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Moroccan Memories

Over the past few days my senses have been inspired by all things Moroccan. It began when I was thinking of a great iced mint tea I had last year in a café in Sydney. My mum had flown over to Australia and we were having breakfast together in Mezbah which is a really lovely eatery in Darling Harbour. The tea was fresh and minty, and it was served over ice and it looked as good as it tasted.  The memory of both this awesome drink and sitting down enjoying brekky with my mum made me want to recreate the flavours of Morocco and bring them to my kitchen, right here in Adelaide.

My Mint Tea in Mezbah that inspired my Moroccan culinary adventure
My Mint Tea in Mezbah that inspired my Moroccan culinary adventure

When I think of Moroccan cooking it conjures up images of tagines, cous-cous, eggplants, dried apricots and warm, sweet spices. As I peered into my fridge and pantry I realised I lacked almost all of the above. What I did have were some Moroccan Style Burgers, chickpeas, an assortment of herbs and spices and lots of veggies. In a somewhat Ready Steady Cook stylee, I decided to make a Moroccan chutney to accompany the burger and use the spices to flavour the chickpeas. I’m nothing if not resourceful!

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The chutney was amazing, I used tomatoes, garlic and onions, added a teaspoon of a Casablanca flavour pack, stirred through some nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, added a dash of paprika, salt and pepper, a few splashes of vinegar and then let the whole thing simmer down for about 15 minutes. Once it looked, smelled and tasted delicious, I spooned it in to a serving bowl to cool. I then popped some paprika infused chickpeas on top and viola! It was ready to serve alongside my veggie burger.

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Luckily I had a mint tea flavour pack too. It’s as simple as adding 3 teaspoons to 2 cups of boiling water and serving as either a hot tea or allowing to cool and serving as a cold, refreshing, iced tea. I opted for the latter as it was this flavour that had prompted this culinary journey.

I added some carbonated water to my tea to give it a little bit of sparkle
I added some carbonated water to my tea to give it a little bit of sparkle

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All these flavours felt so big and warming, like a huge food hug. The heat from the paprika and the mint, the subtle reminders of Christmas from the nutmeg and cinnamon and the crunch of the spiced chickpeas. It was all so yummy and incredibly tasty and makes me want to plan a trip to North Africa.

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