“The Mrouzia is delayed, because there are no black raisins” (maa maatetla la-mrouzia gir al zbib le-kahal), is a phrase Moroccan Jews use to describe a person who justifies their actions with vague excuses.
It is no secret why Mrouzia is at the heart of this phrase. This rich and spicy dish, with its intense flavors, is one of the highlights of Moroccan cuisine. The original Mrouzia is a dish of meat (usually lamb) and fat, with plenty of raisins and other dried fruits, a variety of nuts and local spices, such as Ras el Hanout, saffron and cinnamon. It is traditionally prepared in a slow-cooking tajine and served during Eid al-Adha, Feast of the Sacrifice.
Moroccan Jews have their own version. They cut the meat and most of the spices and focused on nuts and raisins, to arrive at what they call Mrouzia today – a rich and extremely thick jam, traditionally served at the table at Mimouna or on Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) by itself, as a filling for a cigar or on a bed of couscous.