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Moroccan Street Food

Recipes for Dishes Sold by Street Vendors, Food Stalls, Roadside Grills and More


The array of street food in Morocco is quite vast and includes tea time and breakfast sweets, simple snacks, sandwiches, soups, grilled meats and seafood, fried fish and hearty main dishes such as stewed lentils, rotisserie chicken and classic tagines. The recipes below are all foods which can found while walking Moroccan streets and souks.

1. Sfenj

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
These Moroccan "doughnuts" are made from a sticky, fritter-like dough which is quickly shaped into a ring before being plunged into hot oil. Although bland in comparison to richer fried treats such as beignets, they are decidedly delicious and satisfying when eaten hot on the spot or quickly brought home to enjoy while still warm with a pot of Moroccan mint tea.

2. Khringos

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Khringos are petite, ring-shaped fritters made from the same choux-like dough of Spanish churros. Although most families buy them as a street food, they're not difficult to make at home. Plan to serve them shortly after making them, as they're best fresh. Coffee, tea or hot chocolate are nice accompaniments.

3. Msemen

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Square-shaped msemen and other kinds of pan-fried rghaif are immensely popular throughout Morocco, where you'll find them eaten on the street or at home for breakfast, snack, tea time or breaking the fast in Ramadan. They're quite good hot off the griddle, but it's common practice to sweeten them with a quick dip in syrup made from butter and honey.

4. Meloui Stuffed with Khlii

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Msemen (above) and their coil-shaped cousin meloui are as likely to be folded with a filling inside as they are to be made plain. Here, minced dried meat called khlii adds savory flavor to the pastry-like treat. As with other rghaif, they're best enjoyed warm, so consider making them in advance (they can be frozen if necessary) and then reheating stove top or in the oven.

5. Harcha

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
This tutorial walks you through the easy steps of making the semolina pan-fried bread known as harcha. On the street, you're likely to find them offered in wedge-shaped slices which are cut from a platter-sized bread, but they can be shaped into any size that's convenient for you to make. Note that street versions aren't as rich as the recipe shown here.

6. Beghrir

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
These spongy, tender semolina pancakes have a distinctive hole-filled appearance due to yeast in the batter. Cooked only on one side, they're best sweetened with honey, jam or syrup rather than eaten plain. Although easy to make at home, they're readily available at food stalls and in bakeries. In Ramadan, high-pedestrian traffic spots in residential neighborhoods are likely to be populated by women who sell their homemade beghrir and batbout (below).

7. Batbout

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
One of favorite Moroccan breads, pan-fried batbout sports a pita-like pocket which can be stuffed with any number of sandwich fillers, from cold cuts and cheeses to grilled veggies and meats. Some people offer them with butter and honey, or they might choose to make them considerably thicker than what's shown here, in which case the can be spread with condiments or offered as an accompaniment to meals in the same manner as a loaf of khobz.

8. Moroccan Bread

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
You'll see all kinds of Moroccan bread being sold on the streets, including the lightly sweet Chefchaouen version shown here with anise and sesame seeds. Because bread is a must at nearly every Moroccan meal, bakeries offer freshly baked bread throughout the day and many families continue the tradition of making it daily at home; if they don't have a home oven, the dough is brought to a local street oven (ferran) to be baked there.

9. Harira

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
The most famous of Moroccan soups, harira is a classic tomato, chickpea and lentil soup. Although highly associated with Ramadan, it's enjoyed year-round as a hearty breakfast or evening supper. On the street, you'll find it sold at food stalls, food carts, in restaurants, and occasionally on the sidewalk, where women might set up bowls, spoons and a vast pot of their own homemade harira.

10. Split Pea Bessara

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Dried fava beans are essential to the traditional dish known as bessara, but this version made from split peas is also quite popular. We enjoyed the split pea bessara, for example, at a street side grill where it was offered as an accompaniment to seafood. It was heavily dusted with cumin and drizzled with olive oil, and although thin enough to eat with a spoon, we enjoyed it as dip with Moroccan bread.

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