In Morocco, you cannot escape tea.
As it turns out, I can cook (Tiyb), more or less.
I’ve never truly been in a situation where I’ve had to Tiyb for myself. College is a big exception, but even then I had many options – healthy and otherwise – to eat outside my dorm or apartment. Another exception is when I worked at the Oregon legislature and lived in a small house nearby. I had a functional kitchen, but I shared it with two others, and I still had delicious options on the legislature’s campus and elsewhere.
Now that I’m in my own house, my kitchen has become a little home within my home. Though I do have several little food joints in my site, I am trying to use PC as a way to learn to Tiyb.
My first full-on meal took three hours to make. Enjoy the recipe below!
Pollo Asado Fries on February 3, 2017
- 1 buta tank (125 DH for the initial purchase, only 50 DH for refills)
- 1 valve with rubber washer (15 DH)
- 1 extra rubber washer (0.5 DH)
- 1 two-meter buta hose (8.5 DH)
- 2 valve clasps (1 DH each)
- 1 pan (25 DH)
- 1 three-burner stove (200 DH)
- Lighter (free, leftover from previous Volunteer)
- Leatherman multi-tool ($65, bring with you from the US; optional)
- 1/2 chicken (30 DH)
- 3 avocados (~15 DH, bought in bulk)
- 1 extra-large potato (~2 DH, bought in bulk)
- 1/2 red onion (~0.5 DH, bought in bulk)
- 1/2 tomato (~1 DH, bought in bulk)
- cilantro (1 DH for one bundle)
- olive oil (45 DH for 1.5 liter)
Recipe (serves 3 or one very hungry person who didn’t realize how much food he actually had):
- Purchase and transport buta tank from the local 7anut to your house (allow for 30 minutes).
- Open buta tank’s safety seal (allow at least 30 minutes for first time; don’t give up! It’ll get easier with future tanks). You may need to saw it open with your Leatherman. Feel free to listen to the whole soundtrack of Spring Awakening while you work.
- Attach one end of hose to the valve and secure with valve clasp (1-2 minutes).
- Attach other end of hose to the stove and secure with valve clasp (20-30 minutes, depending on your strength and tenacity).
- Screw valve onto buta tank (2 minutes max).
- Make guacamole by adding salt to three pitted and mashed avocados, diced tomatoes and onions, and finely chopped cilantro (20 minutes). Store in fridge if you have one yet.
- Slice up chicken – breast, thigh, leg – into bite-sized portions (15 minutes).
- Tiyb chicken on stove with leftover onion, tomato, and cilantro, and add salt and any other spices at your disposal. Chili pepper and cumin work wonders (20 minutes). Set chicken aside.
- Cut potato into thin strips and fry in olive oil with a little salt. Bonus: this is a great way to determine whether your PC-provided smoke detector works (15 minutes).
- On a plate, make a bed of guacamole. Place chicken on the guacamole, and top it off with fries fresh from the pan. (3 minutes).
- Enjoy with potentially tainted water from your faucet or boxed, unrefrigerated, ultra-pasteurized 0% milk.
Total price: 470.5 DH (around $47), not including the Leatherman.
Total prep and Tiyb time: 2-3 hours, depending on how fast you realize you can saw the safety seal off the buta.
A few weeks back I went to a place called Tifunassine (“cows” in the Tamazight language) with my host sister and Kelly, another PCV near me. Here’s what we saw.
One of my host sisters