All about The Moroccan cuisine

Moroccan cuisine has undergone many influences: Berber, Arab-Andalusian and Jewish. There is also an influence of cuisines from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia (particularly India with its very spicy cuisine). Moroccan cuisine offers a wide variety of dishes: couscous, tajines, pastilla, mechoui, briouats (small triangular puff pastries filled with meat or fish). There are, moreover, other typical Moroccan dishes: tajine mrouzia, tangia marrakchie (from the Marrakech region), harira (soup for breaking the fast in Ramadan), baddaz, tagoula (flour porridge) of barley), the seffa, the Moroccan salad or the orange salad flavored with cinnamon. The ingredients used are mainly vegetables, lentils, white beans, beans (especially for the preparation of bessara), but also fish (especially the sardine which is very popular).

In addition to all these dishes, Moroccans have breakfast with msemmen, rziza, harcha, meloui (more flexible and less compact than the msemmen) or baghrir with honey, butter or fresh cheese (jben). As for the bread in Morocco, it is round, thick and very different from one city to another, as much by its preparation (the tahini mkhemrats are prepared differently from the traditional bread) than by its ingredients (barley or corn flour can also enter into its composition).

For each recipe, there are several variants and names depending on the region. For tea, for example, each region has its own way of preparing it: it is sweeter in the north of the country and more fragrant in the south (where saffron is added). Spices play a major role in Moroccan cuisine. Saffron, dill, cloves, coriander, ginger, paprika, cumin, pepper, turmeric are very popular as are curry, garlic or seeds of nigella.

Onion is widely used especially in the preparation of tajines. Herbs (such as parsley, rosemary, oregano, fennel, thyme, anise, bay leaves and basil) are also used in abundance to enhance the taste and flavor of food. Moroccan cuisine is rich in pastries, often made with almonds and honey. Pastries are served at ceremonies such as weddings, circumcisions, but also Ramadan or when we receive guests.

Moroccan cuisine reflects the history of the country and the different populations that settled there. Tajine and harira come from the Berbers, who brought dates, milk, cereals, bread, olive oil, almonds, fruits and herbs. The Arabs brought the spices, not to mention the British who, in the eighteenth century, imported the famous tea. But the two great influences that Moroccan cuisine has experienced remain in fact the Arab and Andalusian influence. Arab with regard to M’qalla, M’hammar and M’Aammar, and Andalusian for M’jammar and all the rest. The kefta and baklawa are of Ottoman origin, although Morocco has not been conquered by the Turks, it has been receptive to some of their influences, for example in the culinary field.

In Morocco, cooking is exclusively the domain of women, except for the preparation of mechoui, kebabs and tanjia, prepared mainly by men. Women reproduce the gestures of their mothers and grandmothers.

The first ritual of the meal is to wash your hands, then pronounce Bismillah! (« In the name of God ») while sitting at the table. The bread, round and flat, serves as a fork, because the dishes are tasted traditionally with the thumb, forefinger and middle finger of the right hand (in Muslim countries, the left hand is reserved for impure gestures).

In this article we will see most of the recipes of the most famous Moroccan dishes , if you have any questions about the recipes or need details to prepare it, please contact the team of Dar Rbatia , our chief will respond to you as soon as possible.

Ready!! So let’s start with the most popular Moroccan dishes:

1- Couscous with 7 vegetables


  • Time:2 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: Generously serves 6 adults


  • 1 kg (2 lbs. 3 oz.) dry couscous (not instant)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 kg (2 lbs. 3 oz.) lamb or beef, cut into large pieces on the bone (or 1 whole chicken)
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 table spoon pepper
  • 2 tea spoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, or 1/4 teaspoon Moroccan yellow colorant
  • 1 handful of parsley and cilantro sprigs, tied into a bouquet
  • 1/2 of a small cabbage, cut into 2 or 3 sections
  • 3 or 4 turnips, peeled and halved
  • 10 carrots, peeled and halved
  • 1 or 2 tomatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 or 2 small onions, whole or halved
  • 1 small acorn squash, quartered (or a small section of pumpkin, cut into 3″ pieces
  • 4 or 5 small zucchini (long or 8-ball round), ends removed and halved
  • 2 or 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and halved (optional)
  • 1/4 cup dry chickpeas, soaked overnight (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fresh fava beans (optional)
  • 1 or 2 jalapeño or chili peppers (optional)*
  • 2 tablespoons butter (for the couscous)
  • 1 tablespoon salt (for the couscous)

