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Sizzling summer barbeque

Moroccan ceramic platter

Sizzling summer barbeque


1 Occasion

2 Menu

3 Wine notes

4 Planning ahead

5 Setting the scene

6 Recipes



Dazzle your guests with an enticing array of tasty Moroccan themed dishes at your next sunny get together.

Ban the bangers and the dubious burgers, and instead go for a range of tantalizing tasty kebabs, highly flavoured delights for you to munch and a selection of exotic salads.

Welcome your guests with a zingy lemon and thyme punch served in our lovely tea glasses, but do warn your guests: the little drink has teeth!  While the barbi is still heating up, serve dukka with bread and oil.

One of the great joys about a barbeque is the long and leisurely pace of the cooking and eating: take all afternoon or evening gently demolishing a tasty selection of items and enjoying the weather.


Lemon and thyme punch

Dukka with bread and olive oil


For the kebabs

Honey and coriander lamb kebabs

Chicken with lime and Ras el hanout

Tuna brochettes with fennel and sumac

For the salads

Roasted peppers with preserved lemon and Argan oil

Mixed leaf salad with Pomegranate Dressing

Giant couscous salad


Peaches with orange blossom and mint


Wine notes

While traditionally in Morocco soft drinks are served with meals, I think wine works very well with Moroccan food.

Having started with a punch that is quite sharp and zingy, you may want to carry the theme through with a light zingy ice cold sauvignon blanc, or a chilled red to go with stronger flavours of the kebabs.

Planning ahead

The meat kebabs can be but in the marinade the day before and left in the fridge, but let them come to room temperature before cooking them.  The fish kebabs can only be marinated for a couple of hours or the fish will "cook" in the lime juice.

The roasted pepper salad can be prepared a few hours before and left covered.  The dressing can be prepared a head and the couscous salad can be made a few hours before your guests arrive and will sit happily in the fridge.  You may want to add the coriander just before serving to keep its fresh taste.

Setting the scene

While preparing the Moroccan food is a delight, it can add a real sense of occasion to carry your Moroccan theme through to the crockery.  You don't need to spend a fortune and have a whole set a few platters and bowls in jewel colours will give the desired effect, and serving the punch in the tea glasses is great fun.

Dot some small Moroccan candle lanterns around and let their dancing patterns create a magical atmosphere as evening settles.

Lemon and thyme punch

Serve in our lovely tea glasses, but do warn your guests: the little drink has teeth

3cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
5 tsp sugar
Juice of 1 large lemon
250ml gin
6 large sprigs of fresh thyme, roughly chopped
650ml traditional style cloudy lemonade

1. Muddle or mash the ginger and sugar together, this is easiest in a pestle and mortar, tip into a jug large enough for the finished drink.

2. Add the lemon juice and gin to the jug, followed by the chopped thyme.

3. Top up with cloudy lemonade and chill well.

4. Add ice and serve in tea glasses.

Makes about 1 litre

Honey and coriander lamb kebabs

The inspiration for this came from those very clever chaps at Ottolenhi.  If you haven't got the book yet, I most heartily recommend it, their char grilled broccoli is to die for.

500g fairly lean lamb, cubed, neck fillet is ideal
10g mint leaves
30g coriander leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled
10g fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 hot chilli, seeded
1/4 tsp salt
juice 1/2 lemon
25ml soy sauce
50ml olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp cider vinegar

1. Whizz all the ingredients except the lamp together in a blender.

2. Pour the marinade over the lamb, mix well and leave to rest for a few hours, over night in the fridge is best.

3. Thread the lamb onto metal skewers and cook on a hot barbeque until cooked to your liking.

4. Serve in warm pitta bread drizzled with natural yoghurt.

Serves 4 to 6 as part of a mixed selection

Chicken with lime and Ras el hanout

An interesting use of the iconic Moroccan spice.

2 skinless chicken breast
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1 lime juice and zest
1 tsp Ras el hanout
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey

1. Chop the chicken into 2cm chucks.

2. In a bowl large enough to hold the chicken, add all the other ingredients and mix well.

3. Add the chicken and marinade for several hours in the fridge.

4. Thread the chicken in to metal skewers.

5. Barbeque the skewers turning regularly until cooked through.

Serves 4 to 6 as part of a mixed selection

Tuna brochettes with fennel, lime and sumac

These citrusy tangy fish kebabs lift your palate.

4 tuna steaks cut into about 3cm cubes, too small and they fall off the skewer
2 limes
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly roasted and crushed
1 tsp sumac
2 tbsp good olive oil

1. Grate the lime peel and add to a bowl with the juice, oil, fennel seeds, chilli and sumac.  Mix well and add a little salt.

2. Add the tuna and coat well.  Leave to stand for about an hour.

3. Thread the salmon chucks onto metal skewers and barbeque, turning as needed until just done.

Serves 4 to 6 as part of a mixed selection

Pomegranate dressing

This versatile dressing is great with grilled vegetables, or with a mixed leaf salad

1 tbsp Pomegranate molasses
2 tbsp good olive oil

1. Mix well and pour over salad or vegetables.

Maroque's giant couscous salad

This very easy salad is refreshing and light. It makes a great accompaniment to barbecued food

200g Giant couscous (soaked overnight in cold water)
1/2 Cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/2 red pepper, seeded and chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
1 tbsp parsley chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. After soaking the couscous overnight or at least 4 hours, rinse well in cold water and put in a colander to drain. I have found this is the easiest way to deal with the giant couscous. If the couscous still looks a bit wet, turn it out onto a clean tea towel to dry.

2. Add the cucumber, pepper, celery and parsley to a large bowl and mix in the drained couscous.

3. Mix the lemon juice and olive oil together and add to the salad, salt and pepper to taste.

4. Serve with grilled meats or fish, it also make a nice salad for a lunch box. You can change the parsley for mint or fresh coriander if you fancy a change.

Peaches with mint and orange blossom

A delightfully refreshing dessert.

4 ripe peaches
small handful of mint, chopped
1 to 2 tsp orange blossom water

1. Halve the peaches and remove the stone, and then slice into fairly thin segments.

2. Arrange the segments on a platter, ideally not too overlapping.

3. Scatter the chopped mint and dot the orange blossom over the peaches, you only need a little or it will be too strong.

4. Chill until ready to serve, and serve with a glass of prosecco.

Serves 4 to 6

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