News and Events happening at Zayane Restaurant in Notting Hill

The Perfect Afternoon in Notting Hill

Even for the lifelong Londoners among us, there are pockets of our great city that we simply don’t give the full attention they deserve. This is the case either due to London’s vast, sprawling nature which makes it difficult to make each of its vibrant, interesting and/or quaint districts our own, or simply because our busy schedules get in the way of our exploring. While walking to Zayane the other day I thought to myself what a shame it is that many of our customers journey to the one-of-a-kind Notting Hill just to feast at Zayane. Not that I’m not delighted for their custom and flattered that my customers believe my restaurant is so good it is worth journeying to, but instead my train-of-thought was more that

I wanted to help Zayane’s existing and prospective customers embrace the multitude of wonders and treasures Notting Hill offers to enhance their Moroccan culinary experience.

With this in mind, Joe and I put our heads together to come up with what we would imagine as the perfect afternoon in Notting Hill.

Zayane Notting Hill

Portobello Road

 

Your fabulous day out begins on Portobello Road, which is considered by many to be London’s premier district for antique shopping, of course, aside from being one of the loveliest places to take a stroll in London or anywhere else in the world. On a slow day, this famous street is lined with a range of compelling and cosy shops selling antiques and vintage clothing, as well as old books and records. Not only are they brilliant for meandering through but if you choose to buy something, not only will it be a noteworthy artifact to enrich your home, style or brain, you’ll also be supporting the businesses that make Portobello Road the special place that it is. But get this: if you can make Saturday your afternoon of fun, your Portobello Road experience will become exponentially more rewarding as it is the day of what is dubbed ‘the world’s largest antiques market’!

 

The Porchester Spa

After the benevolent mayhem of Portobello Road, time to relax, unwind and build up your appetite for the Moroccan feast to follow at Zayane. The Porchester Spa is my favourite in London not just because it is within walking distance of Zayane, but because it offers one of London’s great escapes into a world of peace and tranquility within an art deco maze of steam rooms, Jacuzzis, Turkish hot rooms, saunas and a cold plunge pool. Not only that but there is a large swimming pool ideal for swimming laps and a chilled out relaxing room in which to enjoy a novel, some music or even some shut-eye. Of course, the Porchester offers a range of rejuvenating and reinvigorating treatments. One word of caution – each day caters to exclusively male or female patrons, so if you are travelling in a mix gender entourage, those excluded from the Porchester can drown their sorrows with a beverage and cake at the alarmingly amazing Chaya Teahouse.

Notting Hill best Restaurants

The Main Event

At this point your belly and palate are calling out or something delicious to sate and please it – Joe and I have you covered at Zayane. Our cuisine is authentic Moroccan with a modern twist and we’ve been recognised for our excellence as we are the only UK Moroccan restaurant included in the Michelin Guide. Our a la carte menuoffers a gourmet experience and it is very vegetarian- and vegan-friendly. You can also take advantage of our Gourmet Moroccan Summer Dining menu offer– 2 courses with a glass of wine for only £18.

 

Joe and I would like to invite you to enjoy London’s finest Moroccan restaurant this August (and beyond) and we sincerely hope that you take our advice and get to know to spectacular Notting Hillwhilst you do so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zayane Will Sprinkle Moroccan Magic On Your Next Party or Event

As you are reading this blog, I think it is safe to assume that you are looking to invigorate your next party or event with the exotic, delicate and delectable flavours of Moroccan cuisine. Indeed, if it isn’t Moroccan specifically for which you are looking, you at least are considering deviating off the well trodden path of a Western party food and leaping into the unknown of ‘World Cuisine’. Well, let’s get a few things straight – despite Moroccan cuisine not being as well known in Britain as fish and chips, it is widely considered among the best culinary traditions in the world. Secondly,

Zayane is the only British Moroccan restaurant listed in the Michelin Guide, which would suggest that we are at – or near – the top of restaurants representing Morocco in the UK.