2-Beef or lamb with prunes and almonds:

  • Time :85 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 70 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6


  • 1-2 lb. beef or lamb bone in – cut into 3-4’” chunks
  • 1/2 lb. onions finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoon ginger
  • 5-10 saffron threads
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil (if the meat you are using has more fat then decrease the amount of oil
  • palmful of chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 lb. prunes
  • 1-2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup blanched, fried almonds


  1. In a large pot or pressure cooker, add oil to bottom of pan and add onions and garlic, saute until translucent. Mix in the meat and brown, then add spices (salt, pepper, ginger, cinnamon, tumeric, saffron)
  2. If using a pot on the stove, add enough water to cover the meat. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, until meat is very tender and falls away from the bone. You may need to add more water if it cooks off too quickly.
  3. Add the cilantro.
  4. Bring the meat and liquids to boil. When the meat is cooked removed, and allow the remaining water to reduce to a thick sauce.
  5. If using a pressure cooker, cover the pressure cooker after adding water and cilantro.
  6. Cook on medium heat for between 45-50 minutes.
  7. Release pressure and open cover.
  8. Remove the meat and reduce the sauce uncovered.
  9. For the prunes: (this can be done while meat is cooking)
  10. Add prunes to a small pot with honey and some water, simmer on medium heat, checking to make sure there is enough liquid and they are not burning.
  11. Continue simmering until prunes are very tender. The length of time for this step depends on the oven as well as the prunes.
  12. Fresher dry prunes will soften much faster than a more dehydrated prune.
  13. Towards the end add some cinnamon (more if you like it).
  14. Cook until they are sitting in a thick syrup.
  15. This is often topped with fried almonds.
  16. To fry almonds: using blanched almonds add some oil to a saute pan and put the whole almonds in.
  17. This will only take a few minutes once hot.
  18. Be sure to watch as they will burn quickly.
  19. Once complete turn out meat and sauce into a large serving dish.
  20. Top with the prunes and sauce, and then the almonds.
  21. This is eaten with pieces of crusty bread.

3-Chicken with preserved lemon and olives

  • Time: 85 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 70 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 or 5.



  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads, crushed
  • 250ml/9fl oz chicken stock, warmed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 free-range chicken, jointed
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 6 small preserved lemons, quartered, or 2 larger ones, chopped (these are available from many supermarkets or specialist delis)
  • 100g/3.5oz mixed olives (green is traditional)
  • good handful coriander leaves, chopped
  • good handful flatleaf parsley, chopped


  1. Add the saffron threads to the stock to infuse.
  2. Meanwhile, in a tagine or heavy-bottomed lidded casserole, heat the olive oil and fry the onions until soft. Add the ginger, cumin and garlic and cook gently for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and stir to coat with the onion and spices. Sprinkle in the crushed peppercorns and add the lemons and saffron-infused stock.
  4. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook on a very gentle heat for about one hour, or until the chicken is falling apart.
  5. Add the olives and continue to simmer for another ten minutes. Add the chopped coriander and parsley just before serving.
  6. Serve with potatoes, crusty bread or rice and a green salad.


4-Pastilla with chicken and almonds:

  • Prep: 40 mins
  • Cook: 1 hrs 10 mins Plus cooling
  • For 6 person


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4–6 boneless chicken thighs (about 750g)
  • 10g butter
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • pinch of saffron
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 75g dried dates, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To assemble

  • 6 large slices of filo pastry
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • pinch of cinnamon


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the chicken and fry it skin-side down, until crisped up and brown. Turn the thighs over and cook for a couple more minutes, then remove them from the pan. Add the butter to the pan and when it has melted, add the onions and fry them gently until soft. Add the garlic and spices and fry for a couple more minutes.
  2. Put the chicken back in the pan and pour in the stock or 500ml of water. Season, then cover the pan and simmer for about half an hour or until the chicken is tender. Remove the chicken and set it aside. When it is cool enough to handle, finely chop the meat – it’s up to you whether you keep the skin or not. Put the liquid back over the heat and reduce it by half.
  3. Add the eggs to the cooking liquid and continue to cook over a low heat until you have a mixture that resembles loose scrambled eggs. Add the ground nuts and stir, then add the dates, orange blossom water, zest and finally, the chicken. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. To assemble the pie, you need a large ovenproof dish about 28cm in diameter.
  5. Take a sheet of filo pastry and brush it with melted butter. Drape it over the dish, making sure it is gently pushed into the corners without any tearing. Repeat with another sheet of filo, this time placing it at a right angle to the first. Repeat with a further 2 sheets of filo, this time placing them on the diagonal.
  6. Spread the filling over the pastry. Fold over the overhanging pieces of filo in reverse order – they should just about cover the filling. Take the remaining 2 pieces of filo and cut them to fit the dish. Brush them with butter, then cover the pie, tucking under any corners. Bake the pie in the oven for about 30 minutes until the pastry is a crisp, golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before dusting it with the icing sugar and cinnamon.

