In Morocco, couscous is always steamed—unlike the instant just-add-boiling-water versions you’ll find on the supermarket shelves here. For a more authentic taste experience (and larger individual grains), seek out the kind that requires steaming. It’ll definitely be worth the extra prep time.
Moroccans don’t typically eat desserts after meals, opting to add pops of sweetness to their savory dishes with dried fruits such as apricots, prunes, and figs.
Another sweetener often added to savory recipes, honey is used in couscous dishes, tagines, salads, skillet breads, pancakes, soup, and pastries. It has the added benefit of keeping for a long time in the pantry.
Olives are a huge part of Moroccan life, both as an agricultural industry and as a staple in the national cuisine.
A high-quality olive oil will make a huge difference in your dishes. It’s used frequently to finish vegetables, meats and couscous—and just to drizzle over dishes before serving.
The 10 spices to always have on hand are cinnamon, cumin, saffron, turmeric, ground ginger, black and/or white pepper, hot red peppers, sweet paprika, aniseed, and sesame seed. Remember that all spices are not created equal—you’ll want to either buy them fresh from a spice shop or buy them whole and grind your own.
Used as a flavor-enhancing seasoning, they brighten earthy flavors and add saltiness, acidity, and a strong sense of citrus to countless savory dishes.