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Recipes from Riad Sapphire & Spa

Sample Moroccan Recipes From our Kitchen at Riad Sapphire

SUMMARY LIST OF OUR MOROCCAN RECIPES: Please scroll down

Baghrir (or beghrir) Moroccan pancakes

Carrot and coriander soup

Aubergine salad

Carrot and nutmeg salad

Grated carrot salad with rosemary

Chakchouka

Zucchini salad

Moroccan lamb tajin with prunes and almonds

Tajin of chicken with preserved lemons and olives

Beef tajin with prunes and almonds

Pastilla with chicken and almonds

Moroccan fish tagine with chermoula

Seffa Medfouna Recipe - Vermicelli or Couscous with Chicken, Lamb or Beef

Vegetarian Couscous

Savoury vegetable briouats

Minced beef or ‘kefta’ briouats

Almond and honey briouats

Tarte au citron/ Lemon tart

Ghriba (or Moroccan shortbread biscuits)

Moroccan Preserved Lemons

Moroccan Mint Tea

Baghrir (or beghrir) Moroccan pancakes

  • baghrir with honey Moroccan cuisine

Baghrir – sometimes written as beghrir - Moroccan berber pancakes
Baghrir are easy to make for breakfast or any time of the day. They make a change from French crêpes or North American pancakes.
Made with a mixture of semolina and flour they are small and spongy. Yeast in the batter causes lots of bubbles to form and break on the surface of each pancake as it cooks – hence the French name for them of “mille trous” – a thousand holes.
Baghrir are cooked only on one side. They're easy to make, but in order for the bubbles to form properly, the batter must be the right consistency. If the batter is too thick, the bubbles can't form.
Dipped in a honey-butter mixture, they taste divine.
We often serve them for breakfast in the riad – all freshly made.

  • beghrir baghrir for breakfast in Morocco Marrakech

The recipe is simple. For a richer version, add milk and egg.

Recipe for baghrir - makes 12
1 1/2 cups fine semolina
10 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 tablespoon dry yeast
3 cups warm water

Recipe for baghrir with milk and egg - makes 12
3/4 cups fine semolina
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm milk
1 egg

Making the Baghrir, the method is for both versions:
- In a blender, add all the ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Pour mixture in a big bowl, cover and let it rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Heat a non-stick pan, then pour around half a ladle or 1/4 cup from the batter in the middle of the pan.
- Let it cook on medium heat, until the surface is dry and full of holes.
- Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
Do not stack while warm like regular pancakes since they will stick together.


  • baghrir beghrir Moroccan pancakes

For the syrup:
6 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup water
Making the syrup:
In a saucepan, add butter and honey, and mix well on medium low heat. Add the water and increase the heat. When it boils turn off the heat.
For more recipes and video instructions, see these sites:
http://www.cookingwithalia.com/desserts/moroccan-crepes-baghrir.html
http://www.munatycooking.com/2014/07/baghrir-moroccan-pancake.html
http://moroccanfood.about.com/od/pancakes/r/Beghrir_Recipe.htm

Carrot and Coriander Soup

  • Carrot and Coriander Soup

Serves 4, less than 30 minutes preparation time

Ingredients

• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 onion, sliced
• 450g/1lb carrots, sliced
• 1 tsp ground coriander
• 1.2 litres vegetable stock
• large bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
• salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions and the carrots. Cook for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften.
2. Stir in the ground coriander and season well. Cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Simmer until the vegetables are tender.
4. Whizz with a hand blender or in a blender until smooth. Reheat in a clean pan, stir in the fresh coriander and serve.

Aubergine Salad

  • Aubergine Salad

Ingredients:

• Aubergines
• Tomatoes
• Onions
• Salt
• Pepper
• Cumin
• Parsley
• Paprika
• Garlic
Preparation method:

1. Cut the onions into small cubes and gently fry them in olive oil until they are transparent.
2. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, garlic and chopped parsley and let the mixture gently cook.
3. Cut the aubergines into slices and fry them in olive oil. Let the aubergines cool and then chop them into small pieces.
4. Mix with the tomato sauce and serve.

Grated carrot salad with nutmeg

  • Carrot salad with nutment Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

Ingredients Serves 4
• 2 largish carrots – organic if possible, cleaned, peeled & coarsely grated (a box grater is good for this, but watch your knuckles!!)
• 1 large heaped tablespoon of unsalted butter (local & organic)
• 1 clove garlic – finely grated or bashed to a pulp
• Grated nutmeg (3 scrapes – I’ll leave that to you)
• 1 small tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (unwaxed lemons if possible)
• 1 large tablespoon of raisins, roughly chopped
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
• Flat leaf parsley – finely chopped (optional)
Preparation method
1. Saute grated carrot in a pan for a few minutes
2. Add the butter, garlic and nutmeg and cook until soft.
3. Add lemon juice, raisins and seasoning to taste. Simple!

