eat well, travel often, dream big!

Moroccan breakfasts fit into two different categories.  The first is a simple breakfast usually consisting of bread, olive oil, maybe butter or preserves and could include some type of meat and la vache qui rit (or laughing cow cheese triangles that have made their way to American grocery stores).  The other type is a sticky honey laden breads, think beghrir, msemmen, cookies or cake.

But there’s a third type too.  You’ve got to be adventurous to give it a try…

No guided tour is going to take you to breakfast here, and they’re probably not going to tell you about it either.  Chances are you won’t see too many women eating here. At first glance you won’t sit down, you’ll keep walking by.

Set up inside street-side shops are you’ll see scenes similar to this. With large pots or tajines dotting gas burners.  For breakfast there are a variety of different options that will vary based on the stall you visit.  My favorite is white beans in a tomato sauce.  MarocBaba chooses bissara and a stew of lamb stomach.  The interior eating area is very simple, maybe rustic is a good word for it.  I really had reservations but I was assured it would be good. I wasn’t let down at all and was full for hours.

The plates are cleared and washed immediately.  You can have as much bread as  you want (the huge baskets under the cooking area let you know there’s plenty to go around).  A pot of hot mint tea is standard.  As you eat you’ll see many men and boys passing in and out to eat something quickly on their way to work or school.  The best part is – the price is a steal.  You’ll have a great, filling breakfast for under $3.

Marrakech Street Breakfast

We ate at a stand just inside the kasbah of Marrakech.  Turn right past the Saadian tombs and about 1/4 mile down the street on the right hand side you’ll see it.  Maybe the best indicator that you’re in the right spot – the man serving breakfast has red hair – so if you see him you’ll know you’re in the right spot!  Breakfast ends around 11am to be replaced by an equally delicious lunch.  Get there early!

Want to read more about visiting Marrakech and Morocco? Visit my Morocco Travel Page

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Have you ever seen Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods Morocco?  If so you saw khlii.  Overall I was disappointed with this episode because frankly it just wasn’t that bizarre to me!  When he tried khlii it was labeled as rotten meat.  It’s not rotten meat.  Khlii is made from beef or lamb that is seasoned and then dried in the sun for a few days – it’s like a natural dehydration.  It’s then cooked in a combination of oil, water and animal fat and stored.  The fat portion congeals and the pieces of meat are in the mix.  Khlii is then used in several ways.  One of the most popular is in scrambled eggs but it’s also stirred into soups or with beans.

MarocBaba loves khlii and so for this Ramadan I ordered him some from Moroccan Khlii in Orlando as a surprise.  It came in handy one night when I was just too tired to make dinner.  Overall he gave it a rave review.  I don’t like the flavor of khlii so I’m going to leave this review in his able hands!  The taste was very much like home and he liked that the pieces of meat were bigger and more flavorful.  I highly recommend ordering from Moroccan Khlii.  You can check out their Facebook page and follow on Twitter as well.  Here’s a photo tutorial of khlii and eggs.

Khlii coming out of the freezer directly into frying pan.

Next turn up the heat and melt the fat.

Beat 2-3 eggs well and pour into the pan.

Cook on medium heat until the eggs set. Eat with bread!

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Guess what…MarocMama is getting a little burned out in the kitchen.  We try and keep our meals simple and many of the items I’m sharing here daily are what make up our meals.  But cooking for 8 almost 9 days straight usually doesn’t happen.  I try and substitute in some quick and easy meals like sandwiches with veggies or a spaghetti that I can whip together.  This is not the case during Ramadan.  While I still try and keep things simple most of the items do require some amount of work and time in my hot kitchen.

Meals for tomorrow’s planning;

Suhoor: Spanish Omelette. Tonight either bake or boil some red potatoes until they are cooked 3/4 of the way through.  Refrigerate for tomorrow morning.  In the morning either dice or slice potatoes thinly. Do the same with onions.  In a saute pan add a little oil and layer the onions and then potatoes in a single layer.  Season with salt and paprika.  Allow to cook for about 5-8 minutes on medium heat – do not flip over.  Break and whisk together 2-3 eggs and season with salt and pepper.  You can also add grated Manchego or Iberico cheese or even Parmesan.  Cover saute pan with a lid or even tinfoil until eggs are set (should take less than 5 minutes.  Eat!

