Moroccan Dreaming - Plus bonus Tagine Recipe!
Posted on 29 April 2014
This is a style of extravagance designed to engage the senses.
With Morocco at the crossroads of so many cultures it is easy to see why it has developed its own unique and inspirational decorating style. Its culture celebrates ancient Islamic traditions, meticulous craftsmanship, the shapes and colours of rolling desert sands and deep blue oceans, and the intoxicating beauty of colour, texture and pattern. This is a style of extravagance designed to engage the senses.
Colour infuses Moroccan decorating with bold accents on walls, brightly coloured pottery, Asian and Islamic woven silk and wool rugs, dazzling and complex mosaic tiles and gauze-like ornamental fabrics.
Jewel-like colours of turquoise blue, oxblood and rust, shimmering gold and silver, emerald green, orange and soft pinks add vibrancy and excitement to the soothing neutral colours of the desert, such as sand, taupe, beige and shades of white.
Just as colour is vital, so too is the importance of texture, which is incorporated throughout the interior in furnishings and architecture. velvet cushions, inlaid camel bone furniture, alpaca metal trims and iron lamps all provide richness and variety.
Pattern is also everywhere in this style-rugs and tiles display complex designs, furniture incorporates rich inlaid work, lanterns feature stained glass shapes and pottery is highly detailed.
Low stools and leather ottomans complement this height and reflect the relaxed style of the Moroccan culture. Elaborate wrought iron scroll work features in screens, mirrors and accents, ornately carved wood in high relief appears in chests, armoires and sideboards, and mosaic inlay appears in the ancient art of zelligo tabletops and fountains.
Lighting is an important and exotic element of a Moroccan interior and is probably the most recognisable symbol of this decor. Moroccan lanterns come in a variety of shapes and patterns. Star lamps have jewel coloured stain glass panels that cast candlelight patterns and project a warm, romantic glow over the space.
Metal lanterns and wall sconces are also popular and are either polished, antiqued or brushed. They can be used indoors or out, providing function and aesthetic charm.
Moroccan culture is a rich mix not only of patterns, textures and colours in interior design but food also. Check out this amazing Lamb Tagine recipe! I know what we’re having for dinner tonight!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 kg diced lamb meat
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 pinch saffron
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 medium brown onions, diced
- 4 medium carrots, peeled, cut into batons
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 2 cups (500ml) chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon cornflour (optional)
- 1 tablespoon water (optional)
1. Place lamb in a large bowl, toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. In a large resealable bag, toss together the paprika, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, salt, ginger, saffron, garlic powder and coriander; mix well. Add the lamb to the bag, and shake to coat well. Refrigerate at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
2. Heat remaining oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook lamb in batches until well browned. Remove from pan. Add onions and carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.
3. Return the lamb to the pan with the lemon zest, chicken stock, tomato paste and honey. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender.
4. If the consistency of the tagine is too thin, you may thicken it with a mixture of cornflour and water during the last 5 minutes.