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Winter has come, the weather is getting colder in Morocco, and delicious Moroccan meals might be just the right answer for warming you up and keeping you healthy this winter season.
Just as you start to change your wardrobe and heating system in your house, you should also make an alteration in your diet to adapt to the new season and keep your body healthy and warm. A diet that is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, can help you keep a healthy metabolism during winter, boost your energy level when you’re feeling cold and tired, and give you much-needed internal warmth.
Contrary to the idea that Morocco is a tropical paradise all year round, the North African country has bitterly cold days during winter. Some regions in the country are colder than others—the Atlas Mountains have the coldest weather in Morocco, yet are a wonderful place to witness snow-covered landscapes or go on an adventurous ski trip.
Over the centuries, Moroccans have created mouthwatering meals from fresh, natural, local ingredients and warming spices like harissa, rass al Hanout, turmeric, and paprika that carry a rich culture and a lot of health benefits. These are six Moroccan meals that will satisfy your taste buds and keep you warm this winter.
Harira is one of the most famous and traditional Moroccan meals that is usually served every day at iftar during the holy month of Ramadan. The delicious soup is also served on special occasions and at festive events such as weddings, baby showers, engagement parties, and others. However, as a traditional dish, Moroccans can have it whenever they wish.
The rich, flavorful soup is made with flour, tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, and onions. Some recipes call for rice and meat. The soup is cooked for two and a half hours and usually served with hard-boiled eggs, dates, and Chebakia (Moroccan cookies).
This Moroccan meal is packed with healthy nutrients that are a great source of protein, iron, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that play a big role in giving you the sufficient nutrients your body needs to have enough energy for the cold weather, strengthen your immune system, and keep you warm this winter.
Read also: How to Make Moroccan Harira Soup
Moroccan lentil soup is a popular dish that can be served either as the main course mixed with other rich ingredients, as a side dish, or with salads to accompany the main meal.
The soup’s main ingredient is, of course, lentils. The lens-shaped legumes are low in fat and rich in protein, carbs, iron, magnesium, potassium, folate, thiamine, vitamin B6, and other beneficial nutrients that can protect you from chronic illnesses and keep you healthy.
Other ingredients in Moroccan lentil soup are carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and ginger, all of which have incredible positive health effects in boosting your immune system and strengthening your body to help fight seasonal afflictions such as the flu.
Moroccan lentil soup also contains ground spices such as turmeric, paprika, and red pepper, which are not only healthy but have the effect of keeping you warm in the winter.
Cow feet with chickpeas
If you are not vegan or vegetarian, then Moroccan cow feet with chickpeas is the right comfort for you during the chilly season. Also called ker’een in Morocco, the traditional dish is not that difficult to make. It is very delicious and rich in flavor and health benefits, as well.
The tasty meal is prepared with cow feet, including the hoof and a portion of calf or lamb leg. Sometimes, Moroccans use goat or sheep feet instead. The other main ingredient in the dish is the chickpeas, which is mixed with some wheat berries and stewed in a sauce seasoned with Moroccan spices. All these ingredients will help keep you warm this winter.
Although some people prefer eating just the chickpeas, the cow feet which have a little meat give the sauce a certain thickness and flavor that will make you crave more of the traditional dish.
In addition to its appetizing flavor, the chickpeas in the Moroccan dish are rich in protein and fiber which can help in digestion and stabilizing your metabolism, as well as keep you full throughout the day.
Read also: 10 Most Delicious Moroccan Foods
Bissara (dry green pea soup)
Moroccan Bissara. Photo: Pixabay
Bissara is another popular Moroccan meal that is mostly served for breakfast, especially in Morocco’s northern regions, where the climate is colder in the winter than in other Moroccan cities, making the thick soup a perfect dish to keep you warm on a chilly morning.
You can find the traditional meal in the home of all Moroccan families and in most restaurants. The soup is traditionally made with dry pea seeds, but can also be made with dry fava beans. Both are rich in fiber, protein, folate, and vitamins that help develop blood cells and boost energy.
The peas or fava beans are cooked in water with garlic, olive oil, cumin, paprika, red pepper, and salt for about an hour until you have a thick sauce. Serve bissara soup with olive oil or Argan oil, and khobz (Moroccan bread) for dipping.
Belboula is a light traditional Moroccan soup that is also associated with breakfast and warmth. When Moroccans think about belboula, also called hssoua, they think happy thoughts. As a Moroccan, I personally think about simpler childhood memories and my sweet grandma.
In this beloved Moroccan dish, the main ingredients are barley grits and milk. The barley is cooked in water with cumin, olive oil, and butter until it softens up but still holds its shape. Moroccans will also add thyme, an ingredient that adds flavor and warming effects.
After the soup is fully cooked, the milk is then added and the dish is served hot with olive oil and cumin. The amount of milk added depends on if you want a thick soup or one with less texture.
The best time to have this Moroccan meal is in the morning or winter evenings to keep you warm.
Soba (vegetable soup)
Moroccan vegetable soup is one of the healthiest meals in the country. Moroccans in every region indulge in this rich dish. The soup is also one of the dishes given to people that are sick or recovering for its many health benefits from its various ingredients.
To make the soup, you will need multiple vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, celery, pumpkin, bell pepper, carrots, and others. Vegetables are known for their health benefits. Green foods are low in calories and rich in minerals, vitamins, and fiber that strengthen our health and keep us healthy in the long run.
In a large pot, cook chopped onion with olive oil, salt, and paprika until the onion softens. Then add the vegetables and boil very well together. The boiled vegetables are then ground up and served with olive oil and cumin.
Soba is a Moroccan meal that is delicious and full of healthy ingredients, making it the perfect dish to fight the cold season and keep you warm this winter.
Read also: Moroccan Delicacies Everyone Should Try
There are many ways to stay warm this winter, such as wearing warmer clothes, exercising, or using a heating system. However, you might notice a drop in energy during the chilly season, which is where these six delicious Moroccan meals come in—they are the perfect way to boost your energy and keep you healthy as well as warm in the winter.