5-Sea food pastilla

  • Time : 2 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 90 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: One 12″ bastilla (serves 6)


  • 1 kg (2 lbs.) fresh medium shrimp, shelled, cleaned and tails removed
  • 1/2 kg (1 lb.) fresh calamari, cleaned and cut into 1/4″ rings, tentacles chopped
  • 1/2 kg (1 lb.) fresh swordfish (or other firm, low-fat fish)
  • 3 table spoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 tea spoon salt and pepper
  • For the Tomato Sauce:
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and grated
  • 2 large cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 1 large handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 table spoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tea spoon salt
  • 1 tea spoon peppe
  • For the Vermicelli Filling:
  • 1 handful dry black mushrooms
  • 175 g (6 oz.) dry Chinese vermicelli
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • tomato sauce
  • reserved liquids from cooking the seafood
  • For the Assembly:
  • 1/2 kg (1 lb.) warqa or phyllo dough
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 cup grated cheese (Edam, Mild Cheddar, Gouda, etc.)
  • For the Garnish:
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated cheese (optional)
  • cooked shrimp (optional)
  • lemon slices (optional)
  • parsley (optional)


Make the Tomato Sauce
  • In a small pot or pan, mix the grated tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper and vegetable oil. Simmer over medium-low heat, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the parsley, remove from the heat, and set aside.
Cook the Shrimp
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large non-stick skillet. Add shrimp and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Sauté over medium-high for one or two minutes, until the shrimp turns white but the center is still slightly clear.
  • Drain the shrimp, reserving the liquid, and set aside. (If desired, you can reserve several shrimp for garnishing the baked bastilla at serving time.)
Cook the Swordfish
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet. Add the swordfish and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, turning several times, until the fish flakes easily.
  • Transfer the fish to a plate and reserve the liquid. Pick the fish off the bones, breaking it into bite-size pieces, and set aside.
Cook the Calamari
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet. Add the calamari and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cover and simmer one hour over medium-low heat, or until very tender.
  • Drain the calamari, reserving the liquid, and set aside.
Prepare the Mushrooms
  • Soak the dry mushrooms in water for 30 minutes. Drain, chop the mushrooms coarsely and set aside.
Cook the Chinese Vermicelli
  • Soak the vermicelli in water for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and chop into pieces about 2” to 3” long. Place the vermicelli in a pot with the reserved liquids from the seafood. Stir in the soy sauce, hot sauce and the tomato sauce.
  • Cook uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vermicelli is tender and the liquids are mostly absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Combine the Filling
  • Place the cooked shrimp, calamari, fish, mushrooms, and vermicelli into a very large bowl and mix well. Taste the filling – it should be a bit salty and spicy. If desired, adjust the seasoning with additional soy sauce and hot sauce.
  • Assemble the Bastilla

The Pastilla will be assembled in this order:

