I love Moroccan Food. I love the intensity of flavors, the colors and the aromas in my kitchen while cooking Moroccan dishes are just so addictive. Some of the typically Moroccan spices I only learned to love and enjoy rather late in my life. You see, although I grew up with delicious homecooked food, our spice arsenal consisted of salt,pepper, nutmeg and cloves.
All the other amazing spices like cumin, coriander, fennel, paprika and turmeric were just something we read about in “foreign” recipes.
As a foodie however, I explored, I tried and tested and here on My Easy Cooking, many Moroccan insired recipes have seen the light.
I am often asked how and when do I come up with all the new recipes and ideas I have. I do not have an answer really, except that my recipes are usually inspired by a single ingredient, something that grabs my attention in the supermarket, farmers market or when I read a magazine of recipe book. In this case, it was the dried figs, I found at my local nut vender that got my creative juices flowing. I immdediately thought “Moroccan”.
My fisrt thought was a tagine, but it’s been done how many times. Meatballs with a fig dipping sauce…nah, my family will not like it one bit! How about making keftas and put the figs inside the ground beef mixture, thus getting the sweet taste, the texture, but …the family will never know that it is there! That’s it, I had my idea, apron on and got to work!
Moroccan Kefta with dried figs
800gr ground lamb
1 medium onion
1 whole red chili
1 tsp fine cumin
1 tsp fine fennel
2 tsp curry powder
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp fine coriander
6-8 dried figs – soaked in hot water fro about ½ hour.
1½ tsp salt
Squeeze the liguid from figs, cut them in smaller pieces and place in your food processor with all the other ingredients. Pulse until blended, but do not over-process. The mixture must remain coarse in texture. Shape in meatballs or cilinder shapes and insert a skewer in each one. Grill these meatballs on the open fire or use your griddle pan like I have done.
Serve them with some minty yogurt( mix chopped fresh mint with some yogurt), a fresh cumcumber salad and some jasmin rice. A delicious Moroccan feast that started with one single ingredient.
Fresh Cucumber Salad
1 English cucumber
½ red onion
1 green chili
1 red chili
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp black of yellow mustard seeds
2 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
Peel the cumcumber and half it. Take a teaspoon and scrape out the pips otherwise your salad will be watery. Slice finely in a small glass bowl. Slice the onion finely and also the chilies(for less fire, remove the seeds). Rougly chop some coriander and add to the other ingredients. Mix the vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds and salt and taste. Adjust to your taste and pour over the cucumber salad.