Adventures

Cooking up a storm in Marrakech

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Last month I jetted off to Marrakech for a long weekend with some friends. We were in need of a break and some winter sunshine sounded just perfect.
On day one we booked ourselves onto a cookery school to learn to make authentic Moroccan cuisine, tagines, flatbreads and salad sides.We woke up bright and early Sunday morning and breakfasted before pickup at 9. After a short bus ride to the farm we met Michel our host and our fellow students for the day over some mint tea.

The first task was a spices workshop.

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We donned our snazzy purple blindfolds and lined ourselves up for the sniff test.

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It was interesting, we learned how to tell fake saffron from the real deal in the marketplace and how to tell true Argan oil from blends, although that requires a freezer.

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We were all itching to get our hands dirty though so before too long we were lining up behind our workstations.

We started off with Traditional Moroccan flatbreads, mixing them into a dough with our hands in wide terracotta bowls. Once they were pounded and kneaded into smooth balls we covered them in a cloth and left them to prove.

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The tagines were up next. Look how excited we are!

After teaching us a nifty way to finely chop onions we started bringing the ingredients together in our tagine pot.

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The recipe we were following was beef and artichoke, after adding our spices and seasoning we put the beef in and left it simmering. At which point it was time to finish off the flatbreads in the pan.

While waiting for the beef to cook we also learned how to make traditional salads. (I think you can tell by how beautiful they look that I did not make these).

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We also learned to make Moroccan flat pancakes or Msemen. They are made with tons of butter in between each layer and tasted wonderful.

Finally the tangines were done!

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And it was time to take our food outside to eat in the sun.

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We were expecting temperatures in the low 20s, so the baking hot sun came as a nice surprise. Although without sunblock on some of us had to improvise!

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The pudding was homemade ice cream with a side of fruit and msemas.

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Delicious.

We chose to combine our cookery lesson with a trip to the spa that evening so as everyone else headed home, we piled in the van and went to get our massage on.
There aren’t a lot of pictures from this part of our trip as we spent most of it in paper underwear – it really wasn’t sexy! But the traditional hammam makes for an interesting story to share with friends at home and the massage afterwards was very relaxing.

The spa was located in the souks and was beautiful.

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That night four very tired but happy girls went to sleep smooth as a baby’s bottom.

*I found the cookery class and spa day with a quick visit to tripadvisor. It is called Faim d’epices and I would highly recommend it for something to do in Marrakech. Michel was very friendly and helpful when booking.

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