What I’m trying to say is if even a small part of you is thinking of going Moroccan for your next party, you should grab the opportunity with both hands as you would be dazzling your guests with one of the world’s truly great cuisines, cooked by the most expert and knowing hands Britain has to offer.

Zayane wants to bring our exquisite menu directly to you, to your next dinner party, hen night or office party. We handle even the largest events with grace and style, including weddings, Christmas parties, formal functions and corporate conferences.

We do it all, and it is my co-Executive Head Chef, and son, Joe and I who will be cooking and leading the highly skilled troupe of chefs in the kitchen.

 

Joe and I offer our party and events clients the same award-winning food we serve at Zayane. Clients can fashion a menu from the scrumptious dishes on our à la carte menu, or we can tailor a bespoke menu to perfectly suit their taste and/or dietary requirements.

Zayane’s flavours are authentically Moroccan but our style and presentation are what one would expect from an award-winning London restaurant.

Examples of our mouth-watering dishes include our innovative take on a Moroccan classic – briwats. We pack these yummy pastry parcels filled with camembert, kale and spinach, chicken, prawns, roast cauliflower or truffle cheddar cheese. Incidentally, we also make dessert briwats! Clients who want the traditional Moroccan experience should select our party dish par excellence, chicken bastilla, but we also offer a wide and compelling range of grilled seafood, braised lamb and chicken and moreish vegetarian and vegan dishes, all bursting with Moroccan flavour.

 

For clients who want to leave all the party planning to us, we can arrange for all your drinks requirements – we can even provide a highly-skilled mixologist who can create for your guests either Zayane’s signature cocktails and mocktailsor a bespoke drinks selection.

Clients who would like the Moroccan aura to extend beyond the food will be happy to know that we can provide for a scintillating belly dancer and live Moroccan music.

 

Now the question is do you want to sprinkle some Moroccan magic on your next party or event? Do you want to serve the food that will stop your guests mid-conversation so they can pause to reflect on just how delicious the flavours really are? If so, let Joe and I bring the brilliance of Zayane directly to you at your next party or event. We recognise that private party planning and event catering is a big job and that clients will want to discuss a wide range of items before making a decision. With this in mind, I am personally at liberty to discuss your dream event or party so I can understand exactly what you desire and share just how Zayane can shape it into reality.

 

To make an inquiry, please give us a call at 0208 960 1137 (asking for me, Meryem) or email us at enquiries@ZayaneRestaurant.com.

 

Speak to you very, very soon!

 

Meryem and Joe

 

 

Gourmet Moroccan Summer Dining – 2 Courses with a Glass of Wine Only £18

I love London, but that doesn’t mean I don’t frequently miss Morocco. An image that has fluttered in my mind during this rather hot summer we’ve been enjoying (or, as the case may be, enduring!) is the last time I visited my homeland. I was sitting in our family garden, relishing the summer heat from the refuge of a shady patch caused by a parasol and network of palm trees. The shade cooled my body; a glass of Sauvignon Blanc refreshed my palate. As I sat there, a medley of delectable fragrances wafted off my son, and Zayane’s co-Head Chef, Joe’s barbecue, which eventually meandered near me where I could fully embrace their aroma.

Suffice it to say, I was fully in the midst of a Moroccan barbecue-induced trance, from which I was awoken when Joe cheerfully announced the food was ready. He made delicious sea bream, spicy sharmoula chicken, melt-in-your-mouth lamb kofta and delectable halloumi skewers. Of course, it was served with a tasty and light Moroccan couscous salad: couscous tossed with concasse tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, fresh mint, feta cheese and with an amazing lemon dressing. Delish!

 

When I think about this barbecue – and the many, many other ones enjoyed back in Moroccan and in our garden in London – I am faced with the truth of Moroccan cuisine: our food is much, much more than tagine! I personally cannot imagine a more appealing summer dining experience beyond a sumptuous Moroccan barbecue and a selection of salads all washed down with an ice-cold beer or chilled glass of wine.

Moroccan Summer Dining – 2 Courses with a Glass of Wine Only £18

We want our customers to experience this more estival side of Moroccan cuisine, which is the inspiration for our Moroccan Summer Dining Promotion – 2 Courses with a Glass of Wine Only £18!