Iftar: Let’s keep things cool tonight.  These Vietnamese Spring Rolls from Tiny Urban Kitchen are a low heat meal (all you need to do is cook the shrimp – buy pre-cooked and you won’t even have to turn your stove on!) Heat up any leftovers you have to round out the meal.

Dinner: This one you will need to cook but is very tasty.  A Feta Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf from All Day I Dream About Food is a great protein boost and low carb for anyone whose getting carb overload at this point.  It’s great cold or crumbled into an omelette as well.

Today I’m starting a new Ramadan giveaway….Saffron Road Foods!  

Several months ago I first started seeing Saffron Road float around social media and was intrigued that it was halal (the meat is raised and slaughtered according to Islamic dietary rules) and many of the entrees are Gluten Free which is big since MarocBaba has an intolerance.  But i was wary because frozen meals usually are not very tasty.

After trying every single frozen entree Saffron Road has I can honestly say we were very impressed.  So much so that MarocBaba has specifically asked for me to buy him the Chicken Biryani to have on hand at all times.  My favorite are the Lamb Koftis and the Moroccan Lamb Stew.  We also tried the new chicken products including the bites, nuggets and tandoori nuggets.  I’ll be sharing a recipe later in the week using some of these products.

I highly recommend these products for anyone but especially for moms like me who need a little break from the kitchen or for small families who are looking for a great entree in a short time.  All of the meals were full of flavor but not too spicy which is good for me.  Also the grains used (rice and couscous) do not get soggy or taste like they have been re-heated.  Preparation couldn’t be easier – just open the box, put the entree on a cookie sheet and cook for 40 minutes. Add some fresh chopped up vegetables and a bowl of soup and voila iftar is served!

Now to the fun part..I’m giving away 5 coupons for FREE Saffron Road entrees! 

One of these coupons will go to a MarocMama newsletter subscriber that is randomly selected (see I told you there were benefits to subscribing!)  The other 4 will be chosen at random from those who participate below.  This giveaway is open to US residents only and coupons can be used anywhere Saffron Road is sold (to find a store near you can check here.) Please use the entry form below to enter.  There is one mandatory entry and the rest of the entries are extras.  You must complete the mandatory entry to qualify. If you have any problems with the form please let me know!

*I was given free vouchers to try these Saffron Road products.  All opinions however are my own.  

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It’s been a little sporadic around here as I work a few weeks ahead of time getting prepared for Ramadan.  I have so much planned for the month and I know that it’s going to really be awesome!  Today I’m sharing a little recipe that my oldest M made up.  Lately he has been my little taste-tester and experiment guy.  Even though it can be difficult to have kids in the kitchen I think it’s really important.  He amazes me with the flavor ranges he has and his willingness to try things.  Earlier this spring he wanted to taste ramps that I was cleaning and bit right into one without hesitation.  I have shared my aversion to raw onions but he doesn’t flinch.  I’ve even caught myself several times almost saying “oh no you won’t like that” only to bite my tongue and let him see for himself.  Here’s something he came up with.

M loves to look through cookbooks and find pictures that look good to him.  He found a parfait but we didn’t have the ingredients that it specified.  Easy enough to fix.  We mixed together some plain Greek yogurt with vanilla extract and a little sugar to make a flavor that was more tasty for him.  He then scooped some into a glass cup, layered some Multigrain Cheerios and then cut up some strawberries.

I let him decide how much he wanted in each layer and he put the entire thing together.  He’s 7 and did this with minimal supervision (and a plastic knife).  If you have younger kids they could do it too maybe with a little more supervision.

There you have it!  The finished product split between him and his brother.  I think that it would be a great dessert too – swap the Greek yogurt for frozen yogurt!

I would love to know if you include your kids in the kitchen – what are some of their favorite things to make?