Chakchouka

  • Chatchouka Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

This is a Moroccan version from neighbouring Tunisia where they add a fried egg on top. Depending on the season or availability, you can mix your peppers and include one or two red or orange peppers which add a lovely sweetness and colour to this dish. The variety they have in Morocco is the romano pepper – more pointed and thinner than the bell pepper and sweeter. It’s usually served warm as a part of a mezze and keeps well for a few days in the fridge.

Ingredients for four people as a starter:

0.5kg or 4 whole romano peppers – washed
1kg tomatoes – medium sized, washed & skinned
1 large desertspoon of tomato puree
2 cloves of garlic – grated on smallest setting
2 large tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 large tablespoon of fresh parsley - chopped

Method:

1. Wash & dry the peppers and place them whole on a wire grill which is over a gas ring, set low. If you have an electric hob, try using a grill pan, but you may need to turn up the heat.
2. Let the skins bubble and char all over (approx.. 5-7 minutes) then leave to cool. Aim to have more charred skin than not.
3. Wash off charred skin, remove the top and slice peppers in half from top to bottom, open up and remove pith and de-seed.
4. Slice the peppers from top to bottom, in half inch strips then turn 90 degrees and do the same, dicing the peppers and place in a bowl.
5. Place skinned tomatoes in a non-stick pan and chop roughly with a wooden spoon. Add olive oil, parsley, vinegar, paprika, garlic and salt and cook until the water from the tomatoes has evaporated but hasn’t turned to a sauce.
6. Add the peppers and tomato puree sauce and mix again and serve warm.

Voilà! Bon appétit!


Grated carrot salad with rosemary

  • Grated carrot salad with rosemary Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

This is a delightfully simple dish, perfect for hot summer days. Use the smallest grater setting you have and not too big carrots as they can get woody in the middle….

Ingredients (organic if you can)
4 medium carrots – washed & scrubbed. Peel them if you wish..
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pinch of nutmeg ¼ teaspoon salt
1 clove of garlic 1 large tablespoon of butter (unsalted)
1 small teaspoon parsley – chopped
Fresh rosemary – small bunch picked just before cooking

Method
• Wash, peel and finely grate carrots.
• Put the carrots in large frying pan, skillet or wok on a medium heat.
• Add the spices, parsley and butter and mix throughly.
• Cook uncovered for approx.. 15 minutes or until al dente.

Ready! Bon Appetit!

Zucchini salad

  • Zucchini salad Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

Ingredients:
4 Large zucchini
¼ Teaspoon salt
¼ Teaspoon mutmeg
1 Pinch of cumin
1 Teaspoon pepper
1 Clove garlic
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoon olive oil
Parsley
Method:
1 - Wash the courgettes and grate grate then firely.
2 - Pat the zucchini in a large shillet or wok.
3 - Add spices, olive oil, parsley and leman juice.
4 - Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes
Ready! Bon Appetit!

Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Prunes and Almonds

  • Moroccan Lamb Tagine

Lamb tagine is often served at holiday gatherings , weddings and other special occasions with Moroccan bread for scooping up the meat and sauce. Beef can also be used for this recipe instead of lamb. Serves 4 – 6 people
Ingredients

• 1 tsp cayenne pepper
• 2 tsp ground black pepper
• ¾ tsp. salt
• 1½ tbsp. paprika
• 1½ tsp ground ginger
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 x shoulder of lamb trimmed and cut into 5cm/2in chunks (about 1.1kg meat in total)
• 2 large onions, grated
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp argan oil or vegetable oil
• 3 cloves garlic, crushed
• 600ml tomato juice
• 85g flaked almonds
• 100g whole almonds (for the garnish)
• 1 tsp saffron stamens, soaked in cold water or crumbled
• 600ml lamb stock
• 2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
• 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
• 250g prunes
• 1 tbsp. honey
• 2 tbsp. sugar
• 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon


  • lamb tajin Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

Preparation method
1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2.
2. Place the cayenne, black pepper, paprika, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon into a small bowl and mix to combine. Place the lamb in a large bowl and toss together with half of the spice mix.
3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp of argan oil in a large casserole dish . Add the grated onion and the remaining spice mix and cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes so that the onions are soft but not coloured. Add the crushed garlic for the final 3 minutes.
4. In a separate frying pan, heat the remaining oil and brown the cubes of lamb on all sides then add the browned meat to the casserole dish. De-glaze the frying pan with 300ml of tomato juice or stock and add these juices to the pan.
5. Add the remaining tomato juice, flaked almonds, saffron, lamb stock to the casserole dish. Bring to the boil, cover with a fitted lid, place in the oven and cook for 2-2½ hours or until the meat is tender. Season with salt and pepper , if necessary.
6. While the meat is cooking, put the prunes in a small pot and cover with water. Simmer over medium heat , partially covered, until the prunes are quite tender. (How long this takes can vary greatly depending on the prunes, but the average time is 15 to 30 minutes.) Drain the prunes, and add the 1/2 cup of liquids reserved from the meat. Stir in the honey, sugar and cinnamon, and simmer the prunes another 10 minutes, or until they are sitting in a thick syrup.
7. Fry the whole almonds in oil or butter for the garnish
8. Place the lamb in a tagine or large serving dish, add the prunes and sprinkle over the chopped herbs and fried almonds.

