Morocco is very well known for its spices and usage of them in food. Many people wonder what spices to buy in Morocco, today we’ll go over them in a bit more detail below.
Traditionally in Morocco they cook with Tagines, a type of clay slow cooking pot that can be loaded with meat and vegetables, a little oil and mixed spices
The famous collection of spices used in Morocco is called Ras El Hanout which is made up of many spices.
Ras El Hanout which literally translates as “head of the shop,” and, as the story goes, is a blend of as many as 100 exotic spices. It is a mixture that represents the peak of the spice blender’s art—hence its name.
Cumin is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to East India. Cumin seeds are used as a spice for their distinctive aroma and are very popular in North Africa including Morocco.
Cumin is also known to be an appetite enhancer. Seeds are usually crushed, then sprinkled on grilled meats. The spice is also widely utilized to flavor couscous.
Cinnamon is widely found throughout Morocco and is native to the country. It’s flowers can be found arranged in panicles which have a green color and very distinct odor.
It has purple fruits that contain a single seed. They feature an aromatic essential oil that contributes part of its composition.
The oil is usually prepared crushing the bark, soaking it then in seawater, finally distilling it as a whole.
In Morocco, cinnamon is used in meat dishes mainly such as lamb. It is also used in the granular format along with couscous and sprinkled with raisins.
Tumeric is the dried root of the plant Curcuma longa its bright yellow color can be related to that of ginger. Turmeric’s flavour resembles a combination of ginger and pepper and has a strong agent. It is widely used to color tajines or rice dishes.
Cayenne is a red and comes from the chilli pepper family.
Mainly used to flavor dishes.
Named after the city of Cayenne in French Guiana, the fruits are generally dried and ground and baked into cakes, which are then ground and sifted to make the powdered spice known as cayenne pepper.
Cayenne is used mainly in hot and spicy dishes.
Coriander also known as cilantro, is native to North Africa and is a dried, ripe fruit of the herb. The brown seeds have a sweet aromatic flavour, a zesty combination of sage and citrus.
Coriander is used when cooking with lentils, beans, onions and potatoes in Morocco.
Saffron , a member of the Iris family. The stigmas must be harvested by hand and it takes 225,000 of them to make one pound of saffron. Saffron is mainly used as a colorant and flavoring for cheeses, pastry, rice, and seafood dishes.
Saffron is native to the Mediterranean and is grown in the city of Tailouine in Morocco which is considered one of if not the premium source of Saffron in Africa.
Its very well known that Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world.
Ginger is commonly used as a cooking spice throughout the world. In Morocco it a key ingredient in Ras El Hanout and is used to make the taste f chicken and other meats raise to a whole new level!
Ginger is known for its medicinal purposes and is thought to have originated in China and then spread to India, Southeast Asia, North Africa, and the Caribbean.
Paprika is made from by grinding dried sweet red or green bell peppers (Capsicum annuum). In Morocco, Paprika is used in tomato dishes and salads.
The above article in general covers what spices are widely used in Morocco until this day. Traditions are widely popular in Morocco along with secret receipes passed on through generations.
Hopefully, you now got an idea of what spices to buy in morocco that you can then use at home in your own cooking.
Check out our other article on cooking with a TAGINE