  • bottom layer of warqa or phyllo
  • seafood filling
  • grated cheese
  • top layer of warqa or phyllo
  • Keep your warqa or phyllo covered with plastic wrap while working, and brush each piece of dough with butter as you work with it. – It’s easiest to assemble Pastilla if you work inside a 14” or larger round pan, but you can work on a flat surface if necessary.
  • Brush melted butter, then vegetable oil, on the bottom of your pan or your work surface.
  • Overlap single layers of warqa (shiny side down) or double layers of phyllo, to cover the bottom of the pan. Allow several inches of excess dough to drape over the sides of the pan, as shown in this photo. Remember to brush butter on each piece of dough.
  • Add a 12” circle of warqa (shiny side down) or two 12” circles of phyllo. This serves as the base of your pie. Butter the dough.
  • Distribute the filling over the base, lightly pressing and molding to maintain the circular shape. Dribble 2 tablespoons of the melted butter over the filling, and top with the grated cheese.
  • Fold the loose edges of the dough up around the filling to fully enclose the pie. Try to maintain a circular shape, and trim off any excess dough that can’t be folded neatly. Brush the tops and sides of the pie with butter.
  • Top the pie with two or three overlapping layers of warqa (shiny side up), or four or five overlapping layers of phyllo, to form a smooth top. (Remember to butter each piece of dough.) Fold the edges of the dough snugly down around the edge of the pie, tucking the excess under the pie and gently molding a rounded edge.
  • Brush the entire top and sides of the bastilla first with butter, then with the beaten egg yolk.
  • (Note: If you want to shape individual pies, use one or two small buttered rounds of warqa pastry, shiny side down, Place some grated cheese on the pastry, add a generous dollop of filling, then fold the edges over the filling as neatly as possible, trimming the excess dough after you shape and enclose the pie. Turn the pie over and bake with the smooth side on top. )
  • The bastilla is now ready for baking. The unbaked bastilla may be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated (one day) or frozen (up to two months).
Bake and Serve
  • Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C).
  • Place the bastilla on a buttered baking sheet – a pan with no sides allows for easy transfer to a serving plate – and bake until crisp and golden brown, about 30 to 45 minutes. A bastilla taken from the freezer may take longer.
  • If desired, garnish the pastilla by sprinkling grated cheese on it and returning the pie to the oven to allow the cheese to melt and brown slightly. Transfer the bastilla to a large platter for serving. If desired, you can further garnish the bastilla with a few cooked shrimp, twisted lemon slices and a little fresh parsley.

6- Royal Pageot stuffed

  • Time :85 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 or 5.


  • 1 pageot ready to cook 900 g
  • 8 white mushrooms cut into thick slices
  • 1 big boot of spinach
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 40 g of butter
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cream
  • 1 C. minced parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • For the shrimp sauce:
  • 200 g fresh shrimp, shelled and sliced
  • 1 C. finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp. oil soup
  • 20 g of butter
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1/4 red pepper cut into small cubes
  • 2 grated gherkins
  • 10 cl shrimp broth (click on the link in the preparation)
  • 10 cl of fresh cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Leaf spinach, rinse and pat dry.
  • In a frying pan over medium heat, sauté the mushrooms in half the butter for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan, sauté the minced garlic and spinach in the remaining butter until the spinach leaves fall.
  • Add the cream and continue cooking spinach until complete absorption of the cream. Remove from heat, add minced parsley and let cool. Salt and pepper the fish from the inside, stuff it with a first layer of mushrooms and a second of spinach.
  • Cook the fish in a preheated oven at 170 ° C for about 30 minutes.
  • In a frying pan over low heat, sauté the chopped onion and garlic in the oil and butter for 1 to 2 minutes then add the vinegar.
  • Place the diced peppers and gherkins in the pan, mix and wet with the shrimp broth. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 min. Add the cream, minced shrimp, salt and pepper and simmer 2 to 3 minutes to get a sauce of medium consistency.
  • Remove from heat and keep warm in a bain-marie until ready to serve.
  • Once cooked, remove the fish from the oven, decorate with lemon slices and serve with shrimp sauce.
  • Good to know: it is recommended to have the fish prepared by the fishmonger by asking him to open the fish by the back and remove the gills and the central ridge. So prepared, it will take a lot more stuffing

8-beef or lamb with beans and artichoke

  • Prepa :85 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 70 mins
  • Yield: Serves 2 or 3.


  • 1 lb. (about 1/2 kg) lamb or beef, cut into 2″ to 3″ pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (plus one more onion, sliced if cooking in a tagine)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 2 tea spoons salt
  • 2 tea spoons ginger
  • 1 tea spoon pepper
  • 1 tea spoon turmeric
  • 1/4 tea spoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 2 table spoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. (about 1/2 kg) peas
  • 1 lb. (about 1/2 kg) artichoke bottoms
  • 1 preserved lemon, optional
Pressure Cooker or Conventional Pot Method
  1. Combine the meat, onions, garlic, olive oil, parsley, cilantro, and spices (except for the saffron) in a pressure cooker or wide, heavy-bottomed pot. Cook over medium to medium-high heat, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, stirring several times to turn the meat and brown it on all sides.
  2. Add about three cups of water, cover, and increase the heat to high until pressure is achieved or the liquids boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook with pressure for 25 minutes (or simmer conventionally for 40 to 60 minutes).
  3. Add the peas, artichoke bottoms and saffron. If the liquids are not level with the vegetables, add a little more water. Cover, bring back to pressure and cook for 12 to 15 minutes (or simmer for 25 to 30 minutes) until the vegetables are tender. Check the seasoning and If necessary, reduce the liquids until a rich sauce has formed.
  4. Serve with Moroccan bread for scooping up the meat and vegetables.