Bon appetit!

Tagine of Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives

  • Tagine of Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives

The cooking time allows you to bring the tagine slowly to a simmer. Large chickens may require additional time.

Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1 whole chicken , skin removed, cut into pieces
• 2 large white or yellow onions, very finely chopped
• one small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped *
• one small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
• 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
• 2 teaspoons ginger
• 1 teaspoon pepper
• 1 teaspoon turmeric (or 1/4 teaspoon Moroccan yellow colorant)
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled (optional)
• 1 teaspoon smen (Moroccan clarified butter – optional)
• 1 handful green or red olives, or mixed
• 1 preserved lemon, quartered and seeds removed
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 1/4 cup water, approximately


  • Lemon tajin Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

Preparation:

* Instead of chopping, you can tie the parsley and cilantro together into a bouquet and place on top of the chicken during cooking.

Prepare the Chicken

Remove the flesh from the preserved lemon, and finely chop it. Add the chopped lemon flesh to a bowl along with the chicken, onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, spices and smen (clarified butter), and mix well. If time allows, let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight.

To Cook the Chicken

Add enough of the olive oil to the tagine to coat the bottom. Arrange the chicken in the tagine (flesh-side down), and distribute the onions all around.

Add the olives and preserved lemon quarters, and drizzle the remaining olive oil over the chicken. Add the water to the tagine, cover, and place on a diffuser over a medium- low heat .

Give the tagine time to reach a simmer without peaking. If you don’t hear the tagine simmering within 20 minutes, slightly increase the heat, and then maintain the lowest heat setting required for maintaining a gentle, not rapid, simmer.

Allow the chicken to cook undisturbed for 80 to 90 minutes, and then turn the chicken over so that it’s flesh side up. Cover the tagine again, and allow the chicken to finish cooking until very tender.

Turn off the heat, and let the tagine to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Moroccan tradition is to eat directly from the tagine, using Moroccan bread to scoop up the chicken and sauce. French fries are frequently served with this dish, and may even be placed on top of the chicken.

Moroccan beef tagine with prunes and almonds

  • Beef tajin Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

This is one of the classic Moroccan dishes, traditionally cooked in an earthenware pot called a ‘tagine’. Nowadays in Morocco, the pressure cooker is used to save time and fuel but keep the tagine to serve in. Lamb is also a good substitute, with the cooked prunes adding a subtle and delicious sweetness to this dish.
Ingredients - serves 2
• 0.5kg/1 lb beef (the leg cut is good – called ‘gigot’ in French) without bone; trimmed and cut into smallish chunks
• 1 smallish red onion – finely chopped
• 30ml each of olive oil & sunflower oil
• ½ tsp ground black pepper & ½ tsp ground ginger
• ½ tsp turmeric & pinch salt
• Cinnamon bark – 2 pieces
• ½ preserved lemon (the ‘Belazu’ brand is good)
• 2 cloves garlic, grated
• ½ beef stock cube - crumbled

N.B. Traditional tagines can only withstand gentle heat, so if you have gas, then use a diffuser plate (which you should be able to find online or in a good ironmongers shop). For electric hobs that shouldn’t be necessary.

  • Beef tajin in Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

Preparation method
1. Place all the ingredients into a tagine (if you have one), or pressure cooker, slow-cooker or large heavy-bottomed casserole dish and mix together. Add a glass or two of water and put over a medium heat. If cooked in a tagine, then allow 1 hour for the meat to be slowed cooked, if not 15-20 minutes in a pressure cooker is enough. 
2. While the meat is gently cooking, put 150-200g prunes into a small saucepan and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt, two pieces of cinnamon bark and a garlic clove.
3. Simmer over medium heat, partially covered, until the prunes are quite tender. (approx.. 15 to 20 minutes.)
4. In a separate pan, add 200g of whole almonds with their skins on and add enough water to cover them. Simmer the almonds until al dente and leave to cool on some kitchen paper to absorb the oil.
5. Once cooled, remove the skins by rubbing between your fingers. (If the whole almonds are already blanched, then there’s no need).
6. Drain the prunes of their cooking juices and add a couple of tablespoons of liquid from the meat. Stir in 2 tablespoons sugar (demerara or muscovado if you have it), 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and simmer the prunes for another 10 minutes, or until they are sitting in a thick syrup.
7. In a separate pan, add a glug or two of vegetable or sunflower oil and fry the whole almonds until partly golden.
8. Once the beef has been cooked through, place in a tagine or similar serving dish, add the prunes and almonds on top and garnish with some toasted sesame seeds.
9. Eat with warm Moroccan bread to mop up the juices – bismillah!


