This weekend I took my younger sister for Moroccan food. We went to a classic hipster Moroccan restaurant, located in the old Turkish part of Berlin.
When we entered the restaurant, the whole ambiance was just what I had hoped for; Amr Diab’s Egyptian hit songs hummed softly in the background, Arabic texts decorated the earth colored walls, and the room smelled invitingly of cardamom and cinnamon.
Never having experienced this type of restaurant before, my sister was quite skeptical when we entered the restaurant and were asked to sit down on the Berber-patterned cushions on the floor. However, she was soon won over by our sweet mint tea and tajines with couscous, and came to appreciate this little piece of Moroccan culture.
And who can blame her for this quick change of mind?
The Moroccan cuisine might be one of the most colorful and flavorful cooking arts in the world. And the Tajine, the slow-cooked stew made in its tajine pot, might be the most delicious dish every invented. A tajine can contain anything from chicken, fish, kofta or vegetables, to olives, onions, dates and eggs (or all of these).
And best of all, they are always served in the beautiful tajine pots (one thing that has been on my wish list for years, if anyone wanted to get me a birthday present!)
Not only are tajine stews beautifully served in their pots, but these dishes also contain all the delicious and colorful spices of the Moroccan cuisine, simmered together for hours until they reach absolute taste perfection. Moroccan food is not spicy, yet it is absolutely filled with spices and flavors. Sweet and salty, and perfectly balanced.
Anyone who has traveled to Morocco knows that the best part of the souk is ALWAYS the part that has all the colorful spices lined up together. And this not only because of the smells (the smells, ah, the smells!) and the pretty pictures you can take, but also because of the wonderful tajine day dreams that come to mind when you see them.
Oh tajine, how I love thee!