Welcome to the Kingdom of Morocco, country of Imazighens! The history of Moroccan cuisine, which is of Imazighens (Swassa, Ryafa and Zayanes), Jews, Andaloussi and Sahrawi origins, stretches back for several centuries and was able to adapt itself to changes and different modern ingredients from period to period. Moroccan cuisine is rated among one of the most cleverly balanced cuisines, with strong focus on rich flavours, aromas, texture, presentation, and perfect choice of spices and fresh ingredients, thus leading Moroccans to pride themselves on eating tasty, delicious and traditional food on a daily basis. Several Moroccan dishes have become increasingly popular now in other parts of the world (North of America, Australia and Western Europe) and it is no surprise that some neighbouring African countries have adopted the Moroccan Style Flavour. Welcome to my Blog!

20 Jul 2014

A new Fatwa issued: The salafiste Abou Naïm calls for the execution of Mr Ahmed Assid

Mr Ahmed Assid, a Moroccan-Imazighen, one of the bravest secular activist and most intelligent philosopher in Morocco, whose hard work has earned him the title of “Protector of Moroccans-Imazighen” has recently received Fatwa, a death threat by a Moroccan-Salafist, Imam and Chikh, called Abou Naïm.

Mr Assid has been working tirelessly to protect the Imazighen culture and heritage (Swassa, Ryafa, Zayanes and Hassaniyine), and his numerous extensive writings in different newspapers chronicle his social, political and religious opinions. Mr Assid's work has not been limited to illuminating Imazighens' voice, he is also known for his fierce opposition to the deadly effects of Islamic-fundamentalism-salafism in Kingdom of Morocco. Imazighens who make up the vast majority of Moroccan population have been trapped between the Salafism and Arabism, both, have been controlling their way of life for a long time, so Mr Assid is suggesting that now it's time to choose either secularize or fall in the Salafists' basket.

Mr Assid does not only stand defiant as Imazighens' supporter but also stands by his belief in secularism that the governing state in Morocco should be separated from religious institution and that all Moroccans are equal before the law no matter what their beliefs are, no matter what their origins are; whether they are Imazighens, Jews, Saharawis, Arabs, Sub-Saharan, Asians and Christians (especially Moroccans ex-Muslims who have been converted to Christianity but live in fear because of a recent Fatwa issued by a Salafist-fundamentalist, who called for the execution of all ex-Muslims-Moroccans, who in contrast with Moroccan-Jews, do not have a legal status that guarantees their rights as a minority-Christians in Morocco).

24 Jun 2014

Top Two (2) Feel-Home Food for Ramadan in Morocco: Sellou or Slilo, a Unique Unbaked Moroccan Sweet for Ramadan!

You can read my article at Morocco World News by clicking on the link below:
The Culture Of Sellou : The Top Feel-Home Food For Ramadan!

I always spend my two weeks before Ramadan baking up a storm, but this year is exceptional! I've received a few orders from my blog readers and friends, willing to buy my chabakia and sellou, and this has been the longest uninterrupted two weeks pre-Ramadan ever.  I spent most of my time between work and baking, a lot of baking, but guess what? I loved it, it was a pure delight to me!

This year I made Sellou, version with roasted flour, click here to view the flourless version that I posted two years ago.
This is Tquawt (also known as Sellou or Slilo or Sfouf or Zmitta), this is definitively top feel-home food for Ramadan in Morocco.  It has so many different names but each name refers to the same nut-based paste, known as energy paste or brown mixture.  This is a unique Moroccan speciality which is made of amazing mixture of almonds, sesame seeds and other spices and flavourings. Sellou is not only impressive to look at, it is a taste buds pleaser too!

Although Sellou might seem complicated to make, it is actually a very easy recipe if you have the right tools and ingredients required.  Most Sellou recipes contain two basic nuts (Almonds and Sesame Seeds), which are blended along with regional and traditional spices into a thick rich paste. Though Sellou is one of several traditional dessert treats, served at Weddings, Newborn Ceremonies and other special occasions, it is particularly consumed in Ramadan during Ftour or Iftar (the evening meal that breaks the day-long fast), as it is very nutritious and gives instant energy. Actually, this has made Sellou synonymous with Ramadan.