Moroccan fish tagine with chermoula

  • Fish tagine with chermoula marinade

Chermoula is a delightful marinade used widely in North African cuisine. It is usually used to flavour fish or seafood, but it can be used on other meats or vegetables, especially for grilling. Chermoula is often made of a mixture of herbs, oil, lemon juice, pickled lemons, garlic, cumin, and salt but the first two ingredients are always garlic and coriander. The Chermoula is best prepare in advance, so the flavours can fully fuse.
Ingredients - serves 4 – 6 people depending how hungry you are!!
For the chermoula marinade:
• 1 tsp cumin
• ½ tsp. paprika & ½ tsp. coriander seed
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• 1/3 tsp turmeric
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 tsp tomato paste (concentrate)
• Bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro – chopped
• 2 tbspns lemon juice
• 2 tbspns olive oil
• 1 garlic clove – grated (the small parmesan grater is good for that)
For the tagine
• 500g monkfish or similar white fish, without too many bones – trimmed & cut into large pieces
• 2 tablespoons water
• 150g red potatoes
• 2 medium carrots, sliced thinly
• 1 pepper – Ramiro variety are good
• 3 skinless tomatoes, sliced latitude-ily (poached for 10 secs in boiling water)
Preparation method :
1. First make the marinade – place all the chermoula ingredients in a pestle and mortar (if you have one – they’re much more fun and all that stress and anxiety from the day can be gone in a matter of minutes!!). If not, then a good food processor will suffice and grind to a paste (ha ha – now tell me that doesn’t feel good?). Leave to one side or chill.
2. Wash the monkfish with lemoned water (water with a lemon squeezed into it) and set aside.
3. Place the sliced tomatoes in the bottom of your tagine (if you have one or an earthware pot or a slow cooker if you have one) and add the carrots on top.
4. Add the fish pieces on top, distributed evenly and then the rest of the vegetables, arranged accordingly.
5. Add the water to the remaining marinade (approx.. 8oz) and a further 8oz of olive oil.
6. Drizzle the marinade over the top of the assembled ingedients and season with some ground black pepper but no salt.
7. Place the tagine on the hob, not forgetting the diffuser plate (a thin metal plate with holes in it) between the tagine and the stove if you are using gas.
8. Cook on a medium heat for 30 minutes or longer on a lower heat, there’s no rush for this dish!!
9. Serve with freshly baked bread, some olives and the sound of waves….!!

Pastilla with chicken and almonds

  • Pastilla Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

Ingredients
• Chicken Filling:
• 1 whole chicken of approximately 2 pounds
• 2 large onions finely chopped
• 1 cup of finely chopped parsley
• 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
• 1 teaspoon of ginger powder
• 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
• 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
• A large pinch of saffron
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
• 2 cups of water
• Eggs Filling: 6 eggs
• Almonds Filling:
• 10 oz of blanched almonds
• 4 oz of powdered sugar
• 2 tablespoons of orange blossom water
• 1/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
• Oil for frying
• Dough Ingredients:
• Phyllo dough (In Morocco, we use a dough called "Warka")
• 1 stick of butter (melted)
• 1 egg yolk

  • Pastilla filling Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

Directions
1. Steps to Make the Chicken Filling:
1 - On high heat, drizzle the oil in your pan. Add the onions, parsley, and spices. Mix well.
2 - Add the whole chicken. Cover your pan and let the chicken cook for 10 minutes.
3 - Add some water to the chicken, just enough for the chicken to cook, our target is a thick sauce. Cover your pan and let the chicken cook for 30 minutes.
4 - When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the sauce, let it cool down then separate the meat from the bone. Shred the meat into small pieces.

2. Steps to Make the Eggs 

Filling:
1- Add the 6 eggs to the sauce where the chicken was cooked.
2- Lower the heat, and stir the eggs into the sauce.
3- Do not cover your pan and let the sauce evaporate. The egg mixture should become dry after 10-15 minutes. Keep stirring from time to time.

3. Steps to Make the Almonds Filling:
1- Fry the almonds in the oil until they become golden brown.
2- Remove excess oil from the almonds.
3- Process the almonds with the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and orange blossom water in a food processor until the almonds are crushed.

  • Pastilla in Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

4. Steps to Fold the Pastilla:
1- Brush your baking pan with melted butter.
2- Fold the phyllo pastry into 2 and put 3 layers in the middle of the baking pan. Place folded phyllo pastry sheets around the baking pan where 1/3 of their length is overhanging the edge of the pan. Brush the phyllo pastry with melted butter.
3- Spread the egg mixture in the middle of the pan. Cover it with 2 layers of phyllo pastry. Brush the phyllo pastry with melted butter.
4- Spread the chicken pieces. Cover them with 2 layers of phyllo pastry. Brush the phyllo pastry with melted butter.
5- Spread the almond mixture. Cover it with 2 layers of phyllo pastry. Brush the phyllo pastry with melted butter. Carefully fold over the phyllo dough on all sides and brush the top of the pastry with melted butter and egg yolk.
6- add 3-4 layers of phyllo dough pastry on top and tuck them in the bottom of the pie. Brush the surface with melted butter and egg yolk.
5. Final Steps:
1- Preheat the oven at 350 degrees and bake the pastilla for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
2- Decorate the pastilla with powdered sugar and cinnamon powder before serving.
6. Serving: Serve the pastilla hot. Bon appetit!


