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Moroccan madness

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I went to Morocco - Casablanca, Marrakech and Fes - last summer and pretty much everywhere we went in Casablanca and Marrakech we'd get this amazing fresh bread and spicy tomato based dipping sauce with it.  I'm hoping to find a recipe for both.
Unfortunately, at the time we didn't get the name of either so I'm having trouble looking anything up.  I’ve asked the family we have in Fes but it doesn’t seem to be a very common thing there and that, in combination with my lack of Arabic and their lack of English, have jut left us all confused. The closest I've been able to find to the flavor profile is a spicy roasted harissa, but that's bell pepper based, so fail.
Any help would be fantatic.
post #2 of 7
Sounds like a great trip, SpicyJalebi.

I can't find any references to a tomato dipping sauce as such. Was it on the sweet side? There's a widely used tomato jam (sometimes called honeyed tomatoes) made by Moroccan cooks, and flatbread dipped into it as part of a mezze table. But it's kind of on the thickish side; not what we normally think of as a dipping sauce. Some tajines are made with it, as well, for an added flavor layer.

I would agree that it's probably not harissa. As you note, harissa is pepper based. And most versions will blow the roof off the top of your mouth. I can't imagine anyone not a card-carrying chiliehead using it as a dipping sauce.

As to the bread, generically called kisra or khboz, there are numerous versions of this so-called flatbread of Morocco. Being as it rises as much as three inches, it pushes the concept of flatbread. But it's ideal for sopping up liquids, like the great broths that are so much a part of tajine cooking. It's likely what you were served.

Khboz is hard to miss, not only from its shape, but from the decorative fork-pricks made in the dough before baking.

Mostly made plain, there also are flavored versions. I once posted a Morocan Anise Bread recipe here, and I'm sure you can find it using the search engine.

Paula Wolfert has a recipe for basic Khboz in her book Couscous And Other Good Food From Morocco. Another can be found in Fiona Dunlop's The North African Kitchen. Plus I'm sure you can find other recipes by googling either kisra or khboz (with the latter the more likely). If not, let me know and I'll type out a recipe for you.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

The trip was fabulous Heirloomer, no doubt.  Thanks for all the information.

The Khboz seems exactly right; I'm looking forward to making it soon. 

You guessed it, my family and I are total chilieheads, and yes, have used harissa as a dipping sauce.  I took a look at some of the tomato jam recipes online and those seem close to what I'm remembering in terms of texture and heat, but I don't remember that much sweet in it.  Maybe if I take the honey to a dark caramel first . . . hmmm . . .  something to experiment with for sure.

post #4 of 7
Well, sweet is a relative term. Compared, say, to a Sicilian herbed tomato sauce, for instance, the Moroccan stuff is very sweet. But it's not sweet the way we normally think of jam---there's nowhere near that proportion of sweeteners.

Ironically, Fiona Dunlap's version comes from Fez. Go figure:

Honeyed Tomatoes

4 1/2 lbs (about 15 medium) tomatoes
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp cinnamon
3 oz superfine sugar
6 tbls honey
Salt to taste.

Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. Dice, then place in a wide pan with a drizzle of the vegetable oil. Stir continuously over low heat until the mixture starts to simmer, then add the rest of the oil, cinnamon, sugar, and honey.

Simmer of 1-1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduces so there is no liquid left and only a film of oil remains on the surface.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #5 of 7

Don't know how much help this'l be, but here goes. We cook Lebanese quite often and i do a tomato dipping sauce. It's quite pleny of olive oil, onion and garlc sauted. then you add lots of finely chopped chillies and just 1 tbsp finely chopped red papper.A tin of good tomatoes and salt and lots of black pepper.

Now,when I made this it tasted just a bit too  basic for my liking. And not attal Middle eastern. So I reduced the sauce with the following:-     1/2 tspn sugar/ 1 tspn sumac/ 1 tspn Rasa- al-hanout, a tspn ofdried thyme and 1/2 a lemon.

Give it a go.You get a citrus kick from the lemon and sumac and depending on the mix of Rasa-al-hanout, you'll get something close i'm sure ( Rasa-al-hanout is a wee bit like indian garam masals, in that each family/region has its own spice blend, so that may be worth investigating too)

The flat bread I call Kubze may rise to 3" as KYH says, but it comes down again. I usually buy it from the local halal shop, but there are threads you can search here to find recipes  i've been successful with

Spicy Jalebi???  Sounds like something id like to try please dont take that the wrong way. My Indian friend Suman makes it for me sometimes, but id love to try a spicy version sometime

Welcome to the forum by the way. Did u go into the welcome forum to introduce yourself? Im a temp welcome moderator and i dont remember seeing you there.

Ps. If you need any help finding your way around the site, just let me know. If  I cant help you,one of the moderators will be happy to help

"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
post #6 of 7
I think you can go to google image to search the keyword,
to find this out.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Google images are great and with the right name I got the bread immediately.  The sauce has been more of a challenge; since it's not exactly a sauce nor am I 100% on what it's called.  The ideas have been great though and I have a couple days off soon so I'll be doing a little Moroccan experimenting at home.

Bughut - Yeah, I posted on the welcome forum when I first joined, one of your cohorts responded.  :)  No offence taken about the name, it's a silly thing my friend and I came up with when we were 15 and the internet was brand spankin’ new.  Somehow, it's stuck with me over the years, never have tried a real "spicy jalebi" though, go figure. 

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