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Moroccan Bean Recipes

Traditional Moroccan Recipes with Legumes


Low in fat and high in protein and fiber, legumes are a healthy, affordable choice for both vegetarian and meat-based dishes. In Morocco, beans are a dietary staple which may be prepared alone or in combination with other vegetables. This list gives a sampling of traditional Moroccan recipes which call for fresh or dried beans.

1. Chicken Rfissa

Photo © Christine Benlafquih

This classic chicken and lentil dish is a fragrant, spicy blend of flavors and textures. Ras El Hanout, fenugreek seeds (helba in Arabic), saffron and ginger are key seasonings. Serve this dish atop a mound of shredded trid pastry, msemen, meloui or day old bread.

2. Vegetarian Stewed Lentils

Photo © Christine Benlafquih

Lentils are stewed with tomatoes, onions, garlic and Moroccan spices of ginger, paprika and cumin. In Morocco you'll find this flavorful, satisfying dish offered as the main course or as a side. It's also a traditional accompaniment to a Moroccan Fried Fish Dinner.

3. Harira - Tomato, Lentil and Chickpea Soup

Photo © Christine Benlafquih

This zesty, hearty soup is served in Morocco both as a light supper or breakfast. Although prepared year round, it's particularly popular in Ramadan, when it is offered to break the fast.

4. Carrot and Chickpea Tagine

Photo © Christine Benlafquih

This versatile vegetarian tagine can be made as spicy or sweet as you like by increasing the cayenne pepper for a fiery quality, or adding a bit more honey and the optional raisins for a sweeter dish. Serve as-is or on a bed of rice or couscous.

5. Serrouda

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Chickpeas are cooked with onion and simply seasoned with saffron, salt and pepper before being pureed. Serve serrouda as a dip or soup.

6. Chicken with Chickpeas and Raisins

Photo © Christine Benlafquih

Chicken is stewed with tomatoes, chickpeas and raisins in a spicy, fragrant sauce seasoned with ginger, cinnamon, saffron and Ras El Hanout. If you like, a handful of dried apricots can be substituted for the raisins.

7. Calves Feet with Chickpeas, Raisins and Wheat Berries

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
The lowermost portion of the leg is used to make this traditional, flavorful stew. Although some Moroccans prepare this dish by a slow, overnight simmer, many opt to speed things up with the help of a pressure cooker.

8. Lamb or Beef Tagine with Carrots, Chickpeas and Potatoes

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
This family style dish is normally prepared with dried chickpeas which have been soaked overnight, but you can use canned beans if you prefer. Offer the dish with lots of Moroccan bread for scooping up the meat and vegetables.

9. Pumpkin and Chickpea Soup

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
This satisfying vegetarian soup features Moroccan seasoning of saffron, ginger, cinnamon and Ras El Hanout. A small amount of honey adds a touch of sweetness; nutmeg is an optional garnish.

10. Vegetarian Stewed White Beans

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Tomatoes, olive oil and Moroccan spices blend together to form a zesty sauce for this vegetarian dish made with dried white beans which have been soaked overnight. Serve it as a side dish or entrée.
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