 

At Zayane, Joe and I are always coming up with new ways to shed light on the brilliance of Moroccan cuisine.

Not that one ever could get bored of our flavours, but we do our best to constantly push the boundaries and give our customers something even tastier and more authentic. We invite you to come join us for this fabulous and scrumptious offer between now and the end of August. Available for lunch and dinner and we recommend booking in advance!

Moroccan Summer Dining – 2 Courses with a Glass of Wine Only £18

Hope to see you very, very soon!

 

Meryem and Joe

 

Summer Dining Set Menu

2 Courses with a Glass of Wine, Beer or Soft Drink for Only £18

 

Mains

(Served with our freshly made Moroccan couscous salad)

Sharmoula Chicken

Kofta Lamb

Halloumi Skewers

 

Dessert

Caramel Cheesecake

 

 

 

 

Why Zayane Has Two Ears and One Mouth

When you create a restaurant, you better have a compelling vision to share with your guests if you want to stay open into your second year. Of course, said ‘compelling vision’ better manifest itself through delicious and captivating food and drink served with grace and elan. This ‘special something’ – your cutting edge – that will make your restaurant unique and worthwhile must burn from within the restaurateur to have any chance of making it on the grand culinary stage that is London.

And yet the restaurateur must recognise that her/his dining experience is in constant dialogue with customers, not merely the restaurant dogmatically sharing its own views on what is and isn’t delectable to eat and drink.

For this reason, Zayane has two ears and one mouth– metaphorically, of course.

While it is important for us to constantly improve and innovate our offering – and modern Moroccan cuisine – from within, it is doubly important that we listen to the expressed wishes, desires and criticisms of our customers.

Zayane’s Recipe for Moroccan Chicken Tagine 2

Until this year Zayane has fully subscribed to the orthodoxy of ‘seasonality’. It makes every sense in the world to tailor one’s menu to the ingredients that are freshest in the season in which you are serving them; it also makes sense that the dish in question agrees with the mood and ambiance of the season in question – cosy, warming dishes in winter, and light and refreshing dishes in summer. For all the academic and practical sense this makes, at Zayane we had a huge problem: our guests simply adore two of our winter dishes and love eating them on a hot summer’s day just as much as they do on a frigid winter’s evening – our lamb tagine and our vegan sweet potato tagine, respectively.

As a result, this spring and summer our lamb and sweet potato tagines won’t be going anywhere. If you’ve tasted our lamb tagine you’ll know what all the fuss is about as it is absolutely amazing.

If you haven’t tried it, know this – people travel from all over the country (and sometimes the world) just to eat it, and it is the dish that got Zayane recognised by the Michelin Guide. My son Chef Joe is the master of this dish – he marinates it in his homemade ras el hanoutovernight and then slow cooks it for five hours with seasonal veg. The sauce of bitter Moroccan honey and balsamic glaze is then added to the lamb, which is accompanied by an onion purée and prunes.  Those of a vegetarian, vegan or ‘reducetarian’ persuasion are always heartened to know that meat-free and plant-based dishes are always spectacular and full of flavour when it comes to Moroccan cuisine. The epitome of this is our sweet potato tagine, a delicate dish whose deliciousness is the result being cooked with love and some cinnamon and Moroccan honey. We are also keeping around our much-loved pear and goat’s cheese salad that is supposed to be enjoyed during the winter but will be available all summer long (our customers wouldn’t have it any other way!)! These three dishes are as scrumptious as they come and are made super ‘summery’ when paired with a chilled bottle of white or rosé wine!

 

Our customers have also confided that they are also expecting something refreshing and distinctly Moroccan from Zayane this spring and summer – as a result Joe and I have created some new zesty salads and a range of new mouth-watering desserts.

Our new salads – which can be ordered as a starter or a main – include a roast beetroot, roast peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, goat’s cheese and rocket salad with a balsamic vinegar dressing, a roast asparagus, poached egg and pecorino cheese salad with a preserved lemon dressing and his bulgur wheat, cucumber shavings, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives and broccoli salad tossed in a mint dressing.

