Tag Archives: Moroccan food

Spicy Moroccan Carrots, More Yum than you will know what to do with!

Moroccan Carrots nicely plated and ready to serve in local Fire and Light recycled glass bowls. This picture is from Pesach. These carrots are a perfect addition to any meal, holiday or just regular, but they add a definite flair to your fare!

  • A large bunch of really excellent carrots, not pre-peeled “bunny love” in a bag. Good, large or fresh carrots, only! 2020-06-25 14.19.25
  • five to ten cloves of peeled garlic with the centers taken out as per my previous instructions about proper garlic preparation.
    Garlic prepared properly
    Properly Prepared Garlic
  • juice of one to two fresh lemons
  • 1/4 or more of olive oil, depending on how many carrots you are making
  • fresh chopped parsley
  • 1-3 teaspoons fresh cumin seeds ground in a mortar and pestle, do not use this much if you are using already ground cumin, perhaps 1/2 the fresh amount, but I warn you, it will not be as tasty with the already ground cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons good salt, See previous posting about salt:
  • 1-3 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon or more of hot cayenne powder

(These carrots will be yummy without the spice for folks with a milder palette, but the spiciness is truly part of their charm. You can try substituting a milder cayenne or paprika.)

You need to clean your carrots well, if you aren’t peeling them. Have a large saucepan/soup pot of boiling water on the stove and put in some salt. You need to chop the carrots into long slivers for this dish, so it take a little bit of time to do so. More carrots is better. You will love this dish two days out and it’s unlikely it will make it that long as most folks just can’t stop eating these. Once you’ve got the carrots ready add them to the boiling water and blanch them for five to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the carrot slabs you cut. You need to have a bowl or large pan with ice water or cold water handy and you will remove the hot carrots immediately into the cold water with tongs or a strainer or whatever implement you have handy. Keep the boiling water handy and once it’s cooled you can use it for making rice or soup stock. It’s full of yummy carrot goodness.

Put the carrots aside and start working on the fresh cumin grinding. Once you’ve ground the cumin well, not to a powder, but you’ve broken down the seeds a fair amount, add your salt, and the garlic cloves directly into the Suribachi (bowl of your mortar and pestle) and mush, mash, pound that garlic into the salt and cumin seeds, it will start to break down fairly quickly because of the salt.

2020-06-25 14.55.14
Suribachi with smashed garlic, red peppers, salt and ground fresh cumin seeds,

Once you’ve got it pretty mushed so folks aren’t eating giant cloves of garlic, add the cayenne, red pepper flakes, lemon and olive oil and mix it all up and then pour onto your carrots. Stir all of that up and add the chopped parsley.

2020-06-25 14.55.43
Carrots with all the ingredients getting ready to be tossed together, your’e almost done!

These carrots are best served at room temperature, but you can refrigerate them for days. Just take them out an hour or so before your meal.

Enjoy and Lots of Love to you in your food making and food sharing!

Moroccan Seven Vegetable Cous Cous with Hot Sauce, in memory of BB Cohen

BB Cohen in Oukamaiden, Morocco with Etan Lev, April 9, 2013
BB Cohen in Oukamaiden, Morocco with Etan Lev, April 9, 2013

My Uncle BB Cohen, may his memory be for a blessing, passed away on Sunday, March 30th, 2014. He was 88 years old. I last saw him with my youngest son. We spent two glorious days with him in the Atlas Mountains and ate good food, took good walks, and shared stories and family. We then rejoined my son’s companions on the school trip we were on. I am so grateful for this final time of connection with BB. I have so many good memories and a CD he gave me of his piano playing. You can read more about my visit with him in the piece called Omar and the Bowls that is at the end of my post called It’s a Small World.

What follows here is the basic veggie dish I make to go with about ten other dishes, coming later. There are seven vegetables that go into this dish and you can pick and choose which seven you use. My husband doesn’t eat bell peppers, so I never include them, but make a separate dish with them, Perla’s Peppers, already up on this site. If you like bell peppers, use them in this dish as one of your seven.

The Hot Pepper Sauce can be made all the time and can be used every day of your life, to the delight of your family and friends. It is absolutely essential, in my opinion, for any couscous recipe to add some spice. The actual flavors of this dish are very delicate and sweet, the cinnamon, saffron and coriander being the main flavors. For those who don’t like spice, the dish is perfect without it. For those who do need a little kick, this Hot Pepper Sauce is different from others due to the cumin, VERY Moroccan!

Also, I am not giving instructions about how to prepare the actual couscous grain here. That is a three page process that many others have written about. Perhaps one day. I recommend you do look up how to actually prepare couscous, the grain itself, according to the Master Directions given by Paula Wolfert from her book, Couscous and other good food from Morocco. There is no point in making nasty couscous mush to go with the vegetable dish, but unless you take the time to prepare the grain properly, serve the vegetables with a millet bread or some other grain.

This recipe and the Hot Pepper Sauce are my adaptation from the Sunset Vegetarian Favorites cookbook and also Paula Wolfert’s book mentioned above.

Moroccan Seven Vegetable Cous Cous with Hot Sauce

  1. two large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes or use fresh pumpkin or some other sweet gourd/squash
  2. several handfuls of fresh green beans, cut into small ½ inch pieces (instead of bell peppers for those who are allergic to bell peppers, otherwise use bell peppers!)
  3. two-four large tomatoes, chopped
  4. one or two large cans of garbanzo beans (rinse off the gooey juice) or the equivalent amount of fresh cooked ones

  5. two-three medium size zucchinis chopped into small little wedges

  6. one-two turnips (peeled and cubed into small pieces)
  7. one large parsnip (peeled) or other vegetable of your choice, cut into smallish pieces

¼– ½ cup of olive oil

1–2 large onions finely chopped

2–4 teaspoons fresh ground coriander

2–4 teaspoons cinnamon

juice of one to two lemons

¼– ½ cup water

½ to a full teaspoon of saffron threads

dash or more of salt

Heat the oil and add the onion, coriander & cinnamon, stirring frequently until the onions are soft (5–10 minutes). Stir in the sweet potatoes and mix often for about two minutes. Add the parsnips, turnips, tomatoes, green beans, garbanzo beans, water, lemon juice, saffron threads and some salt. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes. Mix in the zucchini, after the sweet potatoes and other veggies have cooked, they need less time. Cook for another twenty to forty minutes, stirring gently and on low heat. You can let this dish sit for a while before serving in a good covered pot, if you aren’t cooking in a traditional Moroccan Tagine style dish.

Serve over couscous and make sure and use the Hot Pepper Sauce as it makes this dish. This recipe w/out the pepper sauce is very savory, not spicy, the Hot Pepper Sauce adds the heat and you can use as much or as little as you wish. I also like to add fresh feta or some other crumbly salty cheese as it gives the flavors another contrast. Again, I serve the feta on the side. I prefer goat or sheep’s milk feta, but use whichever one you like.

Hot Pepper Sauce

In a small pan on a low flame combine ½ – ¾ cup olive oil, when the oil is warm to hot add 3–5 teaspoons of fresh ground red pepper (cayenne); 2–4 teaspoons fresh ground cumin seed (use the Sabatu/Suribachi to grind your cumin seeds); 2–3 cloves of garlic, pressed (be careful as the oil is hot, you can press the garlic into a small bowl and slip it into the oil if you are worried about oil splattering); ¼ – ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook over low heat, stirring with a chopstick until all of it is well–blended (5 minutes).

Enjoy and Live your life with gusto!!!!!!

View from BB's home in Ouka
View from BB’s home in Ouka, now he flies above these mountains, free as a bird!