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North African Cooking & Recipes

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The roots to North African cuisine can be traced back over 2000 years, with that of ancient Egypt covering a span of over three thousand years. Over several centuries traders, travelers, invaders, migrants and immigrants all have influenced the cuisine of North Africa. The Phoenicians of the 1st century brought sausages, the Carthaginians introduced wheat and its byproduct, semolina.

The Berbers, adapted this into couscous, one of the main staple diet. Olives and olive oils were introduced before the arrival of the Romans. From the 7th century onwards, the Arabs introduced a variety of spices, like saffron, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves, which contributed and influenced the culinary culture of North Africa. The Ottoman Turks brought sweet pastries and other bakery products, and from the New World, North Africa got potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini and chili peppers.

The cuisine of the Maghreb is primarily a mixture of Berber and Arab culinary traditions, with some European influences. The eastern part of North Africa (Libya and Egypt) is heavily influenced by the Ottoman empire and its Turkish culture, sharing characteristics and similar dishes with much of Turkish and Peninsular Arab cuisine. The cuisines of Algeria and Tunisia are less thoroughly influenced by these Eastern elements, deriving more influence from French and Italian cuisine respectively. While Moroccan cuisine for the most part remained outside of these relatively recent and contemporary influences, although Moroccan cuisine itself have roots dating back to the heyday of the kingdom of Al-Andalus in modern-day Spain.

For the North African cuisine, the most common staples are meat, seafood, lamb, dates, almonds, olives, various vegetables and fruit. Because the region is predominantly Muslim, only halal meats are usually eaten. Most dishes are spiced, especially with cumin, ginger, paprika, cinnamon and saffron. Fresh peppermint, parsley, or coriander are also very common. Spice mixtures such as ras el hanout, baharat, and harissa are frequently used.

Most of the North African countries have several similar dishes, sometimes almost the same dish with a different name (the Moroccan tangia and the Tunisian coucha are both essentially the same dish: a meat stew prepared in an urn and cooked overnight in a public oven), sometimes with a slight change in ingredients and cooking style. To add to the confusion, two completely different dishes may share the same name. There are noticeable differences between the cooking styles of different nations – there's the sophisticated, full-bodied flavours of Moroccan palace cookery, the fiery dishes of Tunisian cuisine, and the humbler, simpler cuisines of Egypt and Algeria. The best-known North African/Berber dish abroad is surely couscous. The tajine, a cooking vessel of Berber/Amazigh origin, is also a common denominator in this region, although what each nation defines as the resulting dish from being cooked in a tajine as well as the associated preparation methods, may be drastically different. For example, a "tajine" dish is a slow-cooked stew in Morocco, whereas the Tunisian "tajine" is a baked frittata/quiche-like dish.

[Source: Wikipedia ]

North African Recipes

Carthagenian Flank Steak

Chicken Couscous


Shorba - Chicken Soup

Algerian cooked carrot salad

Algerian Fish Soup

Algerian Salad

Bourek-Beef Stuffed Pastry Rolls

L'Ham El HLou

Chlada Fakya - Fruit Salad, served with whipped cream


Ful Nabed(Egyptian Bean And Vegetable Soup)

Koushari(Lentils, Macaroni And Rice In Oil)

Rose's Egyptian Rice

Egyptian Red Snapper in Red Pepper-Mint Sauce

Egyptian Moussaka

Egyptian Pickled Lemons

Egyptian chocolate cake - a rich, delicious end to a meal.

More Egyptian Recipes

Recommended Book
Egyptian Cooking: And Other Middle Eastern Recipes Egyptian Cooking: And Other Middle Eastern Recipes
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a must-have cookbook for anyone who wants to eat as the Egyptians do. Ideal for the novice as well as the experienced cook, this expanded edition of an Egyptian bestseller is the ideal introduction to cooking this delicious cuisine at home.


How a Dinner is Served in Liberia

Beef Internal Soup

Jollof Rice

Monrovian Collards & Cabbage

Liberian Sweet Potato Pone

Ginger Beer

Stewed Mangos with Cloves

More Liberian Recipes


Moroccan tajine
Authentic Moroccan recipes and tutorials for beginning through advanced cooks

How a Dinner is Served in Morocco

Moroccan Chick Pea Soup

Moroccan chicken tagine with honey & apricots

Moroccan Vegetarian Sweet Potato Stew

Moroccan Chicken with Prunes, Honey, Toasted Almonds & Cinammon

Chicken and Carrot Tagine

Other Tagine Recipes

More Moroccan recipes

Recommended Book
The Moroccan Cookbook The Moroccan Cookbook
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by Irene Frances Kitchen in the Day
In addition to the tantalizing recipes, charming portraits of the country and culture create just the right inspiration for sampling this collection of Moroccan cooking


How a Dinner is Served in Sudan

Sudan recipes A selection of savory and sweet dishes

Shata - Hot Spice Accompaniment

Peanut Macaroons

Shorba - Puree of Lamb

Maschii - Stuffed Tomato with Chopped Beef

More Sudanese Recipes

Recommended BookS
The Welcome Table : African American Heritage

North African Cooking: Exotic Delights from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt
Buy from USA    Buy from Europe
over 100 authentic and exotic recipes - including Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt - and aims to offer a rare insight into the customs and culinary traditions of this mysterious and romantic part of the world.

Vegetarian Table : North Africa Vegetarian Table : North Africa
Buy from USA    Buy from Europe
by Kitty Morse, Deborah Jones (Photographer)
This book covers some excellent Moroccan dishes, and is one of my favorite cookbooks. The Vegetarian Table is a terrific series of cookbooks for anyone who enjoys great food; including non-vegetarians

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