 

Our new desserts are Moroccan-inspired and are ideal for the warm weather ahead – highlights include our rosewater cheesecake and our citrus sable served with mango caviar as well as our new range of parfaits that include chocolate and hazelnut, white chocolate and almond and meringue and lime.

 

At Zayane customer feedback isn’t just important – it literally guides us to new and improved levels of flavour and innovation. As such, we are always looking for more feedback – both positive and negative.

We would be delighted to hear from you, so please get in touch with us on Twitter or Instagram, or give me and Joe your feedback directly whilst you are dining with us!

 

We hope to welcome you to Zayane, very, very soon!

Zayane’s Special Relationship with Turmeric

Turmeric is a staple spice in Moroccan cuisine –

it has been since the Arabs invaded in the 7th century. Turmeric comes from the root of the curcuma longa plant and has a look and feel that is very similar to that of ginger. It can be used fresh or it can be ground into a fine powder to provide Moroccan tagines and pastries with its appealing bright yellow/orange colour and fragrant warming and peppery aroma. Not only is this spice delicious – it is also a ‘superfood’ thanks to its remarkable anti-inflammatory properties, not to mention its ability to lower cholesterol and help prevent heart disease as a powerful antioxidant. Given the turmeric’s potent punch of scrumptiousness and healthfulness, my son and I use it in all of our mains at Zayane, as well as our chicken pastilla (which evidently has some other extraordinary properties, too! . And yet, Zayane has a connection to turmeric that transcends these compelling reasons to incorporate it into our delectable Moroccan food. Our special relationship with the so-called ‘golden saffron’ and its traditional uses harken back to a little village I used to visit as a little girl in the Bled and to a very, very special woman.

The Bled is a traditional Berber village in the Moroccan countryside.

It isn’t at all the Morocco that people know and love – instead it is guided by Morocco’s pre-Arab culture and traditions. The Berbers have their own way of life and own language (which isn’t Arabic). It is – for all intents and purposes – a different country. The Bled I would look forwards to visiting during my summer holidays when I was a little girl growing up in Casablanca was inhabited by the Berber Zayane tribe (my tribe and, obviously, the one after which my restaurant is named). It was also where my mother is from and where my 110-year-old grandma lives to this day. We would drive from Casablanca, park our car in village nearest to my grandma’s abode, and travel by donkey up the mountain for about 2 miles. My grandma – who even then was very old by conventional standards – lived in a house made of clay, a building material that let her house be cosy warm in the winter and cool and breezy in the summer. There she would pass her time in the living art that is pastoral Morocco, untouched by time and tourism, joyfully keeping her fields of argan and olive trees and weaving her special Berber wool rugs.

 

One of my earliest memories was my grandma using turmeric to give her painstakingly handmade rugs their rich, vibrant yellow colour. I would sit beside her in the midst of her and her neighbours, watching them dye the wool, wash it and dry it – the secret ingredient for our renowned Berber rugs. The feast of the eyes was complemented by something sweet and delicious for the ears and palate, too. I would listen to the intermingling voices of the old ladies singing traditional songs and we would all drink mint tea and snack on fresh almonds dipped in my grandma’s luxurious fresh honey. It was quite a treat and one that I long for most days in my happy London life that is spiritually and emotionally a million miles from the Bled.

 

Back in those days we didn’t know quite what we do now about how healthy a spice turmeric was – though given the long lifespans our people tend to have we probably should have guessed!

My grandma used this hallowed spice for far more than her wool rugs

– it infuses nearly all of her mouth-watering dishes. The people of our Zayane tribe eat rather literally only the freshest food – meat from our own goats, goats’ milk and butter made from this milk! We also make our own olive and argan oil – a magical delicacy we cook with to impart a roasted nutty flavour to our food – and honey. The heady cocktail of these freshest of ingredients, when combined with Moroccan spices like turmeric redefines ‘healthy’ and – evidently – leads to long life.

