Tag Archives: World cuisine

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 🙂

 

————————————————————————————-

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

Speak, cook, love

Tuesdays rhyme for me with English class and cooking! Actually there is an original free English conversation class at the North Adelaide Community Centre hosted by the talented and hilarious Malcolm. The theme of this class is: World cuisine. People from all continents attend to this joyful English class, there are no homeworks, no grades but only one rule: each participant is invited to share about his culture and his country through cooking. In my opinion it is a very interesting concept and a good way to practise English while learning about other customs and fooding. Malcolm puts everybody at ease, he is a very encouraging teacher and he has a lot of humour so everybody, even beginners, has an opportunity to speak! There are very interesting stories to hear about and it is like traveling the world! So many foreign countries are represented: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Spain, Iran, France, Italy, Croatia, Chili, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela… it is wonderful to be surrounded by all these different accents and good vibes. I have met really amazing friends thanks to this class and it has made a huge difference in my experience here for sure!

IMG_1153Once a month or so, thanks to Malcolm and our amazing coordinator Kellie our English class takes place in the community centre kitchen. We cook all together traditional dishes from our respective countries but also sometimes Australian meal (like Anzac biscuits) and learn about the story behind. Malcolm says that it is a good exercice for us to put our English into context with real life practice: reading recipes in English, understanding the vocabulary, solving problems together, connecting with each other, joining forces… The results is always incredible, so many different ingredients, colours and flavours: the world in a plate! We have a lot of fun as you can see by yourself in the following short video. If you start watching at 1:14, you will see our teacher Malcolm being interviewed about this wonderful class and if you pay attention you will see me as well with my friends at the North Adelaide Community Centre kitchen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ip0LqXRDRpg

 

IMG_0469But the fun does not stop here, because after the cooking we can taste all these lovely dishes and share with the community centre guests. Again it is another opportunity to meet locals, mingle, express our opinions and please our palate with worldwide food. I am glad we have also the opportunity to taste Australian traditional dishes: pavlova, lamington, anzac biscuits… because we don’t have those in our countries and the point is to learn more about Australian culture because this is where our ❤ is at the moment. So come and join us at the North Adelaide Community Centre, you will love cooking and speaking English for sure!

North Adelaide Community Centre

176 Tynte Street

North Adelaide SA 5006

Tel :(08) 8203 7990