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This gluten-free thing is really resting my cooking skills and creativity. It’s REALLY stretching my limited baking skills.  I still haven’t been able to make a good bread, though a few have been decent, but not good.  Instead of trying to replicate bread that MarocBaba is so dearly missing I’m trying instead to come up with great meals so that he won’t miss the bread.  Breakfast proves to be extra hard without my usual backups like granola bars, toast, cereal, waffles etc.  There will be a lot of eggs and potatoes to be eaten for awhile until I master gluten free baking!!

Whenever I make something like kefta or even roast chicken I pull some off to the side and save for breakfast or lunches.  This saves me some time and energy the next day.  These veal meatballs were from the Avgolemono Soup I made.  I didn’t cook the meatballs inthe soup, I rolled them out and popped them in the fridge to use the next day.


  • 1/4 lb (about 125 grams) ground veal
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2-3 free range eggs
  • handful of chopped Vidalia onions
  • 1 tsp smen
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • salt, pepper, and cumin, sumac to taste


Make the meatballs by mixing the veal, sumac, salt, paprika and garlic.  Form into small balls and set to the side.  Heat a medium frying pan on medium high heat.  Add the smen, vegetable oil and onions to the pan.  Cook onions for about 3 minutes until they begin to soften.   Add the meatballs sauteing until they are almost completely cooked through.  Crack the eggs in a separate bowl and whisk.  Pour into the frying pan.  Shake salt, pepper, sumac and cumin on top, just enough to taste – you can always add more later.  When the eggs are set, slide out of the pan and onto a plate.  Enjoy!

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Breakfast Harira

Six years ago, I boarded a plane and set off to spend my last spring break in Morocco.  A few months earlier I had met MarocBaba and decided that I needed to go back even if it was only for six days.  It wasn’t my first international trip but it was a little different.  We had only known each other three days and I was going to be staying with his family.  I was so excited to see him but very nervous about staying with his family.  What was appropriate?  How should I act?  What should I wear? Add on about 100 more questions to that list – if it weren’t for all the adrenaline of actually making the trip I’m sure I would have had a panic attack.

I remember vividly the first morning.  Flying low over Marrakech, waiting in an EXTREMELY long line for passport control and even more time waiting for my suitcase – all while my heart was pounding more than a million beats a minute.  The experience of entering the visitor’s hall to find MarocBaba standing there beaming is a once in the lifetime memory.    We rolled away in a taxi and pulled up to his house, where my heart started beating more – this time it was the panic attack starting up.  All went well, I settled in a bedroom and changed my clothes and then I was served this;

It’s the same soup from the top, and it was my first taste of “real” Moroccan food.  Not the tourist versions of famous Moroccan dishes we had been fed while on our tour.  MarocBaba simply calls it white harira, though I’m sure there’s another name for it.  I’ve got to be honest – I don’t like this.  I didn’t like it from the beginning and dumped a lot of sugar in hoping it might taste like Cream of Wheat (it didn’t).  BUT MarocBaba and our kids love it, so you should give it a chance.


  • 1 cup of fine semolina
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of milk


In a medium saucepan begin to heat water on medium-high heat.  Pour in the oil and slowly add the semolina and mix in using a whisk.  They key to this is a smooth texture so whisking while cooking is necessary.  Add the cumin, salt and pepper and continue to whisk.  Once the mixture starts to slowly bubble add half of the milk, turn down the heat to low and continue mixing.  The consistency of this is slightly thicker than a soup but should still be a liquid.  If it gets too tight, add more milk.  Cook on low for 1-2 minutes to blend flavors.

Serve in a bowl, sprinkled with cumin on top.  Dates are traditionally served on the side with a hot cup of mint tea.

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MarocBaba’s Four Dirham Snack – B’ssara

I am always looking to bring new recipes online that aren’t all over the place.  Last week we watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Escapes: Marrakech on Cooking Channel.  It brought back a flood of memories and ideas but also made me a bit sad.  He messed with every traditional Marrakechi dish and made it into something it’s not.  Do you ever feel like maybe it’s best to leave good recipes alone?  Watching this was an impetus to remember some of the dishes that I have not shared with you and B’ssara is one of them.  When I told MarocBaba I was going to make this, he got as giddy as a kid in a candy shop.  Suffice to say it’s been awhile since he’s had this dish.   As I was making it he told me that when he was in high school he would visit a guy who sold b’ssara out of a little kiosk with a cup of tea and a segment of bread for a snack.  It cost 4 dirhams, or about 50 cents for all of this.  When I think back to my school snacks, fava bean puree wasn’t one of them!