 

Even to this day, when we arrive at ‘grandma’s house’ she cooks us turmeric-infused whole grain couscous with goat meat. It is a little slice of heaven – but the first day’s provisions only hint at the delectableness that is in store. On day two grandma will roast a whole goat, which she will rub with cumin, salt, turmeric and black pepper before cooking. The expression to convey just how delicious it is is generally ‘oh my God’, but even invoking the heavens fails to communicate just how delicious grandma’s roast goat really is. Without question, it is the best roast I’ve ever tasted in my life! Grandma’s favourite dish – which presumably has kept her going to 110 and I hope far beyond this wise, old age – is braised rabbit with turmeric and preserved lemons.

 

When we cook with turmeric at Zayane, it isn’t something that we learned from a cookery book

, or even from a celebrated cookery school. It isn’t even a hand-me-down. The scent of turmeric warming in the kitchen – like the ‘Proustian madeleine’ – sets me above time and space. I become that little girl visiting my grandma in the Bled and I behold grandma’s vibrant rugs and my palate savours her aromatic, exquisite cooking. If my son and I are able to offer Zayane’s patrons even a glimpse of this ecstatic vision, we will have done grandma proud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our New Year’s Resolution

Zayane is a Moroccan restaurant with a Western influence born out of owner Meryem’s Mortell fruitless search for good North African food in London. The New Year has invited us to introspectively ask who we are and how we can better ourselves. In the spirit of the New Year, Zayane is reopening on Tuesday the 16th of January after undergoing a facelift. Meryem and her son, Joe Mortell, wanted to refresh the Zayane experience along with refashioning its menu.

The inspiration behind this move was set by our mission statement which we drafted around two key principles, family and wholesome food. Being a family run restaurant, these principles are important to us.

Our Head Chef, Joe Mortell, has created our new menu to include new options that appeal to the diversities we have within our home by using flavours from his Italian and Moroccan heritage to bring a new Mediterranean flavour.

We will be frequently modifying the menu as the dishes adapt and the season changes.

Zayane Restaurant London

Since opening, we have strived to deliver unique Moroccan food with a modern twist that cannot be found anywhere else in the capital. Customers and food critics such as BBC’s Olive and SquareMeal have loved spending time at our restaurant because we deliver original recipes and fantastic customer service. We keep everything authentic, from our family oriented staff, family recipes, to our freshly imported Moroccan spices. Zayane is the epitome of family crafted deliciousness. Look forward to experiencing our new take on Aromatic black rice with mix green vegetables or the Arabic twist on duchy organic eggs.

For the first two months, we are focusing on healthy food and Valentine’s day.

We know it is difficult after the Christmas period to focus on your health, so we cultivated our menu to make this as easy as possible. During January, we have set our focus upon delivering delicious, nutritious food that will bring positive changes to your health. With this, we are proud to announce the addition of new and interesting vegetarian dishes, promoting our ethical perspectives and a demand for exquisite vegetarian options. Your January detox just got a lot easier

February will see a shift to focus on the romantic side of life. As Valentine’s day draws closer, we encourage love-birds young and old to take some time out from the hustle-and-bustle of London and spend an evening with us. Zayane will fashion its menu to include romantic dishes to share and enjoy as a couple to express our joy for new sparks of romance and long-burning-flames. Look forward to exciting dishes such as the Moroccan take on grilled halloumi cheese and exquisitely flavoured roasted sweet potatoes.

January marks the introduction of brunches on the weekend.

We will also be updating readers weekly with blog posts about our mission on our website to give a transparency between what-we-are-up-to in our restaurant. We are excited to enter the New Year with you all, and look forward to seeing you soon.

 

How much do you really know about tagines?