Traditionally, Sellou is considered as a natural dietary remedy, and is recommended for nursing mothers as it has been known to increase the milk supply. Moroccan nursing mothers consume this nutritious and fortifying paste for at least 30 days after childbirth, and it really helps to increase milk secretion.

21 Jun 2014

Top One (1) Feel-Home Food for Ramadan in Morocco! Chabakia B'Kawkaw, this year! Also called Mkharqua in Fes Region and Griwich in Agadir Region and others!

This year I've chosen peanuts over almonds to make Chabakiya, and I was not disappointed, it turned out delicious! I am sure all Moroccans will agree with me if I put Chabakia on top of all the food prepared during Ramadan in Morocco. 

Traditionally, Chabakia is prepared one week ahead before the start of Ramadan, stored preciously to last, hopefully, for the whole month. No doubt, pictures of these sweet cookies will be downloaded all over social networks by Moroccans who celebrate Ramadan, shaped in different forms, but "roses" remain the most popular and the most famous.

As we know, Chabakia is made to be served along with Hrira (Harira), its sweetness works perfectly well with the sour taste of this delicious soup.
K. El Mary, Mamatkamal

Related Posts:

1 Jun 2014

Ramadan in Kingdom of Morocco ! What is Ramadan and when is Ramadan?

You can read my article at Morocco World News by clicking on the link below:
Ramadan in Kingdom of Morocco : Fasting and Traditions!

I often receive emails from my blog readers asking if it is ok to visit Morocco during Ramadan and what this celebration exactly means, and how long it lasts etc..., so I have decided to write this article to talk about Ramadan in Morocco, hoping it will be helpful and answer all your questions..

Ramadan {R A M A T H A N} in classic Arabic and Ramdan {R A M D A N} in Moroccan Darija is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and the most sacred of the twelve months of the year. The month of Ramadan marks the anniversary of the revelation of the Quoran (also spelled as Coran or Koran) to the Prophet Mohammed in the Cave of Hira.  During Ramadan, all Muslims around the world abstain from food and drink during the daylight hours. It is One (1) Month Celebratory Holiday, but there are also deeper spiritual meanings tied to this month.  Ramadan is not all about "Food" and "Drink", but it is an occasion that marks the beginning of the Month, during which all Muslims reflect upon their actions over the past year, seek forgiveness for their transgressions, purify their soul, refocus on spiritual practice and help the poor and needy.

The Fast starts the 1st day of the month of Ramadan according to the Islamic calendar, and since the Gregorian date changes every year, so whatever date Ramadan starts, it is assumed that it will start about 10-12 days earlier the following year, and so on.  Three years ago, Ramadan started on August 2nd, 2011 (I remember well the date, since it was my son Nassim's Birthday), and in 2012, the First Day of Ramadan was around July 20th or 21st, then in 2013, it was around July 11th or 12th.  So, this year 2014, Ramadan is likely to start around the end of June or beginning of July. Unfortunately, Muslims have never agreed on one day to start the Fasting of Ramadan because of the differences between Chiâa and Sunniyine (الشيعيون-السنيون ), so don't be surprised if some countries start their fasting with Arabia Saudia and others with Iran and Syria, no doubt, there are some political issues behind all these.  Generally, in Morocco, the 1st day of fasting is based on the moon sighting as it is the case for many other Muslim countries; however, two different opinions are implied here: some believe Ramadan should start at one (1) single moon sight regardless of the place, whereas others insist that the moon should be sighted in each locality of the country. Sadly in Morocco, Muslims would split on this issue, and there is always a group of people called "Ikhwan Muslimine =إخوان مسلمون " who fast one day before the rest of Moroccan Muslims, and even celebrate Eid adha one day before.  Ironically, the religion that is supposed to strengthen the ties of families, relatives and friends has been reduced to a spiritual tool by a minority religious group, leading us to separated paths and formation of distinctive groups.

Who should fast and who shouldn't?

