In the bustling city of Marrakech, the heady aromas in the air and the robust flavours and vivid colours in the delicious traditional cuisine never fail to make an impact on visitors.
The numerous spices that are in plentiful supply in the crowded markets – including saffron, cumin, coriander and cinnamon, to name but a few – are the cornerstones of the broad selection of Moroccan gastronomic delights. They are key ingredients in the main dishes, such as couscous, pastilla, tajine, briouat and harira soup.
Gourmets and anyone who wants to get to know the Moroccan culinary scene will be pleased to hear that guests at Dar Darma riad in Marrakesh can find out all about the ancient recipes and the secrets of its chef Maria. A stay in the refined riad in the heart of the Medina provides an opportunity to sample delicious dishes and fully embrace the local gastronomic culture.
The restaurant at Dar Darma is also open to people who are not staying at the riad. Its distinguishing feature is that it does not have a permanent à la carte menu: the chef personally presents the dishes of the day using a constantly changing selection of new recipes and the freshest ingredients available. Staying at Dar Darma is like being at home, and this outlook is reflected throughout the establishment. It is not a hotel in the traditional sense of the term but an authentic private dwelling where it is possible to move around freely and make the most of the surroundings, the outdoor and relaxation areas, and the terraces with their sweeping views. Even the concept of time itself is different at Dar Darma: there are no set check-in or check-out times, and the same applies for lunch and dinner. The times can be chosen by the guests to suit their needs.
In addition to making delectable dishes for the guests, the chef Maria also organizes cooking lessons, which provide an enjoyable way of learning new recipes. Guests can put their culinary skills to the test as they make dishes such as spicy couscous paired with a variety of types of meat and vegetables.
Another option is tajine containing lamb with dates and almonds or alternatively a mixture of meat and fish, accompanied by fruit and vegetables. Either way, the tajine will be cooked in the traditional earthenware pots from which the dish takes its name. Participants in the lessons may also make chicken with honey or a traditional pastilla, a pie with a thin puff pastry crust and a filling of meat, parsley, hard-boiled eggs, almonds and honey, with sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top. In addition, they can get to grips with the art of puff pastry as they prepare vegetable briouats or make soups such as harira, which contains lentils and chickpeas. Finally, there is Moroccan confectionery, which can be enjoyed in the exclusive surroundings of the riad with some mint tea, as tradition dictates.
The lesson will come to the perfect close as the participants sample the dishes that they have made. They will be served in earthenware tajines or on decorative silver trays on the terraces of the riad, which boast breathtaking views stretching all the way from the vibrant imperial city to the Atlas Mountains.
• The cooking lessons cost €60.00 per person. This includes sampling of the dishes made at dinner. Drinks are not included in the price. A maximum of 6 people can take part in each lesson. Advance booking is necessary.
For booking and further information:
Dar Darma, Marrakech
tel. +39 02.669927.204
firstname.lastname@example.org – email@example.com
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