Tuesday, 24 June 2014

A Moroccan Feast

Recently we had some friends visit us for lunch and I decided I would cook up a Moroccan inspired lunch for us.
We had Spiced Chickpeas, Carrot Salad and Beef and Quince Tagine.

Carrot Salad

1 Tsp Cummin Seeds
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tsp Honey
Pinc of Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
4 large Carrots, cut into batons
2 Tbsp Chopped Corriander
2 Tbsp Chopped Pistachios

In a dry frying pan cook the cummin seeds over a low heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant.  Do not over cook or they will become bitter.  Transfer to a plate to cool.
Place the lemon juice, oil, honey and spices in a screw top jar and shake well to combine.  Leave for 10 minutes for the flavours to infuse.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the carrots.  Cook for 5 minutes then tip into a basin of cold water to stop the cooking.  Drain and cool then toss in the dressing and sprinkle with herbs and nuts.

Spiced Chickpeas

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Tsp Turmeric
2 x 400 gm tins of Chick Peas or 1 Cups of Dried Chickpeas that have been soaked and cooked
1 Cup of Vegetable or Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup Sultanas
2 Tbsp Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley

In a large fry pan heat the oil over a medium heat and add the onion cooking until soft and slightly golden. Stir in the garlic and spice stirring for 30 seconds then add the chick peas stock and sultanas.  Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally while cooking for 10 minutes.
Season to taste and sprinkle with parsley.

Beef and Quince Tagine

I cook this in a tagine but if you do not have one it will work fine in a heavy base pan you can use on the stove top and in the oven.

1 kg Chuck Steak or Shin Beef
2 Brown Onions
4 Cloves of Garlic
4 Tbl Olive Oil
2 Tsp Ras El Hanout (see Notes)
1/2 tsp Harissa ( Use Cayenne Pepper if you do not have Harissa)
1/4 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp Salt
3 Diced Ripe Tomatoes
1.5 Preserved Lemons, Skin Only Finely Diced (skin only)
2 Tsp Honey
2 Tbl Chopped Coriander
2 Tbl Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley

Prep all of your ingredients before you start an heat your oven to 140 degrees.
Dice the beef into 2.5 cm pieces and brown in batches on the stovetop using 2 tablespoons of the olive oil setting aside after each batch.
Once the beef is browned add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the onion over a medium heat for 5 minutes then add the garlic, ras el hanout, harissa or cayenne, pepper and salt and cook for a further minute stirring the entire time.
Add the meat back to the pot and then add the tomatoes, honey, 3/4 of the preserved lemon and half the coriander and half the parsley. Stir well then cover and cook for 3.5 hours.
The tomatoes and juice from the meat should keep the dish moist but check it after 1.5 hours and add a little water if required.

When the meat is tender transfer to a serving platter and scatter over the remaining herbs and preserved lemon.

Ras El Hanout

This a blend of many spices that can differ between makers but this is the version I make.

1/2 Tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Tsp Ground Allspice
2 Tsp Ground Cumin
2 Tsp Ground Ginger
2 Tsp Ground Turmeric
2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 Tsp Ground Cardomom
3 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
3 Tsp Ground Coriander
6 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

Store in an airtight jar.


  1. I'm going to use this recipe for sure Fiona. All looks great - and I'm sure it was!
    cheers Wendy

    1. Wendy you can make the Tagine ahead of time if needed and then the rest is just so easy.


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