All  Muslims should fast one month per year except:

1-Children under 16: are definitively not obliged to fast but this is again very controversial between Chiâa and Suniyine, and between the Islamists and social-modern Muslims.  Quoran doesn't specify exactly the age when to start fasting, but as parents, we are responsible for our children's well-being and it goes without saying, a little of common sense should be used here, and NEVER force a child to fast. Forcing children to do Ramadan is an inhuman, irresponsible parenting act and just wrong.  During Ramadan, some Islamists-Extremists force their children to fast at the age of seven (7) years old, and they will proudly repeat in front of friends and family how "good Muslim" is their child, who already fasts the whole month at this very early age. I think we need to create sort of new jobs with the title "Ramadan Social Workers"!

However, I do believe it's good to allow the children to find out what Ramdan feels like, by letting them fast a few hours or even half day if they can and as long as fasting does not physically harm their health.  Ramadan should be a good childhood souvenir instead of a horrifying physical experience, and of course as the children mature, they will eventually embrace their parents' religious beliefs and understand the meaning of Ramadan, just like we all did!

2- Travellers: if you are travelling, it is permitted to break the fast, provided that you make up the missed day when you can.

3-Pregnant and breastfeeding women : should not fast, since this will definitively harm their babies.  Drinking and eating on different hours during the day is quite important and vital if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. What you eat and drink will help your baby to develop and grow healthy!  Of course, these women can make up the missed days when they can.

4-Menstruating women, women with postpartum bleeding, women going through menopause and suffer from SEVERE migraine : should not fast since blood loss frequently results in fatigue, severe headache, stomach ache, dizziness, vomiting, physical weakness and bad mood. Of course, you can make up the missed days when you feel better after.

5- Old people, mentally sick people and people with diabetes should not fast. In general, if you are suffering from any sickness and you have to take medicine several times during the day, and you know that fasting is making your sickness worse and no better, you shouldn't fast. Listen to your doctor and use your common sense.  Ramadan should be a happy and healthy celebration and not a torture.

Zakat الزكاة:

Ramadan is viewed as the Month of giving and generosity and all Muslims have the obligation to assess and pay their "Zakat" during Ramadan. Zakat is the arabic word for the acts that we call "Charity" as known in English language, and it refers to the obligation that all Muslims have to donate a certain proportion of their wealth each year.  However the act of  "Charity" is quite different from the obligation of Zakat in Islam.  If Charity suggests a magnanimous act by a small group of people who are very wealthy and powerful for the benefit of the poor or a certain institution, Zakat is rather a mandatory process, and not considered as a magnanimous act. It is obligatory upon all Muslims to give a certain percentage of their wealth and assets each year to the poor and needy.  Zakat is viewed as an act of justice, fairness in taxation, and a duty, so it's every Muslim's responsibility to find out exactly the amount of money he/she should donate at the end of Ramadan. Some Muslims use Zakat calculator or ask help from specialists to define the right amount for Zakat.

Food and preparation for Ramadan:

Even if Ramadan means fasting all day from dawn to sunset, this does not mean "Light Food or Less Cooking". Actually, in Morocco, there are so many traditional, rich and versatile dishes made specially for Ramadan and which differ widely from one region to another.  The main meal in Ramadan is called "FTOOR" in Darija  (known in Arabic as "IFTAR"), which means the end of fasting at sunset.  Ftoor is a happy, special occasion for all families to get-together around the table, listening to Quoran, or to Tarab Andaloussi (Moroccan Classic Music), or simply watching TV, chatting, sharing recipes, etc.....  Ftoor, an important meal which lasts for a good couple of hours, happens just after the sunset after Maghreb prayer, and this meal is served surrounded by all family members, and sometimes Ftoor is served on 3 or 4 tables especially during the four (4) weekends of this month, it is pretty much akin to Christmas Night!

During the few days before Ramadan arrives, everyone becomes excited especially children and mums: children because they know Ramadan means less hours at school, less exams, less homework and most importantly a lot of special and traditional treats on the table every single day for 30 days. It is almost like a party atmosphere every night for the happy children.  As for mums, they are responsible for a well stocked pantry and an essential list of ingredients to have on hand before the start of Ramadan, and the dads have to pay the bills, of course. If you go to the Souk or market few days before Ramadan, you can see mums shopping, hustling and bustling about preparing the most popular Ramadan treats in Morocco i.e. Chabakiya, the famous tressed cookies soaked in honey, Krachel, Hrira, Briwat, Mini-Bastilla, Salloo, Rziza, Mssamen, Malwi, Baghrir, Harsha etc... That's why, exactly one week before Ramadan, Morocco streets are transformed into Food Workshops and Iron Food Competition!

