If you open up a Moroccan pantry, do you know what you’ll find? You would find authentic North African flavors that are essential to Moroccan recipes. Read the ingredients below to explore a Moroccan pantry.

Orange-flower Water:

This is a potent, fragrant elixir commonly used in Middle Eastern cooking. It has a stronger flavor than rose water, and typically just a few drops of orange-flower water is plenty for a salad, drinks, vegetables, rice dishes, and desserts. You can find this in your local grocery store in the international aisle, or if you have a Mediterranean Middle Eastern grocery store in your town, you can most likely find it there too. 

Spices:

Moroccan food is flavorful and many different spices are used to add that unique taste in Moroccan cuisine. Ras el hanout is a spice commonly used in Morocco, which is a blend of 27 different spices. It’s common to find paprika, cumin, fennel, ginger, and pepper in ras el hanout. Charmoula is another mixture of spices, which contains cumin, coriander, hot chiles and garlic. 

Couscous:

This is a staple in North African cooking. Couscous is made from wheat, and has a pasta-like texture that can be a meal itself served with veggies, in tagines or however you like. Couscous is often cooked in a couscoussier, a double-tiered pot in which vegetables cook in the lower tier and couscous in the top. In a Moroccan restaurant, you can find couscous in a tagine dish  with chicken or lamb. If you want to cook it at home, regular or whole wheat couscous can be found  in the grocery store in the cereal or grains aisle

Bulgar:

This Moroccan staple is cracked wheat, and best known in the Lebanese meal tabbouleh. Bulgar is a nutty whole grain that can be used like brown rice in salads and pilafs, or you can simply cook or steam it and drizzle it with oil , sprinkled with herbs. 

Preserved Lemons:

This is an essential component in North African and Moroccan food that adds a salty, sour flavor. Many markets that cater to Middle Eastern food carry jarred preserved lemons. Be sure not to buy the preserved lemons with adding flavorings, like flower petals and spices. It’s well worth taking the time to make your own. Just plan in advance for the preparation.

Fresh herbs:

Fresh herbs like mint are usually associated with Moroccan food. Mint tea is usually served as a sign of hospitality or at the end of a meal. Cilantro and parsley are also used in fresh Moroccan salads, stews and turnover fillings. 

Now that you’ve explored through a Moroccan pantry, hopefully you were able to get a taste of the flavorful and unique food that Moroccan cuisine offers.