Create a fragrant Moroccan feast
Allison Day, RHN
If a late-night wander through a hazy, heady North African market isn't in the cards for this evening, cooking with Moroccan spices may just be the next best thing. A visit from the bold stars of the Spice Route can spruce up any ho-hum weekly dinner, with a wealth of health benefits to boot. The following recipes make Moroccan spices easy to incorporate.
Roaming the globe by way of your plate is a flavourful, healthy, and economical way to explore world cuisines. Taste bud travelling is a multisensory experience when you use vibrant Moroccan spices: they imbue your kitchen with the aroma of the spice route. Moroccan spices lend themselves beautifully to healthy home cooking, and many are now readily available at your local health food or grocery store. The bold colours, flavours, and scents of these spices can perk up just about any vegetable, fruit, grain, or bean. A venture down the spice route delivers a host of health benefits, ranging from antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action to improved digestion. These assertive tastes are sure to become new classics in your pantry.
Cumin: Ground or whole seed cumin is deeply savoury. The standout spice is traditional in hummus and Moroccan bean dishes.
Za’atar: A spice blend that has many variations, za’atar is often made from sesame seeds, thyme, oregano, and sumac. It is traditionally paired with oiled bread, dips, and vegetables.
Turmeric: Golden-hued with a mustardy taste, turmeric is used in grain dishes, teas, and spice blends to add depth and colour.
Saffron: Hand-harvested crimson threads add earthy citrus notes to tagines, soups, breads, and grains. Store saffron in a tightly sealed jar to avoid infusing the rest of your spices with its aroma.