Clay or Ceramic Tagine Method

  1. If using freshly shelled peas, parboil them for several minutes; drain, and set aside.
  2. Coat the base of your tagine with a little oIive oil. Slice an additional onion into rings and distribute the rings on the bottom of the tagine.
  3. In a bowl, mix the meat with the remaining olive oil, chopped onion, garlic, spices and chopped cilantro and place over the sliced onions. Add the mixture to the tagine, taking care to arrange the meat in the middle.
  4. Surround the meat with the peas, then arrange the artichoke bottoms all around.
  5. Swirl about 2 1/2 cups of water in the bowl used for the meat to « rinse » the spices from the side of the bowl, and add this water to the tagine. Add a little more water if necessary to barely cover the peas.
  6. Close the tagine and place over medium-low heat. (A diffuser is necessary if cooking over an electric burner and recommended for other heat sources as well.) Stay patient while the tagine reaches a simmer — it could take some time. Once the liquids have reached a simmer, continue cooking the tagine for about 3 hours, checking the liquids once or twice in the last hour of cooking and adding a little bit more water only if you feel it’s necessary.
  7. The tagine is done when you can easily break the meat apart with your fingers. If necessary, continue simmering uncovered to reduce the sauce.
  8. Garnish as desired with strips of preserved lemon. Serve the dish directly from the tagine with Moroccan bread on the side for scooping up the meat and veggies.

9- Meatballs with eggs

  • 110 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 80 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings



  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb (or a combination of the two)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped very fine (optional)
  • 1 small green pepper, finely chopped (optional)
  • 3 1/2 tea spoons paprika
  • 2 1/2 tea spoons cumin
  • 2 1/2 tea spoons salt
  • 1/2 tea spoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 3/4 tea spoon black pepper
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus 3 tablespoons for sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro), plus 3 tablespoons for sauce
  • 2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 3 to 5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 or 2 chili peppers (optional)
  • 3 or 4 eggs (optional)


  1. Combine all of the kefta ingredients: ground beef or lamb, 1 medium finely chopped onion, green pepper, 1 to 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, cayenne pepper, chopped fresh parsley, and chopped fresh cilantro.
  2. Using your hands to knead in the spices and herbs, shape the kefta mixture into very small meatballs the size of large cherries — about 3/4 inch in diameter.
  3. Add the meatballs (and chili peppers, if using) to the tomato sauce, along with a little water — 1/4 cup is usually sufficient — and cover. Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the sauce is thick.
  4. Add the eggs to the meatballs without breaking the yolks; cover and cook for an additional 7 to 10 minutes, or until the egg whites are solid and the yolks are only partially set.
  5. Garnish if desired with fresh parsley or cilantro, and serve immediately.

Kefta Mkaouara is traditionally served from the same dish in which it was prepared, with each person using crusty Moroccan bread for scooping up the meatballs from his own side of the dish.


  • Time : 6 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 6 hrs
  • Yield: 6 Portions (6 Servings)


  • 4 pounds (almost 2 kilograms) lamb or beef, cut into 4 to 5-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small head of garlic (6 to 8 cloves), chopped
  • 1 large handful fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Ras el Hanout
  • 2 tea spoons cumin
  • 1 1/4 tea spoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads, heated gently and then crumbled
  • 1 tea spoon turmeric
  • 1 tea spoon ginger
  • 1/2 tea spoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tea spoon white pepper
  • 1/2 preserved lemon rind, finely chopped
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 to 4 table spoons water
  1. Mix the meat with the onion, garlic, parsley or cilantro, spices and chopped preserved lemon rind. Transfer the seasoned meat mixture to the tangia(or another deep oven-proof cooking dish). Add the olive oil, smen (if using), preserved lemon wedges and water.
  2. Cover the top of the tangia with a circle of parchment paper (it should be cut a little larger than the diameter of the opening). Cover the parchment paper with a layer of aluminum foil, wrapping and sealing the foil snugly to the tangia. Pierce the foil and parchment paper in two or three places with a fork.
  3. Place the tangia in a cold oven, set the thermostat to 275 F (140 C), and turn the oven on. Leave the tangia for 5 to 6 hours, at which time you can check to see if the meat is adequately cooked. It should fall off the bone and be buttery-tender.
  4. Serve the tangia on a large communal platter with Moroccan bread (khobz) for scooping up the meat and sauce.

