If the spice is right

Mallika Basu - If the spice is right

Posted 9th July 2008

Did I mention I was going to Morocco?

I needed to get away from frantic deadlines, the summer social scene, grumpy people and smelly trains.

So I chose blinding heat, crazy traffic, tribal witch doctors, snake charmers and endless souks.

It was all going remarkably well until the fancy rooftop restaurant. Just as I finished tucking into half a kilo of couscous, two semi-naked belly dancers sashayed in.

My man instinctively fake-limped his way to the gents. The two pre-teen boys on the next table slithered underneath with their Nintendo. And the sickeningly glamorous girls beckoned me to the dance floor.

I wondered if there was any space left under the table next door. It’s never too late to master Nintendo.

There was hope yet. The next morning, I found the spice souks. Standing in front of sacks piled high with turmeric, cumin, coriander and mint I smiled stupidly.

Paradise. Found.

Needless to say I have amassed ludicrous quantities of eye-wateringly expensive saffron. I’m thinking saffron chicken or maybe a biryani-style rice?

Six days without Indian food is way too long. Watch this space – although I don’t promise any exotic dancing.

10 responses to “If the spice is right”

  1. Asha says:

    Hey!! How can you not dance for us? May be Moroccan or even Bollywood style will do!;D

    Morocco sounds great to me.I saw a show on Food Network channel had few weeks ago on Moroccan cuisine, wonderful Tajine and Couscous dishes! You must get one of those Tagines from there.I bought a teeny weeny Tagine here, still hasn’t used it.
    Have a great time, see you in September.I will let you know when I get my spanking new kitchen photo over there!:)

  2. arundati says:

    loved that bit about the half naked belly dancers after the couscous!! hope you had a wonderful time…..waiting to see what you will be cooking up!!

  3. I am dying to go to Morocco. It is one on the top of my list of places I’d like to visit in the not too distant future. Sounds like fun! The best is being the bellydancer! 😉

  4. mycookinghut says:

    I went to Marrakesh more than a year ago. I love Moroccan food. Tagines and Cous Cous… just so nice. I love their mint tea too!!

  5. mycookinghut says:

    I was in Marrakesh more than a year ago and what else I could say but love Tajine and couscous. Love their mint tea too!!

  6. Deeba says:

    Ooh how exotic. Morocco, Istanbul etc…all lands of my dreams, complete with spice markets! You must be GLAD to have gotten away for the hustle-bustle! Of course I am VERY envious of the saffron, spices etc Mallika…but will now wait to see a burst of yummies once you return. Have a great trip!!

  7. Deeba says:

    BTW, forgot to ask you…did you eventually shake a limb?? LOL

  8. Geoff says:

    I went on the same trip and I too was amazed by the spice souks. Knowing little about spices I opted for a bag of ‘meat’ tagine mix and a bag of ‘fish’ tagine mix. Unfortunatly I couldn’t fit a tagine in my bag though!

    Now they’re still sitting in the cubord unused. Any good recipies to try? I fancy getting a tagine, would it work on a hotplate? I.e. a rayburn.

  9. Mallika says:

    I was mercifully spared by the ladies. LOL.

    Geoff – I figured I could simply use my pressure cooker. Just caramelise an onion, add two tsp of the powder, and 500gm of lamb. Then when the meat is soft, stir in a few olives or prunes. You need an intense steam on a medium flame so a hotplate wouldn’t really work.

  10. Bharti says:

    Lucky girl…Morocco!

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