Vegetarian Couscous

  • Vegetable Couscous

Serves 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Ingredients:
• 1 kg dry couscous (not instant)
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• ------------------------------------------------------------------
• 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
• 3 tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
• 1 tablespoon pepper
• 2 teaspoons ginger
• 1 teaspoon turmeric, or 1/4 teaspoon Moroccan yellow colorant
• 1 handful of parsley and coriander 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
• 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)*
• Note – you can vary the vegetables according to taste and season
• ------------------------------------------------------------------
• 2 tablespoons butter (for the couscous)
• 1 tablespoon salt (for the couscous)
• 1 teaspoon smen (Moroccan preserved butter - optional) or ghee

  • vegetarian couscous in Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

Preparation:
Mix the onion, tomatoes, oil and spices in the bottom of a couscoussier or saucepan with a steamer basket. Cook uncovered over medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until the onions and tomatoes have formed a thick sauce.
Add 2 1/2 litres of water, the parsley/coriander bouquet and the chick peas. Cover, and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer rapidly for 25 to 30 minutes. (Note: If omitting the chick peas, there's no need to simmer before proceeding to the next step.)
First Steaming of the Couscous
Oil the steamer basket and set it aside. Empty the dry couscous into a very large bowl, and work in 1/4 cup of vegetable oil with your hands, tossing the couscous and rubbing it between your palms to prevent the couscous grains from clumping together. Next, work in 1 cup of water in the same manner, using your hands to evenly distribute the liquid into the couscous. Transfer the couscous to the oiled steamer basket.
Add the cabbage to the broth, and place the steamer basket on top. Once you see steam rising from the couscous, steam the couscous for 15 minutes.
Empty the couscous back into your large bowl and break it apart.

Second Steaming of the Couscous
When the couscous has cooled enough to handle, gradually work in 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt with your hands. Again, toss the couscous and rub it between your palms to break up any balls or clumps. 

  • Vegetarian couscous Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

Transfer the couscous back into the steamer, taking care not to pack or compress the couscous.
Add the turnips, tomatoes, onions, carrots and fava beans (if using) to the pot. Place the steamer basket on top of the couscoussier, and steam the couscous a second time for 15 minutes, timing from when you see the steam rising from the couscous. After turn it out into the large bowl again. Break it apart, and leave to cool a few minutes.
If using pumpkin, add it to the couscoussier, and cover the pot.

Third Steaming of Couscous
Gradually work 3 cups of water into the couscous with your hands, tossing it and rubbing the grains between your palms. Taste the couscous, and add a little salt if desired.
Transfer about half of the couscous to the steamer basket. Again, try to handle the couscous lightly and avoid packing it into the steamer.
Add the squash, zucchini, and sweet potatoes to the couscoussier, and place the steamer basket on top. When you see the steam rise through the couscous, carefully add the remaining couscous to the steamer. Continue cooking, watching for the steam to rise from the couscous. Allow the couscous to steam a third time for a full 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, all of the vegetables should be cooked. Test the vegetables to be sure, cooking longer if necessary. Taste the sauce – it should be salty and peppery – and adjust the seasoning if desired.
If you're using smen or ghee, add it to the sauce in the pot.
Serving the Couscous and Vegetables
Empty the couscous into the large bowl, and break it apart. Mix in the 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 ladles of sauce.
To serve the couscous, shape it into a mound with a well in the center. Arrange the vegetables in the well and on top. Distribute the sauce evenly over the couscous and vegetables, reserving one or two bowlfuls to offer on the side for those who prefer more sauce.


Seffa Medfouna

  • Seffa Medfouna dish Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

Seffa Medfouna is a famous Moroccan dish which features saffron chicken, lamb or beef hidden within a dome of steamed couscous or broken vermicelli (chaariya). The couscous or vermicelli is sweetened with raisins, butter and powdered sugar and decorated with ground fried almonds, cinnamon and additional powdered sugar.
Seffa may be prepared without the meat and served as a follow-up course to a main dish. Both are popular on holidays or when entertaining.
Serves 6.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes
Ingredients:
• ----- For Preparing the Seffa -----
• 2 lbs. (about 1 kg) dry broken vermicelli or couscous
• 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 cup golden raisins, soaked in water for 20 minutes
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 1 cup powdered sugar, or to taste
• ----- For Cooking the Saffron Chicken or Meat -----
• 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (or 2 lbs. - about 1 kg - cubed lamb or beef)
• 2 large sweet onions, chopped medium
• 1 tablespoon ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon white pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 2 sticks of cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• ----- For Decorating the Seffa -----
• 1/2 to 1 cup almonds (blanched, fried and ground)
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  • Seffa Medfouna Morocco Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

