Ifnouzen Couscous

Ark of taste
Back to the archive >

Ifnouzen o bouyefnouzen

IIfnouzen (or bouyefnouzen) is the couscous from the Moroccan Oases par excellence, above all Tafilalet oasis. It is prepared with local cornmeal mixed with dried and chopped medical sprouts. This product can be conserved for several months.

When the couscous is to be eaten, it is cooked in a special terracotta pot (known as a tagueddourt) for at least an hour. The contents are then poured out onto a plate and the medicinal sprouts and following ingredients are added: olive oil, a mixture of local spices (issoufar) and two tablespoons of sour butter. The entire mixture is then placed once again into the couscoussière for a second time. This time the mixture is left to cook for a varying amount of time, depending on how much ifnouzen you want to prepare. Once finished cooking, the product is placed on a large plate made of either terracotta or wood (tazlafte) and is eaten by hand, often with Lben (naturally fermented raw milk).

Ifnouzen is a kind of couscous that is prepared and consumed during the first weeks that medicinal sprouts come up. It is also consumed during various religious fests and celebrations tied to the agricultural calendar. This product is traditionally prepared by the Amazigh Berber community, in the Goulmima oasis. It is either prepared in small quantities for a family, or it can also be requested by family who live outside the oasis and even abroad. In any case, it is usually prepared for personal consumption.

Some time ago a coop of women began a more organized production process, hoping to raise awareness of this traditional product and its profound ties to the populations who live in the oases. The tendency towards modernization, in fact, has nearly eradicated the festivals dedicated to medicinal sprouts, an incredibly important plant for live in the oases. With the disappearance of these fests, so too the preparation of traditional foods, like ifnouzen couscous, is being forgotten.

Back to the archive >




Other info



Indigenous community:Tafilalet oasis