Moroccan dried fava beans cooked in a silky and lemony sauce and topped with aged preserved lemon

Moroccan dried fava beans in chermoula – Foul mengoub

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Moroccan dried  fava or broad beans recipe in a thick silky sauce is a frugal vegan/vegetarian dish served in winter during lunch time. Whilst it’s meant to be a cooked salad or starter, I personally started serving it as a main dish.

The Arabic name is telling

Some of us call it foul mengoub due to the way how we eat it from the top: you have to discard the skin as you suck the soft and buttery inside as you go. There is a bit of multitasking there but basically your palace receives the thick sauce before you get the inner bit of the fava bean, which is generally bland. So it’s a perfect pairing exercise.

Moroccan dried fava beans cooked in a silky and lemony sauce and topped with aged preserved lemon

Moroccan dried fava beans. Credit @Nada Kiffa

Moroccans love fava beans

We are massive consumers of fava or broad beans and we have recipes for them depending on their freshness as well as calibre. By the end of the broad beans season, bigger calibre with the thick skin that no one would cook in its fresh green state will be dried.

The downer about this dish (apart from flatulence) is that it’s best served hot after its cooked. Like many pulses, it looses in greatness if reheated.

Moroccan dried fava bean in chermoula

Moroccan dried  fava or broad beans recipe in a thick silky sauce is a frugal vegan/vegetarian dish served in winter during lunch time. Whilst it's meant to be a cooked salad or starter, I personally started serving it as a main dish.

  • 200 gram fava or broad bean with skin on (pre-soaked and precooked until 90% done)
  • 1 tomato (seeded and grated or skinned and finely chopped)
  • 1 onion (yellow or brown, medium-size, finely chopped)
  • 1 bunch of coriander (small, chopped)
  • 1 tbsp parsley leaves (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves (grated or chopped)
  • ½ preserved lemon (seeds out)
  • 1 tbsp salt (or to taste)
  • ¾ tsp cumin (ground)
  • 1 tbsp paprika (sweet)
  • 1 tbsp harissa (mild, to taste)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  1. Watch the video here

 


Cooked Moroccan salad with pepper, tomato and potatoes. Vegan, Gluten-free

Moroccan potato, pepper and tomato salad

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Moroccan potato, pepper and tomato recipe is an easy vegetarian/vegan cooked salad. Usually served warm, you can also serve it as a side dish to grills or fried fish while enriched with meat or seafood, can be a meal in itself as it has it all.

A family recipe

Here is a decades old recipe, if not centuries, coming straight from my family’s “grimoire”. This cooked salad of potatoes, pepper and tomato salad has a funny name in our family: we call it Drapeau sbalioun or Spanish flag.

Grandpa who died when he was 73 around 1997 brought this recipe from Larache, a Northern Moroccan city.

My aunties told me this is how it all started. My grandma used to add courgettes while my dad used to add small okra and sometimes add some proteins in the form of small pink shrimps, meatballs or spicy sausages to serve it as a main dish.

A Moroccan recipe after all

After all these years of searching if there was a similar recipe elsewhere (books, blogs..), I was able to make a link between a recipe from Z.Guinaudeau’s in her “Fes vu par sa cuisine”and my family recipe.

The similarity was striking except for the type of potatoes. The book was written in the 50s. Another famous Moroccan Jewish blogger who passed away in the last couple of years also had a version posted but under a different name.

These findings were comforting considering that I came to think this must have been a family creation until I found it there.

Ainek mizanek!

I suggest considering the recipe below as a guideline. The vegetables have different sizes around the world but also some like more potatoes than others.

Also, this is not meant to be a complicated recipe as the cook is just filling the tables with sides to feed the family, they were not trying to make their lives difficult by measuring each bit of ingredient in it. As long as it has potatoes, peppers and tomatoes and it’s reduced and served warm, that’s all what you need to stick to.

 

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Moroccan pepper, potato and tomato salad

Moroccan potato, pepper and tomato recipe is an easy vegetarian/vegan cooked salad. Usually served warm, you can also serve it as a side dish to grills or fried fish while enriched with meat or seafood, can be a meal in itself as it has it all.

