Moroccan food is exotic enough to get you excited but familiar enough to keep you interested. Drawing on this familiarity are the spices that are used to spice the dishes that are a part of this great cuisine.Le Meridian Pune hosted the special Moroccan festival last week that saw Puneites savour the dishes from this land of riches that abounds with flavours from Arabia all the way to the Mediterranean.
This was a chicken starter wrapped in paper thin phyllo pastry and dusted with cinnamon. This sugary and salty pastry accentuated with cinnamon was definitely a must try.
Roast chicken in semolina: The thing about Moroccan dishes is that they are cooked and garnished with a lot of dry fruits- pine nuts,almonds and apricots. Also the meat is either a huge leg portion or the breast. This chicken was roasted and was well cooked. The meat almost fell off the bone. Definitely a must try.
Fish in Charmoula sauce: Charmoula is a characteristic marinade that has its origins in Morocco. This is prepared with olive oil, pepper, ginger and is used to spice most meats and fish. The red snapper tasted delish in this marinade.
Chicken Mahamarra: This was again chunks of chicken in a flavoursome broth prepared with olives and almond simmered in chicken stock. The meat was tender and succulent.
Vegetable cous cous- This for me was the star on the menu. It is prepared with minced semolina steamed and served with veggies. The cous had a flavour in itself that made it moreishly delectable.
The desserts were a mish mash of turkish, mediterrenean and Moroccan like the famous baklava to the traditional moroccan sanke cake or the M’hannacha. I love the sanke cake that was crispy on the outside with soft and moist on the inside.
Then there were the gazzele horns, the basbusa, the famous yoghurt almond moroccan cake that satiated our sweet tooth.This beautifully moist cake is prepared with semolina and yoghurt to which ground almonds are added. The yoghurt is what keeps the moisture intact.
A special thanks to the Chef and Sneh Meghlan for having me over for this wonderful rendezvous with Moroccan cuisine.