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My first experience with Moroccan Cooking

By Lorraine Holmes

Keeping in line with our customs and traditions, I thought I’d share my very own authentic yet speedy recipes.

As always, first the story:

I grew up in a traditional family where cooking was essential to one’s social education. Especially girls. It was a codified one that was about so much more than just cooking.

The first hurdle you had to learn was making bread – khoubez - the cornerstone of our diet.

It was a hurdle – endless kneading – but also a test: if the bread rises, your heart was full and warm. If it didn’t, your heart was cold.

I won’t be revealing my result, but I will say that I never tried to make bread again.

I am afraid this is not a recipe you will get from me.


Somehow as a daughter and granddaughter of fabulous cooks, I never had any interest in cooking.

Maybe because those early years were filled with endless prepping and chopping ingredients without the reward of cooking. Or maybe it was the length of time in the kitchen that distracted me from my favorite books. I watched my mother, grandmothers and aunts cook but I never joined in.

Until I went to university in France. And started feeling homesick.

I missed the warmth of Morocco. The affection of my family. The noises of the wind and streets. The colours and chaos.

But most importantly I missed the food.

And this is where Latifa Bennani Smires came to my rescue.

I first came across Latifa, or rather her iconic book “Le Guide de la Cuisine Marocaine” on one of my mother’s kitchen shelves. A small book, bursting with recipes and mouth-watering images.

It was my mum’s bible and the cooking go-to of her generation. Fatima carefully summarized and codified thousands of years of unique cuisine and dishes.

I came across her young and never paid attention to her again.

Until one (very homesick and quite hungry) Saturday afternoon I remembered my mother had packed it for me.

And it has never left me since.

Stay tuned for more of our favourite Moroccan recipes, like fragrant Chicken & Olive Tagine, sumptuous Bastilla, and the ultimate Moroccan comfort drink: mint tea. And connect with us @whind for more mouth-watering bites.

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