RECIPE: Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes with a Moroccan Twist

RECIPE: Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes with a Moroccan Twist

It's one of our favorite times of year where we give thanks, spend time with family, and...of course... eat! Here at Casablanca Market, we thought you might enjoy adding a bit of Morocco to your Thanksgiving. So, we asked our founder, Katia, to share her recipe for Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes with a Moroccan Twist.

Katia Essyad is native of Morocco and a lover of all things delicious. Her cooking has been directly inspired by her mother and the women she was brought up with--many of whom are Casablanca Market's artisans to this day. A self-taught chef with a passion for creating fabulous dishes, Katia loves using spices imported from Morocco and organic produce from local farmers. For this sweet potato recipe, she called for Moroccan preserved lemons, cinnamon, fresh ginger and black raisins.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 

3 medium sweet potatoes
½ sliced rind of preserved lemon
A pinch of saffron
½ tsp ground or fresh ginger
1 tsp of salt
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbs of black raisins
2 tbs of sugar
1 tbs of butter
A pinch of ground cinnamon

*Many of these ingredients are available on our Moroccan Food page here *


Step by step directions: 

  • Peel & cut sweet potatoes into bite-sized cubes and wash.
  • Cover in pot with 1 ½ cups of water.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 stick of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of ginger and a pinch of saffron.

    • Boil until tender. (15 minutes)
    • Strain.

    • Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in sauté pan and add Sweet Potatoes.
    • Add 2 teaspoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of black raisins, preserved lemons and ground cinnamon.

    • Saute for 4-5 minutes.

    And presto... your Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes with a Moroccan Twist are ready! Can be served hot or cold. 



    Handmade For Home

    This recipe is just a foundation. Please put yourself into the recipe wherever you sit fit. For example, our founder Katia loves butter and she’s known for adding a bit more in than the recipe calls for :) Double the raisins! Cut the butter! This is your recipe, we're just here to get you started. 


    Copyright 2016, Chef Casablanca, All Rights Reserved

    November 22, 2016 by Ally Labriola

    Presenting Our Annual Holiday Gift Guide

    At Casablanca Market, we're committed to working with local artisans from around the Mediterranean to bring you the best collection of handmade fine home goods and accessories from the region.

    In a time where most goods are mass-produced or disposable, we believe in investing in products that echo generations of tradition and unique skill. Here at Casablanca Market, we tend to think there is something just a bit more special about a gift that has a story behind it. Chances are, if you are reading this, you’ll agree as well!

    So, without further adieu... we present to you...our top ten picks from our marketplace for your consideration that are sure to make a lasting impression on your friends and family this holiday season. 


    1) Moroccan Tasty Treats

    A great gift for loved ones looking to cook up some new flavors in the New Year, head over to our Moroccan Food section in our marketplace. Adding our harissa, olives or preserved lemons to a recipe is sure to spice things up in more ways than one!


    2) Pom Pom Pillows & Blankets

    Snuggling up in one of our hand-sewn Moroccan blankets in front of a warm fire is just what everyone needs this holiday season. We’ve also got a great selection of Moroccan pillows to choose from as well. Our wide variety of pillows feature beautiful tones and organic geometric shapes-- making them practical, versatile and an easy way to play with pattern and color. Our top picks for this season goes to our Moroccan Black and White Pom Pom Blanket (pictured here) and Moroccan Embroidered Green Pom Pom Pillow. 


    3) Hand Painted Bowls

    This holiday season, treat a loved one to one of our hand painted bowls! Our fav this year goes to our Tapis Design Salad Bowl. Designed by our founder, Katia, this beautiful hand-made bowl takes a contemporary spin on a traditional shape.

    Her inspiration came from her love of stripes and a simple Berber motif she discovered on a vintage Beni-Ourain carpet. The Tapis Design Bowl is perfect for serving up sumptuous salads and impressing your dinner guests over the holidays!


    4) Moroccan Leather Poufs

    Planning on a few family gatherings during the holidays? Poufs are a great addition to any room as they can provide extra seating or serve as end tables or foot rests. Poufs look fabulous on their own or in multiples, and compliment any style of decor. This holiday season, might we suggest one of our most popular poufs-- the stylish yet functional Grand Luxury Leather Pouf.


    5) Hand Woven Market Baskets

    Perfect to use for shopping trips, picnics, going to the beach, a night out, storing grocery items or using as a holiday gift basket, our market baskets are all one-of-a-kind and hand woven with palm leaves. Our favorite basket right now is our Market Basket with Brown Straps (pictured here). Our market baskets are timeless, sturdy, reusable, 100% biodegradable and hand-woven by women artisans in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.


    6) Cooking and Serving Tagines

    With the holiday party season fast approaching, why not cook (or serve) your dish in one of our Moroccan tagines this year? For purists, our Unglazed Natural Tagine is the perfect stove top, oven or grill-friendly option to slow-cook up a flavor-filled dish. Once you've cooked in a tagine, you’ll never go back!


    7) Moroccan Tea Glasses & Tea Pots

    Charm your tabletops this holiday season with our Moroccan Tea Time Collection. All of our tea glasses are hand-painted and made exclusively with recycled glass--beautiful gifts with a beautiful story.  For vintage lovers, we suggest our Vintage Teapot and Tea Tray. Each hand hammered item boast beautifully intricate designs and a personal touch. Dating back to the 1960’s, each teapot and tray are stamped in the back by their maker in Fez.


