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Recipes Ideas for a Moroccan Passover and Mimouna

Passover started last Sunday and while this isn’t a holiday that’s on the Islamic calendar, it is on the Jewish calendar of which there are many Moroccan Jews. The communities in Morocco today are very small and I can’t say I’ve even met someone who is Jewish and living here (yet! I’m trying to find some!) Moroccan Jews have a special holiday celebration at the end of Passover called Mimouna. From everything I’ve read and heard it is localized to only Morocco. I would really love to find out more about the history of the holiday, how it came to be, and how it was celebrated in the past and continues today. If anyone knows of any Moroccan Jews in Marrakech that will be celebrating this year, I would love to make a connection!

 

Moroccan Passover and Mimouna

 

I’ve gathered some of my Moroccan recipes that are Passover – Sephardic friendly as well as some links to previous posts on Mimouna. At the end you’ll also find a recipe that was shared with me by Kim Kushner – one of my favorite go-to sources for Moroccan Jewish recipes. Even if you’re not celebrating Passover or Mimouna these are some great recipes for any meal!

 

Some recipes I think you’ll like;

 

Kim’s recipe for Berkouksh – perfect to include in your Mimouna celebrations! You can also get Kim’s cookbook, The Modern Menu on Amazon for more great recipes and ideas! 

Berkouksh (courtesy of Kim Kushner)

4-6

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bag (16 ounces)Israeli toasted couscous
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • To serve:
  • Buttermilk
  • Sugar

Instructions

  • Place the water in a medium sized pot, bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Season the boiling water with salt. Add the couscous and stir well. Reduce the temperature to medium-high, and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  • Add the milk and butter to the pot, and cook the couscous for 5 minutes longer until soft. Drain the couscous. Spoon into individual bowls, and serve with a splash of buttermilk, and a sprinkle of sugar

Notes

Kim Kushner, author of The Modern Menu and the website Kim Kushner shared this recipe with me and granted permission to publish. I hope you enjoy it as a part of your Mimouna celebration!

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Have you heard of Mimouna? Do you celebrate?

Introductions and Useful Expressions in Moroccan Arabic (Darija)

I’ve had a lot of people ask over the years for resources to learn Arabic, and specifically Moroccan Arabic. There’s not a lot out there and honestly the best way I’ve learned has been to live here. I know that’s not a reality for everyone. You can check out my Language Resources page for some ideas. I also plan to do a weekly “Dose of Darija”.  At first I thought I’d do this everyday for a week then decided it’s probably better to spread them out. I’m going to start in the beginning and work my way through different lessons. This is going to be survival Darija.  The first things I’m going to work through are the basics you’ll need to deal with day to day life. This is also where most learning resources end. I’ve found very little that goes beyond basic vocabulary and phrases.

Introductions and Useful Expressions in Moroccan Arabic Darija

Bear with me as I’m learning too, but with the help of MarocBaba we hope to make this a valuable resource. He’ll be recording some audio to go with the lessons so that you can hear the correct pronunciation, as well as double checking my translations.  I’ll have several downloadable pages that go with each lesson. One will be the overview of terms. Another will be some type of exercise, game, or other reinforcement. (Ha, bet you didn’t know I trained as an ESL teacher too! Not an Arabic teacher but I’ve got some teacher skills up my sleeve!) I’ve transliterized the pronunciation of these words as how they sounds to my English-speaking ear. Moroccan Arabic is typically not written in Arabic script – there’s some sounds that don’t exist as Roman letters so you’ll often see them written with a number like 3, 7, or 9. I won’t get ahead of myself and am not using any of those words here. There’s no standard spelling for these words as Darija is primarily an oral language.

The first lesson is an easy one: Greetings and Introductions

You may already know these, and if you do take sometime to review.

Greetings:

  • As-salaam Alaykum   —– (literally) Peace be with you – interchangeable for “hello”
  • Walaykum As-salaam —- response
  • Sbah l’kheir  —– Good morning
  • Labas? —- How are you?
  • Labas…mama, baba, drari, rajl, mrt  —- how is your mom, dad, kids, husband, wife
  • Culshi mzien? —– Everyone is good?
  • Alhamdulilah —— Thank God
  • Culshi mzien. —– Everyone is good. (statement)
  • Inta?  —– and you? (to a man)
  • Intiya? —- and you? (to a woman)

Useful Expressions

  • Fimt? —- Do you understand? (to a male) If you understand you can answer “Fimt” in an affirmative tone.
  • Fimti? —- Do you understand? (to a female) If you understand you can answer “Fimti” in an affirmative tone.
  • Iyah —- Yes
  • La —- No
  • Waloo —- nothing (fimt/i waloo – I don’t understand anything)
  • Ma’arft – I don’t know/I’m not sure.
  • Afak —- Please.
  • Shukrun —- Thank you.
  • Aoudi Afak — Repeat please.
  • Meshi Mushkil — It’s not a problem.
  • Kayn Mushkil — It’s a problem.
  • Kayna…..? —– Do you have?
  • Atini…. —- I would like
  • Chwiya —- a little
  • Bezaf —- a lot
  • Smahli — Excuse me (to a man)
  • Smahaliya — Excuse me (to a woman)
  • Mashallah — When something is good or nice (like “your child is so cute mashallah”)
  • Bismillah — Blessing said before doing something
  • Arabe — Arabic
  • Ingles – English

There are many, many more useful expressions and phrases to learn but this is a small sampling to get you started! You can find these available as flash cards to print off and study. Click the text below and it will open the file for you to print and keep.

Introductions and Expressions in Darija

Enjoy!

If you find this resource valuable I hope you’ll Pin It and share with others who may else find it useful. Come back next week for a new installment. 

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