Moroccan carrot and yogurt juice

Moroccan carrot, yogurt and orange juice

This juice is one of my aunties’ recipes although she is not the only one making it.

When summer shows its nose, juices become handy. Our mothers made sure there were homemade juices in the fridge for the whole family and particularly at midday. They also worked as dessert.

Carrot, yogurt and orange juice became fashionable in my world by the late 90s. It has an interesting texture and definitely makes you feel good. You just need to give it time to chill as it improves in texture and taste.

 

And one would think that mixing yogurt with orange will de-compose the milk in the dairy product but it won’t happen..

Ingredients
Serves 2
Prep: 5 min – Cooking: 15 min- Cooling: 3 hours

  • 300 g of carrots, peeled (or more)
  • 120 g of vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice (or more)
  • 1/4 cup of the water where you cooked the carrots
  • 1 tbsp of sugar

 

Preparation

Peel and cut the carrots roughly. Parboil them in water for 10-15 min. I like to keep them Al-dente. Set aside to cool.

Blend all the ingredients to a smooth texture. Taste the juice to see if the sweetness is ok.

Place in the fridge for a couple of hours to chill.

Serve chilled. I like to serve it on the thick side most of the time but you could also thin it with the cold water from the cooked carrot or extra orange or clementine juice.

Thinned Moroccan carrot and yogurt juice with ice cubes

Thinned Moroccan carrot and yogurt juice with ice cubes. Credit @Nada Kiffa

The carrot, yogurt and orange juice keeps well for 48 hours.


Moroccan lettuce and orange juice and radis

Moroccan lettuce and orange juice

[su_spacer]

Memories comes to me in the form of recipes. This is my parents refreshing lettuce, orange, cucumber and radish juice which I used to enjoy during lunch time in the spring and early summer days.

We used to have this over lunch when I was a teen..I asked my mother about it yesterday and it seems that I reminded her of her old recipes. We started a long discussion which went in different directions. Classic!

This juice helps digesting a meal and it makes some veg haters drink a dose of goodness without complaining (AKA my husband).

Adjust the thickness to your liking by adding more orange juice or a homemade lemonade.When the nephews and nieces are there for lunch, the extra lemonade (lemon, water, sugar) is an addition that makes them happy.

Ingredients
Serves 1-2
Prep: 5 min

  • 1 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 lettuce gem (called Sucrine in French), top and bottom discarded
  • A bit of cucumber, about a thumb long, discard seeds.
  • 2 small red radishes or about a thumb of a long one.
  • 1 tbps of sugar
  • 1/4 tsp of orange blossom water

 

Preparation

Place the cucumber, radish, 1/4 of the orange/lemon juice in a blender/liquidiser. Blend until smooth. Add the rest of the liquids and keep blending for another 5 seconds.

Serve cold, with ice cubes or without.

Keep for up to a day in the fridge.

[su_spacer]


Purple Moroccan grape juice

Moroccan grape juice

[su_spacer]

Grape juice or ‘Assir al ‘inab is family favourite especially during summer when grapes are quite abundant that they’re hanging in many “Arssas” and “Jnanates” (sort of orchards) and they’re easy to grab. Their ” Dalias” are sometimes covering the main entrance to many old houses.

I do remember my summer holidays in Fez where many families had them growing in their gardens. We actually used to sit under a “ceiling of grapes” as it protects us from the heat.

Most of the grapes in Morocco are sweet with seeds but we had one version called “Muscats” which was tiny small, sweet and seedless. That was my dad’s favourite.

In the hot summer days, whether in Fez with the rest of the family or in our house in Casablanca, you would always find bottles of grape juice in the fridge, especially during mid-days. The juice differs in colour depending on the grapes used or the mix used for that matter.

Loads of tasty grapes, hanging at my aunty’s house,
sold in the markets or just in my plate

The other widely available fruits during summer season would be the ultra sweet red watermelons but other sorts of melon. Since these fruits were in their right season, their smell and there sweetness was out of this world. They’re also ridiculously cheap.

Of course I wouldn’t forget the prickly pears which are also left in the fridge (peeled) to be enjoyed after lunch..

Some go for the fragrant and juicy peaches and nectarines which comes in different sizes and varieties. I personally love the ones from Meknes or Imouzer/Ifrane area. You could make a Moroccan favourite juice with these two just by adding lemon juice, bananas (optional) and dates.

Oh! I was going to forget the utterly sweet fresh figs, purple or green, with a honey-like inside and a soft outside..These were also available in many gardens but for those who don’t have the trees, the market is there to but them by the bucket for next to nothing.

Of course there is plums, mzah or nefle (Medlars), pears and apples from Imouzer. On a sad note though, the previously abundant apricots are less and less available and with such a poor quality that they don’t come close to the ones we grew up eating and turning to jams..

Well, wonderful memories I just got coming back while writing this long introduction, which reminds me that I have to go back to my quick recipe of grape juice..