Let’s have a pop quiz. What does the word “tagine” refer to? Most of the people we asked replied that a tagine is a traditional Moroccan dish, and they were right. Unfortunately, they didn’t win the game simply because a tagine is not just a dish, it is also an essential piece of cookware in Moroccan cuisine. In this post, we will explore the historical origins as well as the uses of the tagine both as cooking equipment and as a traditional dish.

tajine -moroccan restaurant london

Tagine – the dish
Originating from the Berbers, tagine is a traditional Moroccan stew, made of various types of meats and vegetables. It is slow cooked in a clay pot (tagine), which is placed on top of thick coals that are kept hot for several hours until the meal is prepared. Chicken, lamb or fish are most commonly used when making an authentic tagine, together with many vegetables providing colour and aroma to the dish. Several spices are also part of the recipe giving the meat strong, unique flavours. The preparation of any kind of tagine is long. Whenever a tagine was prepared for lunch, the woman of the family started all preparations right after breakfast was served to have everything ready on time. Tagines are the pride of Morocco, a fragrant, zesty delicacy, a tasty mixture of ingredients like meat, onions, carrots, potatoes and spices like saffron, cumin, ginger and cinnamon. At Zayane, we cook all tagines the traditional way. In our spring menu you can find chicken and monkfish tagines as well as our Chef’s specialty, the lamb shank tagine served with carrots and potatoes.

Tanjine plates in Marrakech
Tagine – the cookware
Tagine is a conical clay pot consisting of two parts – a flat, circular base with low sides and a cone shaped cover that is placed on the base while cooking. The conical part traps steam as the dish cooks but simultaneously allows it to circulate within the pot so that the food is cooked evenly. Therefore, due to the moisture created by the steam, a minimal amount of water or liquid is required to cook all ingredients. When cooking a tagine meal, the clay pot should be placed over hot charcoals, allowing some space between itself and the coal to avoid having the temperature rise too quickly. Apart from a very useful cooking tool, a portable oven as many describe it, the tagine is also a decorative piece. Sometimes the cone shaped cover is painted or glazed with wonderful colours and Moroccan drawings adding some colour to the kitchen. At Zayane we have a large collection of authentic tagines both decorated and plain! We are more than happy to show you what they look like and how they work whenever you come in for a bite!

Tanjine plates in Marrakech

Tagines are a delicious meal, great for any time of the year. The possibilities when cooking it are endless, given the various combinations of meat, vegetables, fish and spices that can be created. However, a large percentage of the deliciousness of this dish is attributed to the equipment used to cook it, the tagine. The unique way steam flows around the clay pot allows all ingredients to slightly caramelise and create a sweet and spicy flavoursome combination.

Zayane’s perfect family fun day in Notting Hill

 

Monday the 20th of March was the first day of spring and with Mother’s Day just a few days away we are really excited to receive your booking at Zayane. Since it’s the first Sunday of Spring, why not spend the day in Notting Hill with the family rather than just coming in for a delicious and fragrant Moroccan meal? With the sun shining there are plenty of activities and things to do around Zayane… so what are you waiting for?

notting-hill-zayane

Start your day in the park

A morning walk by the lake in Hyde Park is a great way to kick off the day. Children can feed the ducks, geese and swans while playing around the grass. Kensington Palace is just a few minutes walk from Notting Hill and there are several exhibitions and family activities worth trying out. Make sure to check the website and book in advance for the “Explorers mission” where children participate for free! If you are looking for an outdoor experience, the Diana Memorial Playground is also a great option featuring a huge pirate ship where kids can climb.

 

Portobello Road

While walking down Portobello road you will find some really nice shopping opportunities. From antiques and jewellery to children’s clothing, the market’s stalls are definitely worth visiting. While you are browsing the stalls, your little ones can enjoy some of the market’s food specialties and all time children favourites like waffles or crepes with chocolate.

Zayane Restaurant family

Visit the Electric Cinema

If you are a fan of the theatre, make sure to catch the afternoon kids movie show at Electric Cinema. It is located on Portobello Road and it will definitely give you an unforgettable cinema experience, since this is no ordinary movie theatre. Its interior decoration is really special and when it comes to the seating plan you can choose between an armchair, a bed or a sofa! This time of the year tickets for “Beauty and the Beast” are available.

