Sunday, July 7, 2013

Morocco Journal - Part 10: The Food!

So, Moroccan foodzz ...  I don't know the names of most of the food below; I forget them the moment I'm told. Except for the common ones and those shared with South Asians, like paraata (which Moroccans call "milwi"), pakorrey ("ma'qooda" in Arabic... but I don't think I've a pic of that here. Or maybe I do. Let's see.)

Of course, Morocco is NOT a very vegetarian-friendly place, since they love, love, love meat here. It's like the Middle East and South Asia (not sure of other regions and their love for meat). My roommie is a vegetarian, and she's always, ALWAYS being told that she doesn't eat enough, even though she sometimes eats more than I do--it's just that I eat the meat and she doesn't. She's also told, "The reason you get sick a lot is that you don't eat meat." When in fact, she got sick because the family basically forced her to eat meat one day and she started getting sick that night. Went to the doctor, and the doc tells her, "You're sick because you're a vegetarian." Whoa there, Dr. Bro!!

She also gets told: "Try it once, just once! You'll love it so much you'll want to start eating meat again." And she's like, "I haven't been eating meat since I was a kid. Because I don't like meat." And no one understands. The pressure gets pretty intense, and the family can't be convinced at all. Sometimes Host Momma H. will tease her that "This thing has fish in it ... and a liiiiiittle bit of chicken, just a little bit." LOL. It's adorable but can get frustrating as well, even for me as a witness to it all.

Overall, Moroccan food is delicious (meat-filled) and very similar to South Asian food. But I miss South Asian food so much that I'm highly surprised to have heard there are no South Asian restaurants in Rabat, the capital of the country, despite the strong population of South Asians there. How does a country NOT have any South Asian restaurants?!?! I'm missing it so, OH-SO much! The naan, the curries, the rice... the rice here isn't as good (according to my taste) as the South Asian rice I'm so fond of. The bread is too thick for my taste, although it's eaten here with almost every meal. They do cook most of their vegetables--and even their curries--the way we South Asians do, and the curries here are just as delicious but without naan ... :) not so much for me.

Also, like South Asians, Moroccans seem to like their pastas/spaghettis with sugar. I don't have a pic of that, sadly, but the next time I eat it or come across it, I'll add it here. The really thin ones are called sha'riyya--like angel-hair, I guess.

Another common dish here is a soup cooked the same way it is in South Asia. It's called "hareera" here, or shorba in Arabic. (The pic below isn't mine; got it from online.) So, hareera isn't creamy; it's more liquidy, like very. And it usually has pasta in it. It's not one of my favorites.

The soup

Let's see what else ... couscous is a common dish here. So is something called tagine, which I'll dedicate a separate post to for a friend who asked me what I think about it (answer: it's a good dish). In Merakesh, a very touristy and extremely diverse city in Morocco, there's a special dish called tangiya, which is quite similar to tagine but apparently, tangiya takes around 8 hours or so to cook, must be cooked overnight, and requires a huuuuge pot (image below), which doesn't fit on the stoves people have at home so it can't be cooked at home (that's what I've been told), and so you eat it only at restaurants; I hear it's more delicious, too. I did visit Merakesh but apparently, we didn't eat tangiya there.

For tagine only
The pot in which tangiya is cooked is much longer and bigger (but both are made of clay); I've seen them being sold in markets and whatnot but haven't taken a photo, and thanks to my slow-ass internet, finding a photo online isn't possible right now. I'll talk about tangiya (when I learn more about it) in the tagine post I hope to write soon, so do stay tuned.

Also, Moroccan bread is cooked in an oven that looks like this:

And it comes out of the oven like this:

Since not every Moroccan has an oven at home (or perhaps not every Moroccan wants to bake the bread at home), some people carry the dough in its pre-bread mode to a shop where the bread is made. The exact same thing happens in Pakistan: sometimes, we'd just take our post-brad dough, called perrey in Pashto, to a place we called "hotel" where naan could be baked and bought; you pay a small fee and it's done. 

So, the pics now.

Milwi = Paraata

Another kind of milwi. in Pashto, we've something called ishala paraata, which looks *a little bit* like this.

Nadya sent me a pic of the Pashtun version of an ishala paraata *in the making*, not the final product. (I'll post the final-produc pic when I find one--and I also need to watch how the Moroccan ones are made and will post a pic of that, too):

Pakistani Ishala paraata. It's just salted flour in water being put on the pot on the stove.  Sounds easy to make but it's not that easy, I assure you, hah.
Chicken couscous Our dinner at the "orientation" from the center

My share of the couscous

I don't like oranges, so I didn't taste this, but I heard it was delicious; was served after the couscous dinner.
We had this at a lunch provided by University's Flagship Program direct. It was awesome.

Salad, served commonly at host family's house

That looks like tagine. Don't be fooled, though; it's not vegetarian and there's chicken there.

Tea! Served commonly. VERY, VERY commonly.

Another meal from host family. Moroccans love fries.

PAKORREY!!! (= Ma'qooda)

Snails :D But I'm no fan, so I'll pass. Common in Morocco.

Snail soup and snails

Another common dish. Coucous with chiceken and vegies

Delicious stuff. Dude!! Baked at home! It's called talent.

More foods.

That strawberry cake was good.

Sometimes we get tired of eating Moroccan alllll the time so we go to this restaurant and get non-Moroccan.

And so a pizza looks like this ... not at all good.

This other time, roommie and I couldn't take it anymore so went somewhere else. The result was heartbreaking.

But then there's Pizza Hut, which, surprisingly, is even better than the one in the U.S. My fav place here.
Pizza Hut's garlic bread: DELLLLICIOUS stuff! The best thing I've ever tasted here.

Then one day, roommie and I decided to do something about our desperate craving for Burritos and nachos and any other Mexican food. It was a disaster, folks. It was a total disaster. Went to a place called Nachos y ... nachos? or something like this. All excited and stuff. So disappointed in the end I cried that day.

Morocco's idea of a burrito. NO beans in there (only chicken and lettuce); the bread is heated and kinda fried :S

And the burrito ripped--no, seriously--and it looked like this on the inside with its hard bread.

Roommie got nachos and they looked like this and tasted like nothing good at all.

More tea?
How about tea with some traditional Moroccan sweets like this? (VERY expensive: 8 dirhams for one! Maybe he was lying.

Went to Rabat this weekend and ... got spaghetti (popular in Morocco, like lasagna) & it was horrible. Normally it's good here, though. Just this one was a bad experience with the way the beef was cooked and all.

But lemme end on a happy thought: GUMMY BEARS!! Expensive here but worth it when you need them!!!
k, that'd be all, folks. More again soon.

Previous Morocco Journals:


  1. SNAILS???? WTF????

    1. Hello, Anonnie! Thanks for your comment!
      Yep. ANd here's a post on snails in Morocco, written just for you! Enjoy :)

  2. Wow, it all seems very delicious except few one....for sure i know...Rice, beans,chicken and certain kind of bread are tasty. yet some food doesn't gives that flavor according to our tastes.
    Some of Morocco food much resembles in taste to Hunza baldistan local food (if you have ever experienced hunza food)

    A very nice and informative Morocco Journal.
    A hug for you.

    1. Hugs for you, too, Kiran!
      Na, never been to Hunza, nor tried any of their food, but I hope to one day, ka khairee!

      Thanks for all of your comments!


Dare to opine :)

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