Cook Up A Classic Moroccan Dish At Your Villa | Quality Villas

cook up a classic moroccan dish at your villa

Trying the cuisine of the country you visit on your holiday is an essential part of your holiday. In Italy, you can’t dine out without trying pizza or pasta, and in France, there are frog’s legs and snails. Moroccan cuisine might be less well-known, but the dishes are big on flavour, aroma and spice and a lot of fun to try making at home. When staying at our family villas, Marrakesh, head out to the markets to pick up the ingredients and try cooking up a delicious tagine yourself!
Tagine is a stew or casserole dish found across North African countries and named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. There are several varieties you can try such as lamb, vegetarian and with meatballs. 
Pumpkin, Cranberry and Red Onion Vegetarian Tagine:
3 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, thickly sliced
3cm piece fresh root ginger, grated
500g/1lb 2oz pumpkin or squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into large chunks
1tsp of cinnamon, coriander, cumin and harissa paste
1tbsp clear honey
700g bottle tomato passata
50g dried cranberries
400g can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
200g couscous
2tsp vegetable stock granules
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp toasted flaked almonds
Handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1. Heat two tbsp of oil in a pan and fry the onions until lightly coloured. Add ginger, pumpkin and the spices and stir. Add the honey, passata and cranberries, then bring it to the boil. 
2. Reduce the heat of the pan, and cover it with a lid. Let it simmer for 20 minutes until the pumpkin is tender. After 10 minutes, stir in the chickpeas. If the mixture is a little thick, add some vegetable stock.
3. Tip the couscous stock granules and lemon zest into a heatproof bowl. Pour over 300ml of boiling water, stirring briefly before covering with a plate and leaving for 5 minutes. When the water has been soaked up, add the lemon juice, almonds and remaining oil then fluff it with a fork. Scatter the coriander over the tagine and serve with the couscous. 
Moroccan Meatball Tagine with Lemon and Olives:
3 onions, peeled
500g minced lamb
Zest and juice of one unwaxed lemon, quartered 
1 tsp ground cumin and cinnamon
A pinch of cayenne pepper
A small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
A pinch of saffron strands
250ml lamb stock
1 tbsp tomato puree 
100g pitted black olives
A small bunch of coriander, chopped
Couscous or crusty bread to serve
1. Put the onions in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Put the lamb, lemon zest, spices, parsley and half of the onions in a large bowl and season. Using your hands, mix it well until combined and then shape into walnut-sized balls. 
2. Heat the oil in a large flameproof dish, or tagine dish with a lid, then add the remaining onions, ginger, chilli and saffron. Cook for five minutes until the onion is softened and starting to colour. Add the lemon juice, stock, tomato puree and olives, then bring to the boil. One at a time, add the meatballs, then reduce the heat, cover with the lid and cook for 20 minutes, turning the meatballs a couple of times. 
3. Remove the lid, then add the coriander and lemon wedges, tucking them in between the meatballs. Cook, uncovered for a further 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly. Serve with couscous or fresh crusty bread. 
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