Almost all dishes in the Moroccan cuisine are cooked with a combination of all the Moroccan spices that are discussed below. What is unique about Moroccan cooking is that the Moroccans usually cook food for a very long time, allowing the meat or other ingredients to really absorb the flavors of the various Moroccan spices.
Introduction to some important Moroccan spices
Cumin – Moroccan spices
Cumin is a very important part of any Moroccan spice cabinet. Cumin is actually a member of the parsley spice family. It is often used to season salads or any other dish with vegetables as the main ingredient. It provides dishes with a warm and subtle flavor that is not too overwhelming. One will usually find these Moroccan spices in the powdered form, in the form of crushed cumin seeds.
Ginger – Moroccan spices
Ginger is one of the most popular spices in several Asian and Middle Eastern countries. It is a root that is often crushed into a paste that is then used with other Moroccan spices such as cilantro, garlic and cumin. When someone refers to a dish made with Moroccan spices, you can be rest assured that it will include a generous amount of ginger paste. Ginger will provide dishes with a slightly sweet and sour taste that is loved by millions in Asian countries.
Cinnamon – Moroccan spices
While most of the Moroccan spices will lend heat and spiciness to food, cinnamon is one of those Moroccan spices that does exactly the opposite. Cinnamon is actually extracted from the bark of the cinnamon tree. It provides a very unique sweetness that is commonly used in desserts in America. However, Moroccans use these Moroccan spices to season meat, especially poultry meat. Cinnamon is also a very important ingredient in a very popular Moroccan sweet dish called “Pastilla”, a dish which is made of stuffed meats, nuts and vegetables.
Coriander – Moroccan spices
In Morocco, the most popular soup is called “Harira”. It is primarily made of lentils and tomatoes and it is seasoned with coriander. Coriander, another important member of Moroccan spices is actually a member of the carrot family. The leaves of a coriander plant are usually used as a garnish on soups and these Moroccan spices have the ability to provide dishes with a flavor that is minty and citrusy at the same time.
Turmeric – Moroccan spices
Turmeric is actually native to India although it is a very important spice in Morocco as well. Turmeric is a very bright yellow color powder that is used to provide a bright and vibrant yellow color to a dish. Turmeric also contains an ingredient called Curcumin that has several healing properties. Turmeric is often given to aid patients with digestive discomforts and clinical studies in the U.S. and other western countries have also studied the cancer fighting abilities of the Curcumin that is found in turmeric.
In Morocco, turmeric is used to season lamb and other meats and it is also used as the primary seasoning agent in a very popular dish called “Tagines”.