Tip: If your tangia is too tall for your oven, lay it on its side on an angle, with the top propped up on a piece of bakeware, such as an inverted loaf pan.

Cooking Stove Top

You can also cook tangia stove top in a heavy-bottomed pot or pressure cooker. Increase the water to 2 1/2 cups and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours (watch the water level) or pressure cook for 1 hour, until the meat breaks apart easily with your fingers. Reduce the sauce until thick and serve.


  • Time : 3 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins,
  • Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 chicken (quartered or left whole)
  • 2 to 3 large onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tea spoons salt
  • 2 tea spoons black pepper
  • 1 table spoon ginger
  • 2 tea spoons Ras El Hanout
  • 1 tea spoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads (heated gently and then crumbled)
  • For the Lentils:
  • 1/2 cup lentils (uncooked)
  • 2 tablespoons fenugreek seeds (soaked overnight and drained)
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads (heated gently and then crumbled)
  • 1 small bunch cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 1 small bunch parsley (finely chopped)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon smen (Moroccan preserved butter)
  • For the Msemen or Trid:
  • 1 to 1 1/2 batches msemen (or trid, cooked)


Ahead of Time
  1. To reduce their pungency and soften them, soak the fenugreek seeds in water for at least several hours, but overnight if possible. When ready to use, drain. Although they are normally stewed directly in the broth, you may want to tie the soaked lentils in cheesecloth, which allow you to offer them on the side in the event someone at the table doesn’t care for them.
  2. If you’ll be cooking a regular chicken, you may also want to soak your lentils for a few hours, as it will help them to cook faster if using a regular chicken.
  3. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, mix the chicken with the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, ginger, turmeric and Ras El Hanout spices. Stir to coat the chicken well, cover, and set aside to marinate for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Make and shred the msemen or trid pastry into bite-size pieces – note that it’s easiest to shred the msemen while they’re hot – OR plan to make the msemen while the chicken and lentils are simmering on the stove.
Cook the Chicken and Lentils
  1. Place the chicken on the stove over medium heat and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 15 to 20 minutes, until a rich sauce has formed.
  2. Follow one of these methods, depending on the type of chicken you’re cooking: If using a free range chicken: Add the drained fenugreek seeds, saffron, parsley, cilantro and 4 to 5 cups of water. Cover and simmer over medium-low to medium heat for about one hour. Add the lentils and continue cooking, covered, for another hour or longer, until the chicken and lentils are quite tender. Add water during the cooking if necessary to ensure that rich, ample broth is left in the pot. If using a regular, factory-raised chicken: Add the drained lentils, drained fenugreek seeds, saffron, parsley, cilantro and 3 to 4 cups of water. Cover and simmer over medium-low to medium heat for about one hour, or until the lentils are tender and the chicken is well-cooked. (Remove the chicken if the lentils do not yet test done; it can be returned to the pot to reheat once the lentils have finished cooking.) There should be ample, rich broth in the pot; if there’s not, add a little water, taking care not to dilute the seasoning.
  3. Taste the broth and adjust seasoning. Add the teaspoon of smen, swirling the pot to mix it into the broth.
  4. If desired, remove the chicken from the pot and place it under a broiler for a few minutes to brown and crisp the skin.
Serve the Chicken Rfissa
  1. Shortly before serving time, heat a little water in the base of a couscoussier. Place the shredded msemen in the steamer basket over the water and steam for about 10 minutes, until tender and heated through.
  2. Arrange the msemen on a large serving dish. Add the chicken to the bed of msemen and distribute most of the broth, onions and lentils over the chicken and msemen. Reserve a bowlful or two of broth to offer on the side.
  3. If you tied the fenugreek in cheesecloth, you can also offer the fenugreek in a bowl on the side.
  4. Moroccan tradition is to gather around this single large dish, with each person eating from his own side of the plate by hand or with a spoon.
You Made it, you have got the recipes for the most famous Moroccan recipes, if you’re looking to prepare the Moroccan salad and pastry, you can find and awesome articles on our blog.

This article has been prepared by Dar Rbatia team.