Savory Moroccan Yogurt

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I did a healthy breakfast presentation last week, and one of the recipes I had fun creating was for yogurt in a jar, a make-ahead, grab and go breakfast.  But instead of the high-sugar yogurt + jam which makes up most of what’s available in the yogurt aisle, I decided to go the savory route.  This is, after all, how most of the yogurt-eating world (Greece and India, for example) eats yogurt– as a cooling condiment for spicy or salty food.  I thought it would be interesting to play on this theme in something with a little more texture.  I use a lot of spices– the first medicines–  in my food, so I thought about a flavor combination that would make for an intriguing, yet simple breakfast.  So my Savory Moroccan Yogurt was born.  Not only are the key ingredients– preserved lemon, chick peas, cilantro, roasted red peppers and harissa– reminders of a magical trip I took to Morocco last year, but the harissa is from the spice market I visited in Marrakesh.  Harissa refers to both a dry spice blend and a prepared condiment that is ubiquitous in Morocco.  It has slight heat from chiles balanced with coriander, paprika and garlic.  If you can’t find harissa locally, you could make your own blend from these spices.  While you’re at it, why not make your own preserved lemons? Visit my preserved lemons tutorial.

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The Doctor’s Spicebox Savory Moroccan Yogurt

Makes: two portions


1 cup plain Greek yogurt (Fage 2%)

2T cooked chickpeas

2T diced roasted red peppers

1/4 tsp harissa (try not to substitute, but if needed, use cayenne + garlic powder + ground coriander + paprika)

1/2 tsp fine Kosher salt, divided

1/2 tsp finely diced preserved lemon (rinds only); in a pinch substitute a squeeze of lemon juice and grated fresh lemon rind

finely chopped cilantro

extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Stir 1/4 tsp of the salt with Greek yogurt, then place Greek yogurt into jar or cup.
  2. Stir chickpeas and diced roasted red peppers with remaining salt and harissa, then spoon on top of the yogurt.
  3. Top with preserved lemon, cilantro and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. (Do not stir.)


Thanks for visiting! Have you had savory yogurt before? What are your favorite flavor combinations?

If you’d like to learn more about cooking with spices, join me in the Thrive Kitchen at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, where I teach monthly hands-on healthy cooking classes with global flavors.  I’ve just announced the 2018 Schedule, which is available at and also at the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Health Education webpage.  Hope to cook with you soon! To your health!