A Fantastic Private Cookery Class @ The Riad Star, Marrakech
Want to learn how to make a super tasty tagine? Then book a cookery class at the Riad Star, Marrakech!
One thing we both love is food (and travel of course). I’m not the greatest cook in the world and I tend to leave all the cooking for Ian (ha ha). It just so happened that the riad we were staying in Marrakech offered a cookery class. Fantastic! What better way to learn about traditional Moroccan food then to learn from a local chef.
The cookery class at the Riad Star is a half day course, which is available in the morning from 9am-1pm or in the afternoon from 2pm-6pm.
We decided to go for the afternoon slot so that we could enjoy the food as an early dinner. Our chef, Khalifa, arrived at the Riad Star at 2.10pm ( don’t expect timings to be precise – it’s Morocco time!) and greeted us with a big friendly smile and kindly introduced himself. Our private cookery class was to take place in the kitchen area of the open courtyard in the centre of the riad. We had to select from the following dishes:
- Appetizers: Briouates – tasty triangle pastries filled with vegetables
- Traditional Salads: Zalouk aubergine salad, Taktuka (tomato and pepper salad), sweet potato salad, cauliflower salad or apple and walnut salad
- Main course: Tagine – chicken with olives and preserved lemon or vegetable. Or a chicken/ fish or vegetable pastilla
- Dessert: Oranges with cinnamon, crepes or chocolate mousse
We opted to prepare the following:
- Taktuka and a sweet pomme purée
- Beef Tagine
- Chocolate Mousse
First thing first, was to browse the local markets to select the ingredients for our Moroccan dishes. Boxes and boxes of various fruit and vegetables of all colours, shapes and sizes were displayed out in the open. One thing I thoroughly enjoyed was choosing the spices – being able to smell all the various herbs and spices which would uplift our food! It was unusual to see that the spices were weighed and then neatly packaged from sheets of paper (in this case, an old notebook with someone’s homework on!). The original idea was to prepare a lamb tagine, however there was no lamb available. So beef it was! Once all the ingredients were purchased, we headed back to the riad to start with the preparation.
Khalifa talked through each spice with us. Then Ian and I were given the task to chop and slice the many vegetables. Oh my …. let’s just say my chopping skills aren’t up to scratch. Don’t worry, I didn’t slice my finger off!
Making the briouates was our favourite part. Can you tell which ones I made?? We made enough to feed a huge family.
The briouates were super tasty wrapped in a light crisp pastry (similar to filo), with flavoursome vegetables and the slight saltiness of edam cheese. You could really taste the spices coming through with the first bite.
May I say that the Taktuka and the sweet pomme purée were well made (ha ha!). The sweet juicy tomatoes and peppers with the parsley and coriander were heavenly. The sweet potato was ever so creamy and smooth, not a lumpy potato in sight.
The beef took a while to soften but the end result was spectacular. Tender pieces of beef with the sweetness from the prunes and a slight nuttiness from the almonds – the tagine was divine!
The chocolate mousse was Mmmmmm! The mousse needed a bit more setting time in the fridge, otherwise the flavours were amazing.
We would highly recommend a cookery class at the Riad Star if you’re visiting Marrakech. The class was informal, ever so fun and light hearted. The chef was very patient with us and even took photos for us. If you want to learn how to cook traditional Moroccan dishes, then book a cookery class. A fantastic and memorable experience!
Price: 500 Dirhams
Book the cookery class through Riad Star.
Do you fancy trying your hand at making a Moroccan dish? Try out the recipe below for the warm tomato and pepper salad.
Have you tried a cookery class in Morocco? Did you enjoy the experience?
* Disclaimer: The cookery class was complimentary by the Riad Star. However, as always, all opinions are our own.
A mix of sweet juicy tomatoes, peppers, parsley and coriander served warm
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- ½ to 1 tspn Cumin - to taste
- ½ to 1 tspn Paprika - to taste
- ½ to 1 tspn Ginger - to taste
- ½ to 1 tspn Tumeric - to taste
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 4 Large Tomatoes
- 3 Mixed Peppers
- 1 Handful Parsley
- 1 Handful Coriander
- Salt & Black Pepper - to taste
Chargrill the peppers in the oven until blackened. Transfer them into a plastic
bag and leave for 5 mins. Peel the skins off and then chop
Slice an 'X' at the bottom of the tomatoes, remove the core and place them in
boiling water for 1 min. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in ice cold
Remove and peel the skins off the tomatoes. Cut in half, squeeze out the
seeds then roughly chop
Chop a mix of parsley and coriander
Chop the garlic
Heat a frying pan with some olive oil
Add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, salt and black pepper to taste and stir for 2
Finally add the chopped peppers and stir for a further 2 minutes
Simmer for 5 mins and then serve
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