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Marrakech Cooking Class – La Maison Arabe

Marrakech Cooking Class – La Maison Arabe

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Taking the Marrakech Cooking Class at La Maison Arabe was one of our favorite things to do in Marrakech.

When we first arrived in Marrakech, one of the first things we wanted to do was to the try a tagine dish. A tagine is the cone shaped vessel that Moroccans use to slow cook dishes with combinations of meat, vegetables, and spices or fruit along with a special blend of spices.

Sounds delicious – and it is! One of our favorite tagine dishes was Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons. We didn’t want to leave Marrakech without learning how to make it.

After doing a little research we decided to take the Moroccan cooking class at La Maison Arabe. The cooking school is attached to a restaurant and hotel.

Marrakech Cooking Class Begins!

The plan for the day was to cook several dishes (including the chicken tagine), visit a local baker who makes bread in a wood fired oven for the local neighborhood, and allowed the option for wine pairings with each course.

Everything we could ask for in a cooking class, with a few bonuses (and even a few more during the class).

The class was schedule to be about five hours long. Smartly, they started out by giving us a demonstration of how to make a typical savory bread, Msemen, in this case stuffed with vegetables.

The texture of the dough is like a very thin pizza, made lighter by folding it over several times and making it on a grill (or pan in the home version).

Demonstration for making Moroccan Pancakes

Demonstration for making Savory Moroccan Pancakes – or Msemen


Moroccan Fry Bread - Msemen, demonstration at La Maison Arabe's Marrakech Cooking Class

Moroccan Fry Bread – Msemen, demonstration at La Maison Arabe’s Marrakech Cooking Class

We happily sampled our bread while our guide gave us an overview of Moroccan cuisine and its history. Its complex flavors are a blend of the many cultures that have called this North African nation their home over the centuries.

Our cooking lesson started with being introduced to the Dada, or Chef, who gave instructions throughout the day through our translator/guide.

La Maison Arabe Cooking Class

Baking Traditional Moroccan Bread

We were ready to our next demonstration – making traditional Moroccan bread, or khobtz. I can’t remember a meal that we had in Marrakesh that wasn’t accompanied by a round loaf of bread.

Making Khobz in Marrakech

Making Khobz in Marrakech

The highlight was being able to visit the neighborhood baker, who graciously allowed us to watch him tending the bread as it baked in his huge oven.

While we were visiting several neighbors stopped by to drop off their own loaves which would be baked and ready to be picked up for meals later in the day.

Khobz Baking

Khobz baking in a traditional communal oven


Traditional Moroccan Bread Baker

Traditional Moroccan Bread Baker

Chicken Tagine With Preserved Lemon and Olives

The next portion of the class was all hands-on. We first diced aromatic vegetables and added them to our tagine along with our chicken and the pulp 1/2 preserved lemon.

The tagine was joined by some typical herbs, such as ginger and cumin, covered in water, and set to simmer for the next 45 minutes.

Tagine on a stove

Chicken Tagine simmering on the stove – Marrakech Moroccan Cooking Class

The aroma of the tagine cooking filled the kitchen as we prepared 2 more dishes. A tomato salad with a grilled green pepper (Taktuka) and a cooked tomato and eggplant dish (Zalouk salad) are both very typical Moroccan dishes.

Moroccan Side Salads

Moroccan Tomato and Grilled Pepper Salad - Taktuka

Moroccan Tomato and Grilled Pepper Salad – Taktuka


Moroccan Cooked Tomato and Eggplant Salad - Zalouk

Moroccan Cooked Tomato and Eggplant Salad – Zalouk

Now the best part – time to eat. The Chicken Tagine, now paired with the preserved lemon peel and some briny olives, was fantastic.

Preserved Lemon Chicken Tagine

Chicken Tagine

We were pretty full at this point. I had even given up and encouraged Sean to finish my chicken, and he happily obliged. But do you think that stopped us from eating the dessert when it was presented?

Moroccan Cooking Class Finale

Milk Pastilla

Milk Pastilla – custard-like creamy filling layered on flaky pastry with toasted almonds.

Over-stuffed but very happy, we rejoined the staff in the kitchen for a few more surprises. Our Dada gave us a flourishing demonstration of making Moroccan Mint tea.

There are a number of steps involved, including allowing the tea to steep, pouring out 2 glasses, discarding the second, and adding the first cup back into the pot.

Finally, the tea is poured into a cup full of fresh mint and a good dose of sugar. The more accomplished the chef, the higher they will pour the drink into each glass. Very refreshing and a wonderful way to end the class.

Moroccan Tea

Moroccan Tea Ritual

As a final gift and vote of confidence at the end of the class, we were presented with our own tagine dish and recipes from the class. Luckily for us, La Maison Arabe has allowed us to share some of those recipes with our readers.

Related Stories about travel and food in Morocco you might enjoy:

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Marrakech Cooking Class

Marrakech Cooking Class


A special thank you to La Maison Arabe who hosted us for this Moroccan cooking class – as always, our opinion remains our own.

Marissa_My Greece, My Travels blog

Sunday 10th of April 2016

Looks like so much fun. I love Moroccan food :D Looking at your pics makes me feel like Moroccan tonight!


Friday 8th of April 2016

Love this, pinning it for when we make a trip to Marrakech


Monday 11th of April 2016

It was a fantastic experience - I'm convinced you will have a great time. If you do go, let me know how it went. And let me know if you have questions - I'd be happy to help if I can.