Preparation:
Steam the Couscous or Broken Vermicelli (Chaariya)
Fill the base of a couscoussier with ample salted water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, and proceed with steaming the couscous three times (add the raisins for the final steaming), or the broken vermicelli four to five times (add the raisins for the fourth steaming). If unfamiliar with this process, follow steaming directions in How to Steam Couscous or How to Make Seffa Medfouna.
Cook the Saffron Chicken, Lamb or Beef
While you're steaming the couscous or broken vermicelli, also prepare the meat.
Mix the chicken, lamb or beef with the onions, spices, butter, oil and cilantro in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot. Gently brown the chicken or meat over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
If cooking chicken, don't add water as the chicken will braise in its own juices. If preparing lamb or beef, add enough water to just cover the meat.
Cover the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender. This will take about 1 hour for the chicken, but may take longer for the lamb or beef. Avoid scorching the meat, and add a small amount of water to the lamb or beef during the cooking if necessary.
When the chicken or meat has been cooked, reduce the liquids until a thick sauce has formed. Discard the cinnamon sticks, and taste for seasoning. If desired, remove the chicken from the bones.
To Serve Seffa Medfouna
Gently toss the steamed broken vermicelli or couscous with the butter and powdered sugar. Place about 1/3 of this mixture on a very large serving dish.
Arrange the chicken or meat in the center, and cover with the sauce. Pile the rest of the couscous or vermicelli on top of the meat, using your hands to shape a dome.
Decorate the mound of seffa in a vertical pattern with the cinnamon, ground almonds and powdered sugar. Serve immediately, with small bowls of powdered sugar, ground almonds and cinnamon on the side.
It's Moroccan tradition to gather around a single plate of Seffa Medfouna, with each person eating from his own side of the dish and adding additional almonds, cinnamon or sugar as desired.

Minced beef or ‘kefta’ briouats

  • Beef briouats Morocco Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

Briouats (pronounced ‘bree-oo-watt’) are cigar or triangular-shaped pastries, made from a paper-thin dough called ‘ouarka’ (pronounced ‘warka’). It is similar to Greek filo dough or the Chinese eggroll skins and the thinner the ‘ouarka’, the more delicate the briouat. They can contain a wide variety of fillings from minced beef, chicken, goats cheese, spinach, mushroom, rice, fish or seafood – great as a starter or appetizer. The dessert version is stuffed with almond paste and drenched in honey – not unlike the Turkish baklava.

Ingredients – makes about 30 appetizers
• ½ lb or 225g Ouarka or Greek filo dough
• Vegetable or sunflower oil for frying
For the filling
• ½ lb or 225g lean minced beef
• 2 tablespoons each of olive oil and sunflower oil
• 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
• ½ nutmeg – finely grated
• 1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
• Pinch of salt
• 1 large teaspoon of chopped fresh parsley
• 1 egg - beaten
For the filling:
1. Over a medium ring, heat the olive oil and sunflower oil, rapeseed or a suitable vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
2. Add the minced beef, paprika, nutmeg, black pepper and salt and saute until al-dente or nearly cooked (the rest of the cooking will be done in hot oil). This should take about about 5-7 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and leave to cool by a window or freezer compartment (this is important as the ouarka or filo doesn’t like a warm filling).
4. Add the chopped parsley and mix well.
To assemble:
1. Lay out a few sheets of ouarka/filo dough, on a flat surface.
2. Cut them into strips 2 inches or 5cm wide. If you prefer a cigar shape then double the size.
3. Take a teaspoon of the chilled filling and place in the middle of each strip, 1 inch/2.5cm up from the short edge.
4. Fold the lower right-hand corner of the dough over to the left edge of the strip, covering the filling and continue folding as you would a flag. (Make sure you keep the pastry nice and tight – it’s a bit of a fiddle but you’ll get the hang of it!)
5. Brush the remaining flap with a little beaten egg and seal.
6. Heat vegetable or sunflower oil in a deep skillet to a depth of 2 inches and deep fry the pastries until golden brown.
7. Drain on paper towels.
8. Serve with a green salad as a starter or perhaps with a dip or some harissa, that’ll get the tastebuds going!

Savoury Vegetable Briouats

  • Vegetable briouats Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

Briouats (pronounced ‘bree-oo-watt’) are cigar or triangular-shaped pastries, made from a paper-thin dough called ‘ouarka’ (pronounced ‘warka’). It is similar to Greek filo dough or the Chinese eggroll skins and the thinner the ‘ouarka’, the more delicate the briouat. They can contain a wide variety of fillings from minced beef, chicken, goats cheese, spinach, mushroom, rice, fish or seafood – great as a starter or appetizer. The dessert version is stuffed with almond paste and drenched in honey – not unlike the Turkish baklava.

