12 Essential Kitchen Tools for a Traditional Moroccan Meal
From rose-scented water dispensers and lemonwood spoons to ceramic tagines and woven bread baskets, you’ll want these kitchen accessories for your next North African feast
Basking in the sun of North Africa’s sparkling cobalt coast, Morocco boasts a unique cuisine quite unlike its Middle Eastern cousins. With both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines and ties to Berber, Arab, and European roots, Morocco’s food traditions embrace techniques and spices from around the world, varying greatly across the California-sized country. The diverse cuisine is a stalwart component of the country’s culture: Outside of cities, few Moroccans own clocks, instead scheduling their day around the five typical daily meals. Each of these meals is revered as a social and familial celebration, embracing communal styles of eating and strict customs of hospitality, as chatter and laughter ring through the house for hours.
Even if you can’t walk out your door to the smells of saffron and preserved lemons wafting between the stalls of a local bazaar, the distance from North Africa shouldn’t stop you from creating a meal that tastes like it came straight out of Rabat. We’ve created this guide to the 12 best Moroccan cooking tools, helping you to achieve those one-of-a-kind Moroccan flavors. With the right appliances, the aromas of flavorful tagines, warm khubz, and tender kebabs will soon fill your kitchen. And if the prospect of the food itself doesn’t convince you (we don’t know why it wouldn’t), the beautiful design of these traditional tools certainly will.
Lending its name to the traditional slow-cooked and fragrant stew that cooks inside, tagines are earthenware vessels that have been used since the 9th century. With a cone-shaped cover designed to return condensation to the base, these pots yield very tender meat and vegetables deeply infused with spices. Tagines are often decorated with intricate, colorful designs, functioning both as a cooking vessel and as a beautiful serving dish for displaying on the table. If you ever find yourself in the small coastal city of Safi, seek out the world’s largest tagine, the size of a one-room house and the vessel for a 1999 feast featuring 12 tons of sardines. Williams Sonoma
Making homemade couscous is incredibly time consuming and labor intensive, but the taste is far superior to the flavorless dried stuff you find at the grocery store. To steam your couscous, you will need a couscoussier, a large, double-chambered pot with a built-in steamer. With a couscoussier, you can simultaneously steam couscous in the upper chamber and cook a stew to be served with it in the stockpot bottom, infusing your couscous with the aromas. Cuisinox
These often cone-shaped, woven baskets are the Moroccan counterpart to a breadbox, typically used to keep Moroccan bread (called khubz in Arabic) fresh for days after it’s been baked. Even if you don’t use it for its intended culinary purpose, a tbiqa is a great stand-alone design piece, and brings a beautiful pop of color and stylish storage to any room. Tala Lifestyle
Not to be confused with wood from common citrus trees, lemonwood is a species of evergreen native to Africa that was once a common material for crafting archery bows and fishing rods. Now, Moroccan craftsmen make spoons from the wood, hand carving the smooth head and elegant pointed ends. Lemonwood spoons are known for their durability and quality, so they are a great addition to any kitchen, no matter the dish you are tackling. Farmhouse Pottery
Also sometimes called a kasria, these shallow platters can be used both as workstations and as serving dishes. Whether you are kneading dough, rolling couscous, or presenting a spicy stew to your guests, these vessels are large enough to hold enough food for a crowd. Some gsaa are quite simple, but we love the ones with intricate, hand-painted designs renowned in Morocco. Ebay
When there’s lots of couscous, bread, and baked goods coming out of the kitchen, it’s not uncommon to find multiple sieves in varying sizes and materials in a Moroccan home. A ghorbal is traditionally made from pierced leather, while a chtato is made from silk. It is very difficult to find the real deal outside of a bustling bazaar, but if you aren’t knocking Morocco off of your bucket list anytime soon, a traditional mesh sieve like this one will do just fine. Winco
It would be sacrilegious not to offer tea to a guest in a Moroccan home. The act of hospitality is a prized ritual in the culture, and a Moroccan meal would not be authentic without it. Traditionally, mint tea is served out of a berrad, an ornate, silver or silver-plated tea pot, into decorated glasses. BeldiNest
If you are looking for the perfect platter to display your Moroccan delicacies at your next dinner party, these large woven plates are a must-have. A tbeq is also traditionally used as a bread basket or as a surface to roll couscous, but no matter what you do with it, it is sure to impress your guests with its stunning design. Tala
Moroccan cuisine is famous for its complex and diverse spice combinations, so you’ll want to have a mehraz, a traditional brass mortar and pestle, to help prepare them. Moroccan cooks typically use a mortar and pestle for grinding herbs and spices and mixing pastes like harissa. You might be tempted to buy your spices pre-ground, but grinding fresh ones yourself will bring a bolder flavor. CIY-cookityourself
There is nothing more tempting than the sound of sizzling grilled meat, and you can find some of the best in Morocco. If the smell of fat and smoke from kababs drifting through the air from street carts won’t make you drool, nothing will. To recreate that divine experience at home, you are going to need a set of skewers, called qodban or m’ghazel in Arabic. Seek out the ones with beautiful carved wooden handles; they make your food look even more irresistible. Moroccan Cookware
For the ultimate Moroccan dinner party, be sure to break out the scented water dispenser. These decorative silver vessels are typically filled with rosewater or orange blossom water, and guests can pour a little on their hands before or after eating to freshen up. Moroccan Caravan