This dish is simple, very few ingredients but with a lot of flavor and really very healthy.  It is vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free friendly.  MarocBaba was very happy…well just wait you’ll see the pictures.  This is eaten as a snack or for breakfast in Morocco.


  • 1 cup of dried fava beans
  • 5 cloves of garlic peeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin to top each bowl
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt to top each bowl
  • 1 tbsp paprika


  • Wash dry fava beans and place in a pressure cooker.  Add the 5 cloves of peeled garlic whole along with 3 cups of water.  The water should be completely covering the beans and then some.  Next add the 2tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp each of salt and pepper.  Cover the pressure cooker and cook on medium-high for 30 minutes.  Release the pressure and open.  It should look like this;

  • Transfer this into a food processor and puree.  If you have an immersion blender you can do this right in the pressure cooker, however it works the same in a food processor or blender.  The mixture will be watery, but the next step will help it to thicken.   Transfer the puree into a clean pan and heat on medium until it starts to boil.

  • Top the puree with paprika and stir while the mixture heats up.  If you stir continuously it will help keep the mixture from sticking.  If you like this a little bit spicier you can add more paprika or cayenne pepper even.

  • To finish up the dish, pour 1 tsp of olive oil on top of each bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp each of cumin, coarse salt (any salt will work this just looks pretty) and extra paprika if desired.  Serve with bread to scoop up the dip or a spoon to eat like soup. **Note this is a dip though not thick like the dip we in the US think of.  It is much looser and closer to the texture and thickness of a bisque**

Do you think MarocBaba liked it?  There wasn’t a drop left in the bowl…I’d say that’s success!

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Sfinge Take 2

Sfinge Take 2

Moroccan Food March 18, 2011 3

The first time I wrote about sfinge it was 2009.  Whoa.  These Moroccan doughnuts are a big favorite in this house – and this looong winter I’ve made them several times for M and K.  (They usually have them eaten by the time MarocBaba gets around to them).  They love having them for breakfast in the mornings on the weekend with their hot cocoa and a few episodes of Avatar.  While I originally posted my recipe, I did not include pictures – that’s all about to change now.

Recipe: Sfinge

Summary: Moroccan Fried Yeast Doughnuts


3 cups of flour

2 tsp yeast

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 c warm water

vegetable oil for frying

sugar for dusting


  1. In a small bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water. In a large bowl mix the flour and salt. Add the water and yeast mixture, and stir vigorously with your hand or a spoon until smooth. The dough should be too sticky to knead or shape.
  2. Cover the bowl, and leave the dough to rise for one to two hours, until double or triple in bulk.In a wide pot heat at least an inch of vegetable oil until hot. Fill another bowl with water and set to the side. You should have three bowls ready. One with your dough, one with water, and a third with sugar. Also cover a large plate with paper toweling or a towel. To begin dip your hand in the water and pull off a piece of dough about the size of a plum. Using your fingers make a hole in the dough and stretch into a ring. Place into the oil. Repeat with the remaining dough. Be careful not to crowd the pan.
  3. Depending on the size you may only be able to do 2 or 3 at a time. Fry them until golden brown, flipping a few times to make sure both sides are cooked well. Remove from oil and set on plate to drain. Once the extra oil has been absorbed, roll them in the sugar mixture before they cool off. Place on a clean plate.
  4. You really have to eat these hot or they are just not nearly as good.  The dough can be kept in the fridge for a little while, but fresh dough and fresh fried doughnuts are really the way to go!  You can also dust them with powdered sugar or cocoa powder, dip them in chocolate sauce or hot chocolate – the combinations are limitless!

Cooking time (duration): 2hrs prep + 30min cooking     Dietary restriction: Halal Number of servings (yield): 6

Meal type: breakfast Culinary tradition: Middle Eastern My rating: 4 stars:  ★★★★☆ 1 review(s)

Microformatting by hRecipe.


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