Learning to Make Couscous at Campground Zebra

We don’t stay in campgrounds very often. We prefer to let our sleeping spots find us, and park spontaneously wherever looks inviting or is convenient for us at the time. But sometimes, when we haven’t had a proper shower in a particularly long time, or we want to be able to both leave for a long time without having to worry about security, we bite the bullet and stay in a campgroundUsually it’s nothing special. A lukewarm shower if you’re lucky, maybe we visited the Ouzoud Falls, we parked in Camping Zebra.

Inexpensive campgrounds in Morocco are usually nothing too special, at least judging from our experience so far. Peace of mind that no one is going to break into your vehicle and a lukewarm shower if you’re lucky are about all one can reasonably expect. But Camping Zebra  raised the bar to a whole new level. The entire place was beautiful. It’s owned by Renata and Paul, a Dutch couple who travelled Africa for years before settling in Morocco.

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Even the bathrooms were gorgeous. Running water, toilets that flush, and hot showers are not at all a given in Morocco, so to find that this place had all three was an unexpected pleasant surprise.

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Next to the spot where we parked was a pink peppercorn tree. I used them to cook the whole time we were there.

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The cafe on the premises was a pleasure to sit in.

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And their kitchen was super cool. Jealous.
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The evening that we arrived was “Moroccan Tapas Buffet” night. Naturally, I was over the moon at the thought of this and was not going to miss it for the world.

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Everything was amazing. The people in the kitchen here are incredible. There were dates filled with goat cheese and walnuts, meat pies, berber pizza, stuffed zucchini, mini gyros, potato and onion cakes, do I need to continue?

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I stuffed my face. Not even mad about it. Such a good night.

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The next morning I woke up to the smell of baking bread. I followed my nose until I found a woman pushing lumps of dough into this clay oven. I could get used to this.

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Since I’ve been in Morocco I’ve wanted to learn how to make couscous. Whenever I’ve made couscous in the past, I’ve made it like rice. That is, I put the dried couscous in a pot, added the proper amount of water, and boiled. But Moroccans steam their couscous, and I wanted to see how they did it, so I ordered couscous for dinner and asked (read: begged) if I could watch them prepare it. They agreed, and I followed them into their kitchen.

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Couscous takes awhile to prepare, and has to be ordered three hours in advance. They use a special couscous pot, where the meat and vegetables are in the bottom part, and the couscous steams above them in a basket.

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Every ten minutes or so, the couscous is taken out of the basket and dumped onto a big plate. Hot water is added in small amounts while the couscous is sifted by hand. I was astounded at the woman who was doing the sifting. The couscous itself was very hot, and the water that she added was almost boiling, but she had no problem at all sticking her hands in there.

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Finally, it was time to eat, and I stuffed my face yet again.

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Recipe coming soon 🙂

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