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Making Tagines at Le Maison Arabe Cookery School, Morocco

After a morning exploring Marrakech’s best hotels, we made a trip to La Maison Arabe Country Club. Away from the madness of Marrakech this little area of calm was the perfect place for an afternoon cookery class. We walked through the gardens and took a seat under a canopy by the huge wood fired bread oven. There, our afternoon plans were explained to us as we watched our dada (Moroccan chef) spread dough over a wooden board and throw it into the oven.
At the school, we learnt the actual process for making a cup of traditional Moroccan mint tea which was really interesting considering how much of it we had drunk in the two days that we had already been in Morocco. First the green tea is added, brewed and then it is supposed to be poured away but people don't always bother; that explains some of the questionable cups of murky brown stuff we had seen around. The next step is to add the mint leaves and sugar to the tea pot. I thought the blocks of sugar that they had brought out were just for show but I was mistaken. Each tea pot got a fistful of mint leaves and two huge rocks of sugars; not that I was complaining, the sweeter the better if you ask me and if that’s the way they drink it in Morocco, then that's how I wanted to drink it.
It was then poured from a height into the glasses, put back into the pot and done a second time to mix it properly. After that, it’s ready to drink!
Since we were such a large group, we paired up at a cooking station for our class. La Maison Arabe has 16 stations each complete with two hobs and a live video stream so you can keep up easily. For something that is so flavourful, our chicken and apricot tagines were so simple to cook. We put the chicken and some chopped onions into the tagine, covered it in an array of spices and left it to bubble away under the tagine lid whilst we caramelized the apricots with some sugar and water in another pan. After we had finished up rosewater was passed around to pour over our hands leaving us all smelling incredible.
We were taken back out into the garden and off to a beautiful room set up with three big, round tables and a tent style ceiling made up of colourful material. We had actually all just had lunch before making our way to the class although that didn’t stop anyone from trying our creations. The tagine was placed down in front of us and as the lid was lifted the smell of our second lunch filled the room. The chicken fell off of the bone and the sweet chewiness of the apricots and the crunch of the almonds was the perfect accompaniment. Honestly, it was actually delicious and we finished the lot even though dinner was in just a couple of hours.

*Huge thanks to Visit Morocco for inviting me along on this trip

7 comments

  1. Oh wow - what a fab experience Georgina! It looks so different to other cookery schools and so authentic too! I love mint tea - I didn't realise you're supposed to add green tea first

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    1. Yes - very authentic, I loved the whole afternoon! x

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  2. Morrocan food is one of my favourite cuisines. I used to drink that tea all the time and yes I was surprised how much sugar goes into it when I was shown how to make it the first time. I love cooking classes in another country. You learn so much about the culture

    PS You need to make it easier for people to comment

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    1. I had never eaten Moroccan before but now I love it too! and ooh why is it hard to comment? x

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  3. Morrocan food is one of my favourite cuisines. I used to drink that tea all the time and yes I was surprised how much sugar goes into it when I was shown how to make it the first time. I love cooking classes in another country. You learn so much about the culture

    PS You need to make it easier for people to comment

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  4. Wow this looks so much fun! I'd love to go to Morocco, it's high on my travel wish list!
    Amy xx
    www.callmeamy.co.uk

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  5. How fun! I love doing cooking classes in every country I visit and definitely want to do this one. The meltingly soft chicken with sweet apricot sounds so delicious! I'll pin it for later when I plan a trip to Morocco!

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