Ingredients – makes about 15 pastries
• ½ lb or 225g Ouarka or Greek filo dough
• 1 medium courgette – grated
• 1 carrot – grated
• 1 green or red pepper – finely chopped
• Handful of chopped, unsalted green olives
• 2 large teaspoons of chopped parsley
• Small red onion – finely chopped
• 1 garlic clove – finely grated
• ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
• ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 egg - beaten
• 2 tablespoons each of olive oil
• Vegetable oil for frying

  • vegetable briouats rolled Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

For the filling:
1. Add the courgette, carrot, parsley, red onion and green/red pepper to a pan with 2 tablespoons each of olive oil and sunflower, rapeseed or a suitable vegetable oil.
2. Season well and put over a medium heat and sauté for approx.. 5 mins until well mixed.
3. Then add the garlic, olives, ginger and black pepper and heat through until partially cooked (al dente).
4. Remove from the heat and leave to cool by a window or freezer compartment (this is important as the ouarka or filo doesn’t like a warm filling).
5. If you would like to add any cheese at this point do it after the mix has been chilled.
To assemble:
1. Lay out a few sheets of ouarka/filo dough, on a flat surface.
2. Cut them into strips 2 inches or 5cm wide. If you prefer a cigar shape then double the size.
3. Take a teaspoon of the chilled filling and place in the middle of each strip, 1 inch/2.5cm up from the short edge.
4. Fold the lower right-hand corner of the dough over to the left edge of the strip, covering the filling and continue folding as you would a flag. (Make sure you keep the pastry nice and tight – it’s a bit of a fiddle but you’ll get the hang of it!)
5. Brush the remaining flap with a little beaten egg and seal.
6. Heat vegetable or sunflower oil in a deep skillet to a depth of 2 inches and deep fry the pastries until golden brown.
7. Drain on paper towels.
8. Serve with a green salad as a starter or perhaps a dip or some harissa, that’ll get the tastebuds going!

Almond and honey briouats

  • almond and honey briouats

Almond & honey briouats This dish is traditionally served at weddings and uses the paper-thin dough called ‘ouarka’ (pronounced ‘warka’). It is very similar to Greek filo dough and Chinese eggroll skins. The thinner the ‘ouarka’, the more delicate the briouat (pronounced ‘bree-oo-watt’). You can also replace the stuffing with savoury options of vegetables, goats cheese, seafood with vermicelli or minced beef. It’s great as an appetizer or starter with a green salad.

Ingredients – makes about 40 pastries

• ½ lb or 225g Greek filo dough

• Vegetable oil for frying

• 1 cup (450g) honey

• 1 tablespoon orange blossom water

For the filling:

• 1 ½ cups (300g) whole unsalted almonds

• ½ cup (60g) powdered/icing sugar

• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 2 teaspoons orange blossom water

• 1 ½ tablespoons butter, melted


  • sweet briouats Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

For the filling:

1. If the almonds have skins, then poach them in water for about 10 minutes and when cooled remove the skins.

2. Coarsely grind the almonds in a pestle & mortar, blender or food processor.
3. In a bowl, combine with the powdered/icing sugar, ground cinnamon and mix thoroughly.

4. Add the orange blossom water and melted butter and mix well to make a paste.

5. Form paste into ¾ inch diameter balls and set aside.

To assemble:

1. Lay out 10 sheets of thawed filo dough, on a flat surface.

2. Cut them into strips 4 x 12 inches (10cm x 30cm) with a sharp knife.

3. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.

4. On a cutting board, roll out each ball of almond paste with the palm of your hand until it is 2.5 inches (6.5cm) long.

5. Place along the short edge of a sheet of filo, fold over the sides of the filo and roll up like a cigar. Alternatively, you can zig-zag the filo and get the triangular shape, depending which you prefer.

6. Heat oil in a deep skillet to a depth of 2 inches and deep fry the pastries until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

7. In a small skillet, bring the honey to a boil and add the orange blossom water.

8. Dip the briouats into the boiling honey, place on a platter and serve immediately.

Tarte au citron/ Lemon tart

  • Lemon tart Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

This is a classic French desert but we do allow it in our cooking classes thanks to the insistence of one of our guests! I particular like the caramelised topping made with sultanas and lemon rind but you can vary that depending on your own tastes…