Family Restaurants in Notting Hill

Moroccan Feast at Zayane

As your walk down Portobello Road comes to an end, it’s just about time you’re your Mother’s Day feast at Zayane. Our new Spring menu is made from seasonal and locally sourced ingredients and offers fresh, spring flavours like the fish tagine with carrots, peppers and potatoes or the chicken tagine with olives and carrots. If you ask our Chef, his recommendation would be the lamb tagine, one of his specialties. There are plenty of vegetarian options available that would also make great dishes for children, especially our sweet potato tagine. For dessert, the apple crumble with vanilla ice cream is a spring classic and for the little ones we have 4 different flavours of biscuits.

Notting Hill best Restaurants

So parents, what are you waiting for? Book your activities in advance for a Mother’s Day of fun and let us take care of your meal!

Zayane now on the MICHELIN GUIDE!

We are very excited this week. We have been visited by the Michelin Guide inspectors who seem to have very much appreciated our food so here is what they said and wrote about us word by word:

 

“An intimate neighbourhood restaurant owned by Casablanca-born Meryem Mortell and evoking the sights and scents of North Africa. Carefully conceived dishes have authentic Moroccan flavours but are cooked with modern techniques.” – The Michelin Inspector

Michelin Guide Zayane

Click Here to read the original listing

This is the very first step for us and we plan to put all our effort as we always do and make our way to restaurant stardom. We really thank all our client for their feedback and for constantly helping us to push our cuisine forward and for their loyalty. The whole of the Zayane Team is always going to be committed to provide great food and a great experience.

Come visit us soon.

Everything a foodie needs to know about couscous.

 

London foodies – you have tried couscous but do you really know what it is? Zayane does and we will share it in this post! Couscous has a fascinating history, it’s extremely healthy, it can be enjoyed in many ways and it’s suitable for vegetarians! If you haven’t tried it yet, we hope you will after reading our blog.

 

Couscous is made of steamed semolina and is traditionally served with meat or vegetables spooned over it. Even its name is exciting. It derives from the berber word “seksu” which means “well formed”.  The pronunciation of the word changes among different countries and languages.  “kuskusi” (Arabic), “seksu or kesku” (Moroccan) “taam” (Algerian) and “koski or kuseksi” (Libya) are just some of the existing versions.

semolina couscous

History

Even though couscous’s exact origins are uncertain the Berbers cooked the dish back in 238 BC, probably because it was easy to prepare in the desert by nomadic and agricultural tribes. It was during the 13th century when the first mention of couscous was written on an African cookbook Kitāb al-tabǐkh fǐ al-Maghrib wa’l-Andalus “The cookbook of the Maghreb and Andalusia”.

 

Nutritional value

Couscous is a great source of protein, fibre, and minerals. One cup of couscous provides you with a great source of protein, 2 grams of dietary fibre and around 61% of your daily selenium intake.  Couscous is an unprocessed whole grain food, which means that all essentials vitamins such as thiamin, niacin and vitamin B are kept in the grain and are not lost during processing. It also contains lots of trace minerals such as selenium and magnesium, which boost metabolism of thyroid hormones.

 

 

Types of couscous

There are three different types of couscous, Moroccan, Israeli and Lebanese. The difference between them is in the size of the grains. Moroccan couscous is the smallest one and therefore cooks very fast.  The Israeli is medium in terms of size and is usually steamed with a traditional cooking method. Finally, the Lebanese one is the largest of the three types, and each grain is about the size of a pea.Couscous

How to enjoy couscous

Couscous is not usually enjoyed on its own.  A great way to add couscous in your diet is by incorporating it in your salads. It also goes great with stuffed vegetables and as a side dish with stews and grilled meats.

 

At Zayane, we believe that couscous is a vital part of Moroccan cuisine and we make sure to cook it traditionally, to maintain its flavours and taste. Our whole wheat couscous, tomato, mozzarella, parsley, basil and balsamic dressing super salad makes a great choice for a light lunch or dinner. It is perfect during the spring weather and will definitely keep you full and energised for the day. It is nutritious, healthy and low in calories.

Veal and Couscous Zayane Restaurant