 

Green Moroccan grape juice with ice cubes

Green Moroccan grape juice. Credit @Nada Kiffa

 

Ingredients

Serves 2
Prep: 3 min 

  • 500g of fresh sweet organic grapes (any colour, you could also mix)
  • Enough cold water to cover the grapes in the blender
  • Sugar to taste (for sweet grapes, you hardly need a tablespoon)

Optional

  • 1 tsp of orange blossom water
  • Ice cubes for seving
Grapes in the blender just about covered with water

Grapes in the blender just about covered with water. Credit @Nada Kiffa

Preparation

  • Leave the grapes in water for about 20 minutes. Wash thoroughly and pick the grapes one by one. Set aside.
  • Transfer the grapes to a blender/liquidizer. Top up with water just to cover the fruit. Add sugar and orange blossom water (optional). Blend for 30 seconds.
  • Place a sieve over a large bowl and strain. With the back of your hand or a ladle, squeeze the bits to the last drop. Discard the bits.
Sifting the grape juice

Sifting the grape juice. Credit @Nada Kiffa

  • Transfer the juice into a jug or a bottle and place into the fridge.
  • Serve cold within the first 24 hours.

[su_spacer]


Moroccan dairy drink: Raibi

Raibi is a dairy drink we grew up enjoying cold or frozen. It used to be sold in Mahlabas (dairy shops) or small grocery shops.
Back in 1966, Centrale Laitiere was the first company to make Raibi. In the last 10 years, more competition came in and we even enjoyed a better product from them while the original version has become more watery.
Homemade Raibi with natural ingredients
In its original form, it was a liquid yoghurt with grenadine syrup/flavouring. After a few decades of success, we had a green Raibi with pistachio flavour. The green version is not as famous as the original version though.
If you ask any Moroccan born after 1966 and living away from home, Raibi would be an iconic childhood drink and they will instantly look for it whenever they’re back to Morocco while in some countries, it’s been imported to cater for this category.
Different brands of Raibi in a supermarket. The family size is fairly new
How many of us dipped Henry’s biscuits (the other iconic childhood thing) in Raibi or made a porridge out of the two? Who didn’t drink Raibi from the bottom by pulling a bit of the plastic with their teeth to make a small hole?
Are you one of those who froze Raibi to make a cold ice-cream treat during hot summer days? Or did you make a fruit salad adding Raibi to it along with orange juice?
Which one of Raibi-addict are you?
Anyway, come night time, l thought I’ll share one Raibi with my little one. It was about 9 pm and we were all awake watching TV to fill those long summer nights..
My boy was due to sleep at 10 pm. At 10.30 pm he was so hyper that he didn’t stop walking back and fourth, making noise, rotating on himself..
I naively told my nieces: “I guess Raibi was the cause behind his condition” but I was rather thinking about the sugar in it. We laughed at the idea and let it go. My boy got to a level when he became genuinely tired and fell asleep.
Fast-forward 4 months, I tried to make Raibi the only way I know which is to use a grenadine syrup to my dairy mix. This recipe is actually quite famous over the Internet and it was on since 2010 if I reckon.
A small dose of red colouring from beetroot makes a wonderful alternative
Then I remembered my old cake decoration classes where the Tutor told us to avoid giving some chemical colourings to children. I have googled the edible colourings and found out that in France some of them have become parents’ enemies to the extend that brands had to review some of their recipes.
One of the “bad” colourings was the red used in most of the grenadine syrups we are familiar with (in Morocco, it would be sirop Duval or sirop Sport).
Homemade grenadine (pomogranate) and beetroot syrup
Being in UK, I checked 3 brands who have a chemical red colouring with a note that it will cause hyper-activity to children. If you are lucky to find one without the dodgy ingredients, you may just use it without having to make your own syrup.
So that is only a part of the problem. The other part is that grenadine syrup is one of the biggest jokes of this modern world: they hardly contain any pomegranate or grenadine in them. They usually have other red fruits in the mix. So what you get is not what you think you are getting. One of the main reasons is undoubtedly the cost of the fruit, which prompted manufacturers to replace it with artificial flavours.
So I decided to make my favourite Raibi with safe and authentic ingredients for my little family to enjoy without harming anyone.
Ingredients
Serves 4

 

Prep: 2 min (with syrup ready to use)
  • 500 ml of buttermilk (if you use thick buttermilk mix it with 50ml of cold water or milk)
  • 80 g of vanilla yoghurt (I personally use one with real vanilla beans)
  • 80g of strawberry or raspberry yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp of dried milk powder (optional)
  • 3-4 tbsps of grenadine syrup (see recipe below)
  • 1 tiny slice of pre-cooked beetroot.
If you can’t get hold of  nice seedless pomogranates, use
this juice to  make the syrup
Preparation
Mix all ingredients in a blender and serve cold.
 
Recipe for grenadine syrup
Cold method
Mix equal amount of pomegranate seeds and sugar (say 200g/200g), bruise the seeds and set aside for a few hours until it turns to a syrup.

 

Hot method (makes about 30 cl)
Mix 400g pomegranate seeds (*) with 200g of water (**), bring the ingredients to a boil and let simmer over medium heat for 10-15 min.
Mash up the seeds with a potato masher. Pass them through a strainer and press them thoroughly. Weight the liquid and add the equivalent of its weight in sugar.
Bring again to a boil and let simmer another 10 mins  until the liquid thickens. Add a few drops of strawberry or raspberry extract (optional).
Set aside to cool. It will thicken further more.
Use the syrup cold.
 
You could replace with a 100% store-bought pomogranate juice.

 

** The water I have used for this syrup is basically the same I gathered from the boiled beetroot. This made my syrup turn red “blood” instead of pinky red, without the addition of any chemical colouring. If you make it that way, you can use the beetroot in your salad or to make a Moroccan beetroot juice.