Ingredients (always organic/free range/fairly traded where possible)
Step 1 - for the pastry case (makes approx. 8 tart bases using 10cm pastry mould):
• 200g plain white flour
• 100g unsalted butter
• 50g icing sugar
• 1 sachet (7g) or heaped teaspoon of vanilla sugar
• 1 egg & 1 egg yolk
Method
1. Mix together well all the above ingredients in a glass bowl or ideally a Moroccan ‘kssria’ (large terracotta flat-bottomed dish used for couscous, breadmaking etc.)
2. When well mixed, work the pastry like a bread dough for a few minutes to get a smooth, consistency.
3. Wrap in cling-film and place in freezer for 5 minutes or so.
4. If you are wanting individual tarts, divide the pastry into 8 equal portions and press into pastry 10cm fixed bottom mould. If not then roll out pastry to fit your pastry mould.
5. Pre-heat your oven to 230 degrees centigrade/450 degrees F or Gas mark 8.
6. Spike the bottom of the pastry with a fork and bake in the oven for 15 minutes until lightly golden brown.
Step 2 – Ingredients for the lemon curd/custard:
• 100g unrefined brown granulated sugar
• 4 egg yolks
• 1 sachet (7g) or heaped teaspoon of vanilla sugar
• 1 glass/30 ml of lemon juice
• 1 large dessertspoon cornflour (cornstarch in the US)
• 1 glass/30 ml of milk
Method
1. Mix sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice, both sugars & cornflour together with an electric whisk (if you have one) or balloon whisk.
2. Heat milk to nearly boiling point and pour very slowly into the mixture whilst whisking to avoid cooking the egg yolks (similar to adding the oil to a mayonnaise or aioli).
3. Put mixture into a pan over a medium heat and whist by hand until the mixture thickens to soft peaks.
4. Add thickened mixture to the tart case(s) to the required level and chill.
5. Place a handful of raisins, a glass of water, very thinly sliced lemon rind with the pith and a dessertspoon of unrefined brown sugar or molasses into a pan and heat slowly until nearly caramelised.
6. Spoon the mixture over the chilled tarts, arranging the lemon accordingly and chill.
7. Serve straight from the fridge on it’s own or with cream or ice cream or perhaps a coulis?
Enjoy!!

Ghriba (or Moroccan shortbread biscuits)

  • Ghriba Moroccan shortcakes Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

These are one of my favourite biscuits and served daily here at Riad Sapphire with piping hot mint tea. It uses ‘Mazha’ – the infamous orange flower water used a lot in Moroccan cuisine to perfume patisseries, desserts and cakes.

Ingredients
500g plain white flour
100g icing sugar
50g sesame seeds
100g ground almonds
1 sachet vanilla sugar
1 sachet dried yeast
A large dessertspoon of orange flower water (Mazha)
250 ml sunflower oil

Method
1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees centigrade/300 deg fahrenheit or gas mark 2.
2. Mix in a large dish all the ingredients together and knead into a dough. Should take approx. 5 minutes.
3. Divide the dough into small balls (weighing approx.. 20g or the size of a small bantum egg) and shape in the palm of your hand to ressemble a small flying saucer or UFO.
4. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper or as they do here an upturned muffin tin, using the little ‘hills’ to put each cookie on which saves baking paper and ensures even spacing. Be careful not to place them too close together as they will expand during the baking process.
5. Bake for approx. 25 mins or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Moroccan Preserved Lemons

  • Pickled lemons Morocco Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

Preserved lemons are a traditional North African condiment where its sour and salty flavour adds a distinct flavour to tagines, Marrakechshi tangias and other Moroccan speciality dishes. The ‘beldi’ variety of lemon (shorter with a stubbier ‘nose’) that is grown here seems to be used in preference to the ‘gin & tonic lemon’ oval lemon which is found more commonly in Europe but either is perfectly fine.

Ingredients
• 3kg ‘beldi’ or unwaxed lemons (organic ideally) – washed
• 100g approx.. unrefined sea salt
• 1 litre of freshly squeezed lemon juice


  • Lemon preserves Morocco Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

Instructions
1. Cut the lemons as if you are going to quarter them from the top but only cut down half to two/thirds of the way keeping the base of the lemon intact.
2. Wash and dry your kilner jar or crock.
3. Take one of the lemons and sprinkle the interior with unrefined sea salt and place in your glass jar.
4. Continue point 3 and pack the lemons in your glass kilner jar until it is full, allowing about an inch below the lid.
5. Add the lemon juice to cover the lemons and seal tightly.
6. Store on a shelf somewhere cool away from heat. They can be used after a month but ideally the longer the better for a more distinctive flavour – 6 months is ideal.
7. The lemons can be kept for one to two years.
Enjoy!!

Moroccan Mint Tea

  • Moroccan mint tea Riad Sapphire and Spa Marrakech

Mint tea isn't just a drink in Morocco. It is a sign of hospitality, friendship, and tradition. Since this drink is so popular, it is served all day long, after every meal, and with every conversation. Moroccans take great pride in their tea and will often ask a visitor who among their group of friends makes the best cup of mint tea. A minimum of two to three cups needs to be drunk so as not to offend the host.

Ingredients
• 1 tablespoon green tea leaves
• 1 large handful fresh spearmint leaves, washed
• 1/2 litre (about 2 cups) boiling water
• 1/4 cup sugar

Preparation
• Boil at least a litre of water. Rinse a small tea pot with about 1/4 cup of the water.
• Add the tea leaves and another 1/4 cup boiling water. Swirl the pot to wash and rinse the leaves, and pour out the water.
• Add the mint leaves and the sugar, and fill the pot with 1/2 litre (about 2 cups) boiling water. Leave the tea to steep for five minutes or longer, or set the tea pot over medium-low heat and bring the tea to a simmer.

Excellent
Rated By guests

9.7
Riad Sapphire
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