To be a part of a cooking class in some of the countries that we are visiting was on my bucket list for so long. I believe It’s a great way to learn about the new culture. And to be honest… I really love to eat. When it comes to the cooking, let’s just say, It`s not my cup of tea. It did not stop me from taking my family to Souk Cuisine, a great cooking class run by a Dutch lady Gemma.
We were there for five hours. Now I can say – it’s a brilliant way to spend time in Marrakech, unless you have only one day there. Stay more than one day. Trust me, Marrakesh deserves more.
The meeting point was Jemaa El-Fnaa square. Gemma gave us 50 dirhams (about 5 euros) and a grocery list. And our culinary adventure began.
Through the souks
We were strolling through the chaos of narrow streets. Gemma was full of interesting information. We saw the ovens in the ground, where “mechoui“ is prepared. Méchoui is the method of preparing a lamb or a sheep cooked whole on the spit.
Interesting, in each hole /oven, there can be 40 lambs. Pretty fascinating.
The tour takes us through the colors and smells of Moroccan souks. We had a chance to choose vegetables by ourselves. We find out how to distinguish the true saffron from the false one. We learned a lot about the spices. It was amazing.
Cooking with Moroccan chefs
At the class, Moroccan chefs are there to help us. Especially me 😀 Lara, our six-year-old girl was included in everything.
Lara helped me preparing chicken with chermoula. After a chopping and marinating, our chicken was ready for the oven.
This was really interesting. We had to carry the prepared meals to a nearby “bakery” where we were welcomed by smiling Moroccan man, standing in the hole. He gave us more bread and he took the meals that we prepared.
Dining in Morocco often begins with salads. We tried it with green pepper and tomatoes and with a carrot. We learned how to prepare the traditional tajine and cuscus. And we saved the best for the end. Cooking class ended with sweet biscuits and delicious mint tea.
After a few hours of cooking different Moroccan dishes, we all gathered around the table and start eating.
It is not only about the cooking
But, the cooking class is not only about the cooking. We enjoyed a company of people from all around the world. We met an American couple that sold their house and now they are living on the boat. Cruising through the canals of Netherlands. Gemma told us so many interesting stories about the life in Morocco… I can say that we left Souk Cuisine richer for a wonderful experience.
Now I know. The Cooking School is going to be a part of all my travels. Who knows, maybe I`ll finally get better in the kitchen. Maybe I`ll finally learn to cook. 😉
Recipe for chicken with chermoula
1 chicken, cut into quarters
½ tablespoon smen
Rind of 1 and a half preserved lemons
1 large onion, grated
The flesh of 1 and a half preserved lemons, without pits
Juice of 1 lemon
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of ground paper
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
¼ teaspoon of ground cumin
¼ teaspoon of ras el hanout
¼ teaspoon colorant
8 saffron threads
½tablespoon of smen
Mix all ingredients for the chermoula. Marinade the chicken with chermoula also placing the chermoula under the skin of the chicken. Place on a baking sheet. Add rind of preserved lemon and smen on top of the chicken. Sprinkle with olive oil. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes in a pre-heated oven (180˙C)
Enjoy the meal 🙂
You can find all the information about Souk Cuisine, meals and the prices HERE
Gemma, thank you for having us. We enjoyed it so much. Lara still talks about it 😉