26 May 2014

Frifra -Moroccan Fan-Shaped Cookies / Petit-Four Marocain Frifra!

It was not until the 60s and 70s that Moroccan cookies started to take different and funny shapes and this is due to primarily to advances in food manufacture and availability of cookies molds, which are made either in metals or wood.  Before, the pastry dough was shaped into circles or moon (Ka3b Lghzal), using a tea glass to cut a cookie dough or simply our hands to shape the dough balls.

One of the cookie cutter which is quite popular in Morocco is "Frifra" [F R Y F R A], which means "Fan". These cookies actually have pretty much the exact same flavour and texture as Ghriba.  The bite will melt in your mouth, getting a nice little hum of heart warming ginger flavour, followed by a sweet yet subtle kick of mixture of sesame, green aniseeds and poppy seeds. These are one of my customers' favourite cookies, after Ka3b Lghzal (Corne de gazelle) and Chbakiya, of course!
Grâce à l'invention et développement de plusieurs moules à biscuits, plus en plus accessible aux mamans et grand-mamans durant les années 60s et 70s au Royaume du Maroc, les petits-fours Marocains ont enfin pu changer leur ancien look rond.  Ces moules à biscuits sont présentés de toutes sortes et formes, faits soit à base de métal ou de bois.  Avant l'apparition de ces moules aux Souks (marchés), les verres de thé étaient le seul choix pour découper la pâte en cercles ou tout simplement nos mains pour former des petites boulettes. Ainsi, plusieurs biscuits de différentes formes sont devenus populaires dans les années 60s et se sont trouvés une place sur nos tables pour célébrer les occasions particulières de chaque 3id.  La particularité de tous ces biscuits c'est qu'ils sont moulés à l'aide d'un moule spécial et le nom qu'on leur donne reflètent leur look.

Celui que je poste aujourd'hui est connu sous le nom de "FRIFRA" qui veut dire "Ventilateur" et dont la texture et le goût ressemble bien à celle de Ghriba, tellement délicieux! Ces biscuits partent toujours comme des petits pains, ils sont bien appréciés par mes clientes, et je ne suis pas surprise puisque ils possèdent une saveur chaude et brulante avec le mélange de gingembre, graines de sésame, d'anis vert et de nigelle.  Une Explosion de saveur du Maroc assurée!
K. El Mary, Mamatkamal

14 May 2014

Liponja Maskouta (Meskouta) - Moroccan Sponge Cake!

Liponja Maskouta (Kika) -Moroccan Sponge Cake
This is a huge Liponja Maskouta (Kika) about 10 cm high, one of those spongy, light and fluffy cake that you like to serve for special occasions.  This one is flavoured with a hint of cinnamon spice, honey, almond and Moroccan tea. Plain Maskouta cake is quite possibly my favourite cake of all the ones I've made and tasted, and I've already posted one or two recipes of this delicious cake in my blog, because it is tasty, soft, moist, and easy to make.  It's the kind of everyday cake I like to enjoy with Moroccan tea.  But now after trying several creamy Meskoutas, I am afraid I'm not quite ready to commit that plain version is my absolute favourite.

1 May 2014

Richbond (Mshimisha or Halwat Samira Bent Saïd [Kifach Tla9ina] or Moroccan Snow Balls / Richbond (Mchimicha ou Boules de Neige à la Marocaine)

كْوِيراتْ الثلْجْ
حلوة ريشبوند
حْلْوَة سميرة بْنْتْ سْعيدْ

It's one of those cookies that I vaguely recall as being pretty popular in the 60s, 70s and 80s, and I still see them on Moroccan tea-tables frequently.  They are too soft, extremely moist and much melt-in-your mouth, special to serve, yet easy on any one's baking budget. This is a simple and traditional cookies passed on from mother to daughter, they taste really great, and as far as I know, they have four names and maybe more:

15 Feb 2014

لنشوبة أو شطون ديال الفران/Moroccan Style Roasted Anchovies / Anchois au four à la marocaine!

