Tag Archives: Mint

A taste of Morocco in Adelaide

The beauty about cuisine is that it tells a story. It is a moment of communion: it is about exploring new flavours, awakening your senses, it is also about sharing and enjoying the moment.

One of my favourites flavourful destinations is moroccans cuisine and its couscous, tajine and all its delightful little pastries that are so popular and beloved in my home country. You see between France and Morocco, it is a long story as we share a past together and as a result of colonisation, French influence can still be found in the Moroccan fondness for cafés culture, patisserie but also in the language as French remains one of the top languages spoken fluently in Morocco. So today I want to take you on a journey by giving you a taste of Moroccan’s cuisine.

Nested on the west side of Adelaide CBD in the cute Sturt street, you will find the Tea House/Restaurant/Shop Sahara Moroccan Casbah. Every Fridays, just like in Moroccan homes, couscous will be cooked and served following the ancient traditions. This generous and very distinctive dish requires a long time preparation, love and efforts as typically the week’s leftovers vegetables are used to prepare the stew and remember the secret lies in the broth! So traditionally couscous (semolina) would be steamed for hours in a special pot while at the same time a rich broth of vegetables, spices and meat will be prepared separately. But the beauty about this dish, using fairly simple ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, carrots, chickpeas and beef, lies in its amazing and beautiful flavours!

Enjoying a delicious homemade couscous and a mint tea!

Stepping into the restaurant Sahara Moroccan Casbah to enjoy a traditional couscous will literally transport you in another part of the world where ancient traditions are still very much part of everyday life. One bite and you will start a flavourful journey in Marrakech following the frenetic rhythms of the market and the souks, bargaining your way for a colourful carpet, a typical pair of leather slippers or maybe one of those mesmerizing silver lanterns, tassels, tiles hanging joyfully all over the place. A second bite and you will be walking in the colourful alleyways of the village of Essaouira and its streets filled of barrels of spices, fresh baked products and beautiful aromas. Next thing you know you will be wandering on the top of the High Atlas Mountains visiting its typical Berber villages but the journey would not be complete without enjoying a traditional mint tea with some delicious homemade Moroccan pastries in the Sahara desert.

No wonder I absolutely adore the Moroccan cafés culture, sitting at the terrasse enjoying the sun

But this degustation trip would not be the same without Ali Arhbal, the owner of Sahara Moroccan Casbah, the perfect ambassador of his beautiful country: generous, warm, hospitable, friendly and always happy to have a chat in multiple languages. We actually often have a chat in French when I visit and I can’t get enough of his fresh homemade Moroccan pastries… I have always had a sweet tooth… so for me Moroccan cakes, full of honey, almond, figs, dates and orange blossom are just paradise! Besides, visiting Ali’s shop is like venturing into a souk (market) or a tea house, filled with littles gems that you can’t find nowhere else such as those beautiful glazed earthenware tajine pots or those beautiful iconic lanterns . And the best part for the Adelaideans is that you don’t have to pack your suitcase to have a taste of Morocco, its story and its people, all you need is to head to Sahara Moroccan Casbah on the South/West side of the CBD and you will be greeted by Ali with a traditional mint tea when the act of pouring is part of the culture and nearly as important as the actual drinking while conversing!

Thank you, shukran, merci Ali 🙂

 

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Sahara Moroccan Casbah,

187 Sturt St, Adelaide SA 5000

Tel. 0450 490 781

Facebook link

  • Tea House/Shop (all week)
  • Restaurant/Couscous (Fridays only – lunch time)
  • Private events/Group reservations (on request)
  • Cooking classes (on request)
  • Shop: Tajine, pots, lanterns, tiles, furnitures, decorations from Morocco

You should drink more water!

“No water, no life. No blue, no green” – Sylvia Earle

Forget about make-up, beauty creams, vitamins, miracle pills, fancy clothes, jewels to make you beautiful… because a girl’s best friend is closer that you think, it is actually: WATER!

Water has many virtues: it helps to digest, to regulate body temperature, to help with weight loss, to feel full of energy, to have a clearer skin, to stay fresh, to prevent headache, to beat colds, to think clearer! With all these benefits it should definitely be part of your beauty routine ❤

We are supposed to drink around 2-3 litres a day… which seems like a lot! But you can make it fun by adding cucumbers, lemons or fruits in your glass of water, to spice up things so it does not get boring! Here is a lovely article with 20 cool recipes and amazing pictures that will make you fall in love with your glass of water!  http://www.diyncrafts.com/7075/health/20-delicious-detox-waters-cleanse-body-burn-fat

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Water spiced up with mint, orange, lemon and cinnamon!

I personally adore tea so it is another disguised way to hydrate your body and feel splendid! My favorite time being in the afternoon while blogging and enjoying an homemade iced tea or a warm and comforting cup of my favorite blend.

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Delicious mint and lemon iced tea at “E for Ethel” cafe

You can also make it trendy and healthy at home! In Adelaide we are lucky to live near Mount Lofty and its natural springs. You can enjoy pure and refreshing water for a really decent price and it is always nice to buy local! It is non polluted,  it is natural, high quality and it tastes good! Here is my tip: buy a 10 liter Mount Lofty water pack (easy to find at Coles supermarket), it is convenient, cheaper and environment friendly! Then buy a beautiful bottle: I went for “Voss”, they have really stylish glass bottles but their water is so expensive because it comes from Norway springs! So now what I do, I fill my trendy “Voss” bottle with my “Mount Lofty natural spring water“,  I place it in the fridge and I have always fresh and  pure water to offer. I must say the bottle looks pretty cool on my table which is always a PLUS to feel good about yourself or when you have guests!

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10 litres pack of natural spring water
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Stylish Voss bottle

 

 

 

 

 

And now a funny story: I am going to reveal a little secret about Mount Lofty 10 litres pack that only Australian people know because they were born with it I assume. It seems that foreigners don’t know how to make the water flow from the box… My friend Nasim (from Iran) and I (from France) made exactly the same mistake, turning the plastic button from right to left and the other way around… we turned every part of it but nothing happened, not a single drop of water. One day Nasim’s neighbor (from Oz) paid a visit to her and Nasim asked her if she knew how to use the water pack! Her neighbor smiled and said, “Oh, it is easy, there is a little trick to know” and she showed her! Then it happened the same thing to me and I spotted that Nasim had a Mount Lofty water pack at home too, so I asked her to show me how to use it and she said, “it is easy, there is a little trick”… when thinking of it I feel stupid now haha… don’t turn the plastic bit, it won’t do anything! For god’s sake it is not a French wine barrel with a small pourer to turn on and off! So the technique is to lift the small plastic bit up or down like if you were switching a light on or off and the miracle will happen, you will have your own fountain of water springing in your home ❤ magic!