Moroccan Cooking School

What does a Master Foods Volunteer do on his vacation? Attend a cooking school in Morocco. Our Host and Hostess Gerald and Julie were kind enough to find and schedule a cooking lesson at the Cooking School, "Savor Morocco" in Meknes, Morocco. Their website is: http://www.savormorocco.com/. or savormorocco@gmail.com. This is a traditional cooking experience taught by an English speaking instructor. From start to finish it is a great experience and you end it with a great meal.

It started with a Mint Tea and cookies break where we met our host and the instructor. Their living room is a traditional room surrounded with couches.

Our Instructor, Nisirine, was a college student who is about to travel to America for additional schooling. She said her English is better than her boyfriend's English. She is showing us how to set up the pressure cooker.

As soon as we put the chicken and spices in the pressure cookers, we started with the eggplant. We charred the skin off the fruit right on the stove. You must cut a slit in the fruit or it will explode.

We diced tomatoes and had them cooking when the eggplant was done and then we scraped off the charred skin and mashed that sucker up with a fork.

Eggplant cooked with tomatoes, garlic, cilantro and a heap of spices makes a wonderful bowl of food that we ate with pieces of bread as utensils. I had no idea that eggplant could be so wonderful.

What does a boy from Meade, KS feel like when he makes the best Zaalouk of his life? Gerald was proud and his smile shows it.

As the chicken Tajine was thickening, we prepared the apricots by stuffing them with walnuts. I put two olives on each of the toothpicks so I could tell mine from the others. Duh Dennis I was the only one with a thigh and a leg.

Just as it was plated or put in the Tajine, we sprinkled it with sesame seeds. You can see the lid to the Tajine in the previous picture. Barb bought one and brought it home. The lady screening the bags asked her if she had a headlight in her bag.

This is a picture of one of the most tasty things I ate on our trip. Knowing that I cooked it made it even more special

This class was very special to me and I'm sure that Barb enjoyed the experience. There were six choices of things to make and eat in the class. There is a typical Couscous dinner with a cucumber salad, a lamb Tajine with prunes, a bean soup, a baked chicken, fried potatoes and Harira (tomato soup), and more. They also have a combination where you spend half a day touring Meknes and half a day cooking.

For us, getting to meet the owners from Texas was a lot of fun. Barb said that the wife should have eaten with us as she could trade quips with me and we all could laugh our way through a wonderful meal. I think she was in the process of taking the kids to and from school. She did sit down with us and shared some Zaalouk the instructor made.
Anyone that cares to, may borrow the photos from this site. I'm sure that there are any number of places on the net that you can get the ingredients list and cooking instructions. For me the love laughter and friendship shared at the school was worth more than other experience on our trip. Chris Padgett and his wife have a wonderful experience set up for visitors.



  1. Your post made me hungry! My stomach is growling over here! I just love the spices and aromas in Moroccan cooking.

  2. That Zaalouk looks awesome. Would you call it Eggplant Chili?

    Dude, only you would fly halfway around the world for a cooking class.

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  4. Other than there is no beans or ground beef in the Zaalouk it is kind of a chili. It is awesome and eating it with bread not a spoon makes it a new experience.

  5. For some unknown reason, I have always eaten chili with a saltine instead of a spoon. No one else in my family does that either.

    Gimme the recipe for the Zaalouk, I am making some of that. It's just eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, and cilantro? Seems like that would be more yellow than reddish brown.

  6. Yeah MUD, I'm with Two Dogs, I'm trying that recipe for the eggplant stuff. I've got blooms on my 10 eggplants now, and will harvest before you know it.

    The Mrs. knows a lot of ways to cook eggplant (it's one of my favorites), but we're always looking for new ones.