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- 3 lb (1½ kg) new potatoes cut into pieces
- 2 plum tomatoes, peeled and sliced
Quickly rinse the thyme, reserve a few whole sprigs for the garnish, and remove the flowers and leaves from the other sprigs.
In a large pot, preferably cast iron, heat the oil and sauté the onion for 5 to 7 minutes until golden. Add salt, pepper, and water and bring to a boil.
Add the potatoes and tomatoes, cover, reduce the heat, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the thyme leaves and flowers, cover again and cook for another 15 minutes. Taste and correct the seasoning, if necessary.
Transfer to a serving dish. The potatoes should be cooked through, but firm. Add the sauce and garnish with the reserved thyme.
4. Cooked Tomatoes and Sweet Green Pepper Salad
This is a rich and satisfying salad—sixteen beautiful, red, ripe, plump tomatoes reduced to a cup and a half of delicious puree. (It takes a lot of attention to avoid burning the mixture during the final fifteen minutes.)
In Essaouira, the cooks add some hot green chili peppers and chopped parsley, but I generally leave them out.
In Tetuán this salad is used as a fish stuffing. The fish is baked under a layer of sliced tomatoes, onions, and lemons, with chopped olives and chopped preserved lemon peel scattered on top. Paprika-flavored oil salt, a little water, and 45 minutes of baking in a 400° oven produce a marvelous dish.
6 red, ripe tomatoes (about 4 pounds), peeled, seeded, and chopped
Olive oil for frying
9 sweet green peppers, grilled, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon paprika (optional)
Salt and cayenne to taste
Pieces of equipment needed for this recipe:
A large enameled cast-iron skillet
Working time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Fry the tomatoes in a small amount of oil, mashing and turning them with the spoon as they cook down.
When they are very thick add the chopped green peppers, garlic, optional paprika, and some salt and cayenne to taste.
Continue to reduce the mixture until all the liquid has evaporated and starts to fry in the released oil. (At this moment you must give the dish your full attention, turning the tomatoes and peppers over and over in the skillet to avoid scorching.)
When everything is very thick and has reduced to about 11/2 cups, remove from the heat and drain. Serve cool.
5. Moroccan Beet Salad Recipe:
- 1 pound beets
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Large pinch of cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Salt to taste
Pieces of equipment needed for this recipe:
Medium-sized mixing bowl
Working time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes to 1 hour (depending on the age and size of the beets)
Makes: 2 cups (approximately)
Wash the beets well, being careful not to break their skins. Cut off the tops, leaving a stalk of about 11/2 inches. Boil, covered, until tender. Allow the water to cool, then slip off the skins, trim off the tops, and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over beets. Let marinate 1 hour before serving.