    8) A Vintage Beni Ourain Rug

    All of our rugs are woven by Berber tribes living much like they did centuries ago. We are proud to say that our marketplace is home to an extensive collection of Vintage Beni Ourain Rugs. While we would love to suggest our favorite, it’s usually best to let the right rug chose you. This holiday season, consider a gift that is truly one of a kind, as no two Beni Ourain rugs are alike!


    9) Mr. Ali's Ceramic Mug

    One of our artisans, Mr. Ali, has been making ceramic mugs for over 30 years. His pottery skills were passed down to him from his father. Our favorite product by Mr. Ali is this hexagonal mug. Pair this uniquely designed mug with your favorite coffeeshop gift card, and you’ve got the perfect gift for that coffee or tea lover in your life.

    10) Hand Poured Candles

    Candles and the holidays go hand in hand-- so why not snuggle up this season with our colorful candles. These scented candles are hand-poured with handmade wax into hand-painted tea glasses— it doesn’t get much more “hands on” than that! Our favorite scent this year is our Orange Blossom Scent Tea Glass Candles. These perfect stocking stuffers are ideal for a relaxing night, a family gathering or a romantic candle-lit dinner.



    Why buy from Casablanca Market?

    Products from Casablanca Market are all beautiful, yet practical. Although they are handmade, they are by no means inferior in quality to others. Every product is made using traditional methods, but adapted to suit the modern market.

    For example, our woven pillows, which are traditionally made with wool in Morocco, are made with cotton to be more gentle against the skin. Color schemes also range from vibrant, traditional palettes to more muted, neutral colors to compliment any style of home.

    Most importantly, every product has a story behind it. By keeping our production in Morocco, our hardworking artisans are able to simultaneously preserve their Moroccan artistic heritage and earn a living from their world-class skills.

    For more about our mission, please visit

    November 14, 2016 by Ally Labriola

    Authentic Spanish Seafood Paella

    Serves 4



    • Heat oil in pan and sauté garlic until golden but not burned.
    • Add tomatoes, ”Tomate Frito” peas, shrimp and saffron.
    • Cook for a few minutes.
    • Add Bamba rice, stir well, cook 2 minutes, and then add stock, green peas, and 2 TSP of ”paella seasoning” .
    • Simmer for about 20 minutes.
    • Decorate with seafood a few minutes before rice is cooked.
    • 3-6 ”Piquillo Peppers” (sliced into strips) plus a few strips to use as garnish.
    • Cover paella with lid to poach seafood.
    • Stand for 8 minutes before serving.

    Enjoy your paella!

    May 20, 2016 by Katia Essyad

    Pass it on...

    As plastic bag tax slowly walks into more and more states, bringing a spare recycling bag with me becomes part of my everyday routine. However, these thin and cheaply-made fabric bags have such short lifespan that they just have to break whenever there are too much for me to carry around my arms! I really enjoy shopping with these straw baskets (like this one here), especially in the summer, matching these baskets with my sun-protective straw hat!

    What makes me even more excited is that these baskets are made by the hands of woman artisans living countries away from mine. Knowing that every basket they make is a way for them to gain dignity in their society, I am proud to be supporting them! These baskets are passed from their hands to mine, and now they can be passed to yours too.














    March 28, 2016 by Helen Chan

    Tea Party!

    Spring is here! Flowers are blooming. The weather is warming up, which means... it is time for a nice afternoon gathering with friends and family! I love holding mini parties in my backyard, chilling with soothing tea in hands. 

    My favorite house accessories to show off have to be my tea glasses and the silver teapot. They just get so many compliments as they are being passed around among my friends.

    March 23, 2016 by Helen Chan

    About Casablanca Market's Blog

    At Casablanca Market, we strive to be so much more than just a fair-trade e-commerce retailer.  Our mission is simple: to enhance the lives of our customers, to support our artisans, and to create community.

    Our website is where you’ll find everything from hand stitched ottomans to preserved lemons, colorful slippers to ceramic tiles. Our blog is where you’ll find what inspires us.

    Here, read stories about our artisans in the Mediterranean, try out our favorite recipes and tagine dinners, and discover décor ideas for your home and garden.

    Like what you see? We’d love to know! Tell us about it on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, and share some ideas and inspiration of your own.


    March 23, 2016 by Katia Essyad

    Three Creative Ways To Use Your Moroccan Rug

    So you bought a brand new Casablanca Market rug and you don’t know exactly what to do with it. You can start out by putting it in your bedroom, child room, living room or mounting it on a wall in your house. For those of us who have a bit of a harder time figuring out what to do with your new beauty, this is a life hack:

    Hack number 1: Take it to the Bed… room! Follow  this handy guide to adjust your rug so it enhances your space and makes it look more spacious and chic!

    Hack number 2: Take it to park! Rag rugs are our favorite ones for this! The colorful tones and the contrast of the soft rugs versus the grass is perfect! You can even flip it the other way around for a smooth and cushiony lounge. Pair them with some contrasting poufs, bring your favorite book, a pair of sunnies and maybe even a tea set for your perfect day at the park!

    Hack number 3: Frame it! That’s right, we said frame it! Our rugs are mostly one of a kind, so why not show them off? Don’t forget, these pieces are handmade by artisans who follow traditions that are hundreds of years old and are still happening. Every piece tells a story, which is  why we encourage you to shop artisanal. Not because it’s trendy but because it’s genuine, like you. So get your set of power tools and DIY your own frame or simply nail it to the wall (in the negative spaces of the rug to avoid damage) and you’re set for a beautiful and classic piece of versatile decor.


    With all the love,


    January 03, 2016 by Katia Essyad