Posted by: Joan Spiller | March 2, 2011

Moroccan Cookery Class – Fail

So I’ve just come home from my 2nd Moroccan cookery class.  Sit down and get a wine or strong coffee, this is a rant of monumental proportions in the offing .. Ready? Got the ness drink? Seriously .. go get it .. I’ll wait..

See below for what I am trying to choose between for my dinner.

Why am I not eating my Moroccan cookery creation, do I hear you ask? 

Turns out Moroccan cooking for a vego is rather dull. They make heavy use of coriander (yecccchhhh) and parsley (which is really only nice to look at or garnish a meal, not as a main bloody flavour).

As well the ‘teacher’ falls into the classic trap of thinking “hmm no dead bird, sheep or cow permitted – I know we’ll tell them to sub in chick-bloody-peas and for variety, she can have lentils.

Now I’ve already made my views known on lentils and chuck peas in the past. They’re just not that cool. But I digress this is about cookery skool. I’ll try to stay on track.

Our poor dear long suffering pal Abdhul or whatever his name is (I’m loathe to call him chef as the suck ups in the back of the class do – don’t they know that ANY decent trouble maker goes to the back of a classroom? Geez) apologised again as we left.

Personally, I think it’s cos Leah was mean to him and cut her lemons bigger than he said to. Or was it cos Monique giggled too much? Couldn’t be cos a) I refused to follow his random recipes and b) refused his advice when he offered it and instead made a dish of my own that tasted as good as everyone else’s, albeit different?

Mind you, how the hell did they know what they were meant to make? We had the wrong ingredient list given to us the week prior, so everyone had bought along the following:

500g lamb. (We were told “any / cheapest will do” – some poor schmuck bought along a lamb chop .. ewwww yeah that was gonna be tasty in the dish we ended up making .. snort)

As well, we were told to bring:

4 fresh tomatoes
3 onions
Some coriander
1 small jar tomato paste
100g butter
100 or so grams of lentils and chickpeas that we were meant to soak overnight.

Oh yeah and lemons – lots. Plus 250g salt. To make preserved lemons. 3 lifetimes worth..Oops mustn’t forget the preserving jar. We were also advised to bring a couple of med sized preserving jars along. A shopping expedition took care of that – and we were armed with all that was required to make the lemons. Er, except enough lemons but we’re not gonna dwell on that wee stuff up k..

I also took along my 40g of (leftover from last week’s cocked up ingredients list – maybe a 2nd rant is in order? Lemme get thru this one 1st k) chilli pdr – by heck am I gonna use this red powdered fire up before this course is up or bust! (Combust?)

We walk in 7 minutes early. Which made up for being 5 late last week. All good.. Not sure what to expect, I start unpacking my ingredients and sort of only half hear Monique and Leah as they read their recipes and start to question WTF is going on.

See now these 2 trouble makers set the scene. They comment that a) we have too much meat. (not as issue for this vego of course!) and b) uh we have more tomatoes that today’s recipe calls for.

Oh yeah and c) we have prunes. WTF are they for?

PS where do we get the celery, the myriad herbs and spices none of us have bought and oh uh, don’t forget the vermicelli noodles – also not on our list of what we were meant to bring, but they were on the recipes laid out at our work stations.

It’s at this point I gave up, packed all but the lentils, onions and tomatoes away in my bag and simply started to make my usual lentil stew. Hassan came over and was by now starting to get a bit antsy cos he was stressing about the fact none of us had the right ingredients.

Somehow this became our fault, probably because we kept giggling and cracking jokes. I think the alternative was to get shitty and we just kinda figured why bother but the giggling seemed to be just as annoying for poor Yusef.

Anyway long story short – we 3 (dunno about the rest cos we finished before everyone else and went home!) left with something we’d created by the end of the class albeit nothing at all like was on our recipe sheets.

For the record, we were supposed to be making some sort of soup dish. (Chickpea and lentil soup?? With vermicelli and bloody celery in it? May we all say “bleurgh” that would be some hideous bowl of evil to behold! Or be throwin’ up!)

Kahlid stood wringing his hands as we left, insisting it’d all be better next week .. we shall see. He aint got it right the last 2, why would the next week be any different?

But for now, if you will excuse me I am off to Google Moroccan recipes so I can get my own stuff ready for next week’s class. May as well enjoy using a larger kitchen than mine here in my shoebox huh!

PS the class wasn’t a total waste. I managed to sell my preserving jar (can’t stop giggling as I type) for a profit, to one of the other students who’d uh, well let’s just say she’d bought jars to pack her preserved lemons in and leave it there. (Lids? Who knew one needed lids when preserving?!)

PPS if anyone needs any lemons, I have approx 5kg on my desk. Shaddup, it’s a long story ..



  1. […] & red onion savouries – Recipe I enjoyed a grand total of 2 recipes from the Moroccan cookery classes taken a few months back. 1) Serpent cake  and 2) […]


  2. I understand that suggestions for the next edition of the ‘New Zealand Book of Comedy’ have opened – I suggest you submit this to the Editors.

    I’m not surprised you were confused – a mere blonde female having to cope with a myriad of confused chefs – Abdhul, Hassan, Yusef – I’m surprised your didn’t skewer them – sheesh (kebab)!

    And I was SO looking forward to trying your lemons…


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