Moroccan Style Roasted Anchovies
Anchois au four à la marocaine
لنشوبة أو شطون ديال الفران
Some people have an intense dislike for anchovies and at just the mention of the name of these tiny little creatures, they will turn up their nose, and I don't blame them if the only anchovies they've ever tasted are those over-salty, fishy and dried-up fillets that seem mostly bones, thrown on top of each takeaway seafood pizzas.

9 Mar 2013

Shamiya (Shameeya)-Kikat Smida-Harchat Fran-Moroccan Semolina Cake / Chamia-Gâteau marocain à la semoule!

حلوة السّْميدة
حرشة الفران
Shamiya or Shameeya / Chamia
Dwaz Atay - دْوازْ أَتايْ

This traditional Moroccan Cake version doesn't include sugar syrup, instead, the cake is topped with a delicious date/almond glaze. This is one of the cakes that makes me feel Moroccan-Soussiya down to the tips of my toe nails! There are times when something very sweet and old fashioned, is exactly what you need for a winter dessert after a comforting meal, and for me, it has always been either Meskouta or Shamiya, served with some fresh whipped cream or even plain, bringing a smile of nostalgia as I recall my mother and grandmother making this exquisite, yet simple cake!  The use of semolina in this cake provides a unique perfect texture that will impress you, and you will not be able to hear yourself think or talk, let alone talk to anyone around you! It is so popular in Morocco that you can see several old or young vendors, nearly anywhere, carrying plastic or wood trays packed with freshly made Shamiya. There are a lot of different Shamiya recipes in Morocco, but this is my favourite and it is an absolute family recipe treasure that I would love to share with you today.

8 Mar 2013

How to make Date/Almond Glaze, the Southern Morocco (Swassa- Imazighen) version! / Comment préparer glaçage aux dattes et amandes (version marocains de Souss)!

الثّْمْرْ مْعْسّْلْ
 Date Glaze
Glaçage aux dattes

This cake/cookie glaze recipe is must make if you love almond and dates. It is a rich glaze used to top or fill any type of cake, brioche, bread ex. shameeya, maskouta, bashkito, 9rachel, or any pastry of your choice.  For stiffer glaze to top bachkito, use less water or juice and more date paste.

1 Feb 2013

âwinat mchicha / Cat's Eye Ghriba / Ghriba Œil-de-Chat!

عْويناتْ مْشِيشَة
 âwinat mchicha (3winat Mchicha)
Cat's Eye Ghriba
Ghriba Œil-de-Chat!
Dwaz Atay 

These "3winat Mchicha", which literally means "Cat's Eye" are little Moroccan almond round cookies of deliciousness, with a little hole in the centre filled with jam of your choice. Personally, I like to use apricot jam so the cookies look more like a "cat's eye", but my children prefer more strawberry jam.  It doesn't matter which jam you use, any flavour works!

31 Jan 2013

سْبيعاتْ لَلاَّ / Sbi3at (Sbiâat) Lalla / Lady Fingers / Doigts de Madame

سْبيعاتْ لَلاَّ 
Sbi3at (Sbiâat) Lalla 
Lady Fingers

حلويات مغربية من بلد المملكة المغربية - Moroccan Lady Fingers, Doigts de Madame -Sbi3at Lalla
These crunchy, chewy and delicious Moroccan cookies are truly a sweet treat. They are not difficult to make, but it would be useful to follow a step-by-step recipe to perfect them.  Every time I make these, they never last more than 1/2 hour!  My sons call them "1/2 Hour Cookies"!

23 Jan 2013

الدّْويدة / Dwida or Moroccan Worm Cookies!


I do remember so vividly from my childhood these yummy cookies, whose name is derived from Moroccan Darija word "Dwida" [Pronounced as D W E E D A], meaning "small or little worm".  As Dwaz Atay, Dwida was really very popular in the 70's and 80's in Morocco, with slight differences in shaping them from one region to another; some formed them into a crescent or moon shape as Cornes de gazelle, others preferred to mould the batter into a snail or snake shape.  Everyone used to customize these lovely cookies shape, depending upon their mood or the occasion!

