Celebrating Eid Al Adha Traditions in Morocco: What’s on the Menu?

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EID AL ADHA Celebration in Morocco

Eid Al Adha traditions hold deep significance for Muslims around the world. Celebrated with great enthusiasm, this festival marks the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son in obedience to God. Central to these traditions are the sharing of meals and performing rituals that have been passed down through generations.

In Morocco, Eid Al Adha is celebrated with great enthusiasm and rich traditions, with food playing a central role in the festivities. The sheep is divided into thirds: one-third for the family who purchased it, one-third shared with extended family, and one-third donated to those in need. This practice embodies the spirit of generosity and community that defines the holiday.

Moroccan Eid traditions are vibrant and unique. Children often receive new outfits and gifts of money or toys to mark the occasion. The celebration includes preparing and sharing delicious meals, which highlight Morocco’s culinary heritage and the importance of family gatherings during this special time.

The Three Days of Eid Al Adha Celebration: A Moroccan Culinary Journey

 

Day 1: The Feast Begins

On the first day of Eid Al Adha celebrations, the sacrificial ritual takes place after the morning prayer. The lamb is slaughtered, and different family members take on specific tasks to prepare various Eid recipes. Here’s how the day unfolds:

Dishes Prepared First After the Sacrifice:

Typically, organ meats and grilled meat are prepared first as they spoil faster. This tradition harks back to times without refrigeration, ensuring nothing went to waste.

Boulfaf (Lamb Liver Skewers): watch the video
Boulfaf, which can be translated as “the wrapped,” begins with partially grilling liver blocks on the barbecue. These blocks are then cut into small cubes, each wrapped in a strip of caul fat. The necessary seasonings are cumin, paprika, and salt. These wrapped liver cubes are then skewered and cooked on the barbecue. The fat serves to moisten the relatively dry liver, enriching its flavor.

Heart Skewers: The heart is cleaned, cut into pieces, seasoned, and grilled on skewers, but without the fat wrapping.

Tkelia:watch the video
This Eid recipe is usually prepared with chickpeas, a dish of varied textures and rich flavors. Tender liver and heart are combined with lungs and guts, creating a balance of soft and firm meats. Slowly simmered with spices, the fusion of these ingredients produces a creamy sauce, perfect for dipping bread and savoring the unique taste of this traditional dish.

Tkelia (Lamb Stomach Stew)

Tkelia (Lamb Stomach Stew) from cookingwithalia.com

Afternoon Activities

Kitchen Cleaning: Families clean up after the morning preparations.

Burning the Head and Hooves: Traditionally, the head and hooves are burned to remove hair and prepare them for further cooking. 

Note for traditions

In the past, without refrigeration, families would steam the head of the sheep on the same day and eat it for breakfast on the second day. Today, with modern conveniences, the head can be stored and prepared at a later time. Additionally, some families start marinating meat for Gueddid (preserved meat) in Charmoula overnight.

Dinner specialities

Douara (Tkelia): watch the video In Fez, families enjoy a dinner of Tkelia.

Couscous with Shoulder:watch Couscous being prepared In Casablanca and rural areas, couscous with lamb shoulder is a popular dinner choice.

 

Day 2: Meat Processing and savory Meals

The second day of Eid Al Adha celebration focuses on processing and distributing the meat, which is either frozen, given away for charity, or prepared for meals.

Traditional Breakfast

In earlier times, families enjoyed steamed sheep head for breakfast. And now, they explore a variety of dishes, keeping traditions alive while embracing new flavors.

Lunch Delicacies

Kebab skewers:watch the videoSkewers made from the leg (gigot) of the lamb. Typically, one leg is prepared on this day, while the others are reserved for future meals.

Kebab skewers

Kebab skewers

Lamb brain mcharmel:watch the videoThe small brain is prepared for lunch or dinner. It is often boiled and then sautéed with spices like cumin, paprika, and garlic, creating a rich and flavorful dish. It is cooked separately in a tomato sauce, tagine style.

Dinner Specialties

  • Lahm Mbakhar (Steamed lamb meat): This steamed dish features lamb shoulder and neck. The neck, known for its rich fat content, enhances the dish’s flavor. In Morocco, the neck is often combined with other lamb cuts for steaming or making couscous. However, due to its greasiness, it is less commonly used in tagines.
  • Kabab Maghdour: watch the video An alternative dinner option, Kabab Maghdour is a flavorful dish where lamb is marinated in spices, then cooked slowly to tender perfection. Often enjoyed on the second day of Eid, this dish highlights the rich flavors of Moroccan cuisine and provides a delicious contrast to the steamed Lahm Mbakhar. The marinated lamb can be served with a variety of sides, such as vegetables or couscous, making it a versatile and satisfying meal for the festive occasion.

 

Additional Activities
Preparing Gueddid: The marinated meat from the previous day gets sun-dried. This process can take 7 to 10 days. Gueddid is later used in various dishes, including khlii (preserved meat), Couscous, Bissara, etc.

Day 3: Continued Festivities

By the third day, families often enjoy more elaborate dishes and begin to store meat for future meals.

Lunch Highlight

Mrouzia: watch the video A sweet and savory tagine featuring lamb, raisins, almonds, honey, and a blend of spices including cinnamon, ginger, and saffron. This dish is a highlight of Eid Al Adha, with the crucial addition of ras el hanout enhancing its festive flavor.

Mrouzia

Mrouzia

Dinner Simplicity

Light Meal: After days of rich food, families opt for a lighter dinner. Simple options include fresh salads, vegetable soups, or a plate of seasonal fruits, providing a refreshing break from the heavier dishes.

Note
From this point on, the remaining meat is typically used to prepare a variety of tagines, couscous dishes, and other Moroccan specialties.
Couscous Diyala makes the top of the list, usually prepared to celebrate Achoura, a Moroccan holiday that falls a month after Eid Al Adha. However, it’s a delicious and comforting dish that can be enjoyed any time of the year.

The Cultural Significance of Eid Al Adha recipes

The preparation and sharing of these dishes are deeply rooted in Moroccan culture and tradition. Each meal during Eid Al Adha is more than just food; it’s a celebration of community, faith, and heritage. Families come together to cook, share stories, and enjoy the rich flavors of Moroccan cuisine. The dishes reflect the resourcefulness and culinary creativity of Moroccan people, utilizing every part of the lamb to honor the sacrifice.

By preserving traditional recipes and methods, Moroccans maintain a strong connection to their past while celebrating the present with loved ones. Eid Al Adha meals are a testament to the spirit of giving, hospitality, and the joy of sharing delicious food with family and friends.