  • 1 green pepper (The pointy version, seeded and chopped or cut in small cubes)
  • 1 onion ( any type, finely chopped)
  • 1 tomato ( medium-sized tomato, peeled, seeded and finely chopped)
  • 1 potato ( large and firm variety, peeled and diced 2 cm large.)
  • Okra (a handful (in Morocco they are small so we don't dice them).)

Chermoula

  • 4 tbsp coriander (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tsp paprika (sweet)
  • ½ tsp cumin (ground)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Optional additions

  • 1 pale courgette (small, small dice (if you add courgette, omit okra))
  • 1 red pepper (pointy variety, seeded and diced small)
  1. Over medium heat, sautée onionsand peppers with chermoula about 3 minutes. Top with 1/4 of water and simmerfor another 5 minutes.

  2. Add the rest of the vegetables and stir. Add enough water to cover the ingredients.Put the lid on and let simmer away, over low heat until everything cooks tendresses and the liquid has reduced.

  3. If you notice that it has massively reduced halfway through the cooking, top it with a little bit of water so it evaporates near the end of cooking. This cooked salad is not supposed to be a saucy dish when served as a cooked salad or side dish.

  4. Once cooked. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and serve warm or at room temperature. garnished with chopped parsley leaves.

  • For a non-vegetarian version, you can add spicy sausages such as merguez, sujuk or chorizo to the mix. My dad used to add meatballs or sausages to make it a wholesome dish.
  • You can use whole tiny new potatoes instead of the diced ones as they also cook fast and won’t break.
  • You may use char-grilled peppers for this recipe.
  • You may add a touch of harissa or cayenne for a kick.


Gluten-free Moroccan ghrieba (macaroon) with almond and peanuts

I was looking for an old set of family recipes I gathered when I was still living in Morocco and I stumbled upon this irresistible and chewy ghrieba/ghrouiba.

Ghrieba with almond and peanuts is very easy to make and I won’t even ask you to blanch the nuts yourself as long as you buy them whole and skinned. But if you want to do it all by yourself, it’s rewarding from a taste level and you know that for sure.

The logic of this ghrieba is just like the class ghrieba with almond but we just replace half the weight of homemade almond paste with peanuts.

I’ll leave you with the recipe to make one of the chewiest macaroons or ghriebas known to mankind.

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Ingredients
For about 20 ghriebas depending on the size
Prep : 20 min/ Baking : 18 min by batch
  • 250g almonds blanched
  • 250 g peanuts, blanched
  • 165 g of sugar (can go to 200 g)
  • 1 egg + 1 yolk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp of jam, sifted (apricot is preferred)
  • 1 tbsp of butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder.
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • A good pinch of mastic gum or Meska
  • Essence of Almond (3 to 4 drops if you suspect that the almonds do not have a strong taste)
Finishing and decoration with icing
  • 200 g icing sugar

Preparation

Make-ahead nut task

If you are opting for a traditional way to do everything from scratch. Separately blanch the almonds and the peanuts for 2 minutes in boiling water. Drain and instantly start peeling the skin. Wash about 3 times and drain. Spread each nut in one layer over a kitchen towel and rub to dry them further.
My family usually leaves the trays in a balcony or the garden in sunny days but I place the nuts in a very hot oven which I knock off before they go in. They stay a good 10 minutes and they’re ready.

Next, use a good food processor to turn these nuts to a paste, each one respectively.
Use 1/3 of the sugar for the almonds and 1/3 for the peanuts. Make sure you get a paste or at least a fine powder.

The fact of having a paste helps with the chewiness of the ghriebas, but if you are unlucky with the food processor, double the quantity for apricot jam.

Making ghrieba

Mix mastic gum with 1 teaspoon of caster sugar and crush it with the bottom of a glass or use a pestle and mortar to do the job. It will take you 5 seconds.

Preheat the oven at 170 degrees C and cover 2 baking sheets with baking paper.

Lightly beat the eggs with the remaining of the sugar quantity and the pinch of salt. Break in the almond and peanut paste. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with hands or with a food processor until the mixture looks lump-free. You don’t need to overwork it especially if all ingredients are at room temperature.
Form small balls of approx 2 to 3 cm.
Drop the balls in the icing sugar so they coat from one side and all around. They need to pick as much icing sugar as possible as this plays a major role in the highly sought crackling.

Bake ghriebas

Place the ghriebas on the baking sheets, leaving about 5 to 6 cm gap between each one. Place your thumb right in the middle from the top and slightly apply a pressure. This helps with the final look.

If you have a convection oven, place the tray in the top tier for 5 minutes then place it in the middle for another 5 minutes. Turn the baking tray around to ensure even baking and bake for a few more minutes until the ghriebas look nicely crackled and golden from the sides. The icing sugar will look set and not damp, a sign the ghrieba is ready.

If you are using a traditional oven, bake on position “grill” until it crackles then bake from the bottom. I usually put the 2 positions ON at the same time. This way it bakes in 18 minutes.

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Notes

 
  • Mastic gum or meska is the secret ingredient that gives this delicate taste. The spoon of jam reinforces the chewy texture. Although some also call it gum arabic but I believe there is a difference. The one used in our Moroccan baking usually comes from Greece. Gum arabic is from a species of Acacia, while mastic gum is in the Pistacia family and is related to frankincense.
  • Always keep lemon rinds with the chewy ghriebas in an airtight container as they help them keep their texture and the lemon touch longer.

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Moroccan slow-cooked meat with cumin, over a bed of rice.

Moroccan slow-cooked meat with cumin -L’ham mkoumen

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L’ham mkoumen is one of the simplest and tastiest recipes I’ve recently discovered and it comes straight from the Marrakech culinary repertoire.

What’s in the name?

Mkoumen means “with cumin” and l’ham refers to meat which as to be falling off the bone with hardly any sauce. It’s so simple but it surely is incredibly addictive. My family loved it.

Moroccan slow-cooked meat with cumin, over a bed of rice.

Moroccan slow-cooked meat. Credit @Nada Kiffa

It’s somewhere between Tangia (iconic bachlor’s dish from Taroundant, Marrakech but also other cities) and M’quila (a fast option to replace khlii). Add a whole preserved lemon in wedges and you have a version of tangia.

I cooked my L’ham mkoumen in a dutch oven. I started it over a cooker for 15 min and placed it for 2 hours in the oven. It was so delicious!

Because the dish is all about meat, it’s a standard in Morocco to serve such things with salads on the side to make up for a complete meal.

No sauce please

Lham mkoumen is served almost as a confit of meat, dry with hardly any sauce, hence the little amount of water added to it. It should be slow-cooked in a closed tagine or in a heavy pot that can go to the oven.

In the pictures below, you will see some preserved lemon on top of the meat. That’s because I couldn’t resist adding half preserved lemon with the pulp, it really tasted like tangia! Succulent!

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Ingredients
Serves 4 
Prep: 10 min – cooking: 2 hours

  • 1 Kg of meat on the bone (osso bucco cuts will be perfect or leg of lamb in chuncks)
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 5 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • A good pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 tsp of salt (smen being already salted)
  • 1/2 tsp of ground coriander seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp of smen (Moroccan clarified and preserved butter)
  • 2 tbsps of olive oil
  • 200 ml of water
A bit of meat, a bit of garlic, a bit of rice with that tiny bit of thick
reduced sauce. Heaven!

 

Preparation
 
Rub the meat with ground cumin, ground coriander and smen. Leave for an 1 hour and preferably overnight.
In a dutch oven or a heavy clay pot, add the other ingredients. Start the cooking on medium heat  over a cooker for 10 minutes. Transfer to the oven for about 2 hours at 200 degrees C for 10 min then bring it down to 170 degrees C for the rest of the cooking. At 90 min, check the tenderness of the meat and the amount of liquid left in the pot.
Serve with steamed rice or hot bread and a salad on the side.
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