14 Dec 2012

كيسان سْلُّو باللُّوزْ وْ شْكْلاطْ/ Kissan Sellou Blouz o Choklat / Chocolate-Amlou Cups With Sellou Crust / Tartelettes au Chocolat et Amlou sur Croûte Sellou! Hello 2013 and Happy New Year

كيسان سْلُّو باللُّوزْ وْ شْكْلاطْ

This incredibly addicting dessert is super crispy outside and so soft inside, a perfect treat for the lovers of the classic chocolate and almond combination!  It has enough of a chocolatey flavour to make my boys, avid chocolate and sellou lovers, happy, and one is never enough when it comes to munching those sweet treats. Last time I made 24 of those, hoping to have some leftover, well the boys just ate them all in a day and I can't blame them, these look horrendously addictive and whenever I make them, I try to keep my hands away from them, so I'm happy they never last more than one day!!!
K. El Mary (Mamatkamal)

11 Dec 2012

غريبة بْالثّْمْرْ وْ اللُّوزْ /Moroccan Almond and Date Ghriba-Cookies / Ghriba aux Dattes et Amandes!

غريبة بْالثّْمْرْ وْ اللُّوزْ

Dates are one of the most popular dried fruit in Morocco, we eat them anytime, though mostly during Ramadan, but any occasion is a good excuse to buy them, serve and eat them with almost everything: harira, inside harsha, ghriba, kaab ghzal (corne de gazelle), in some sweet tagines, in yogurt, in fruit salad, sweet seffa ... the love for those lovely dates is that intense!

22 Nov 2012

كعك وجدي/كعك وجدة/Kaâk Wejdi (Oujda ou Wajda) / Moroccan Sunny-Shaped Cookies with Anise, Fennel and Sesame Seeds /Brioches d'Oujda ou Biscuits Marocain sous Forme de Soleil à Base de Graines de Fenouil, d'Anis et de Sésame!

كعك وجدة
كعك وجدي
This is really one unique, delicious, crunchy cookie, a classic recipe from Oujda town (also called Wajda), the largest city in the East of the Kingdom. The richness of Moroccan sweets and pastry lies in its unlimited and huge diversity.  Every city, every village makes their own version of cookies, but in vastly, surprisingly different ways.  If Corne de Gazelle are considered in Fes, Tetouan, and Marrakesh as the top speciality, this typical Kaâk Wejdi  is the staple Dwaz Atay (sweets) in the East side of the Kingdom. Every region has its proudest speciality!

26 Oct 2012

Vanilla Ghriba Bahla (Moroccan Vanilla Shortbread or Cookies) / Ghirba au vanille (Sablé Marocain à la vanille )

 One of my favourite ingredients in my kitchen is fresh vanilla beans, but unfortunately they are not cheap, they come second after saffron on the list of the most costly spices. For Eid Adha, I made these special ghribas which turned out great and even one of the most delicious ghriba I've ever made!  These  beauties were just out-of-this-world and absolutely delicious!

4 Oct 2012

Bushkito ou Bachkitto B'Tmar / Moroccan Cookies with Date Filling/ Biscuits Marocains aux Dattes

بْشْكِيطُو بْالتّْمْرْ
Bushkito ou Bachkitto B'Tmar 

These sweet goodies, called in Morocco "Bushkito B'Tmar", have two layers of delicious and crunchy bushkitos, sandwiched with date filling and they are definitely type of cookies that get better the next day. My boys and me demolished them within one day, they're so more-ish!.

19 Sep 2012

طجين القُوقْ وْ الجَّلْباَنة/Green Tagine!Moroccan Stew with Beef, Artichoke and Peas/Tajine Vert! Tajine Marocain aux Petits Pois et Artichauts!

Serves 4 people / Pour 4 personnes
Preparation Time: 1 h  / Temps de préparation: 1 h 
Cook Time: 3 h / Temps de cuisson: 3 h 

طجين القُوقْ وْ الجَّلْباَنة
 Click the link below to learn more! / Cliquez sur le lien pour en savoir plus!

This is a Moroccan classic recipe of Artichoke and Peas Tajine with beef, all flavoured with saffron and ginger. Beef may be substituted for lamb or chicken. If you use chicken, omit paprika and tomatoes, then add some preserved lemons and green olives.  It is a very popular dish with the perfect combination of flavour and vegetables.

1 Sep 2012

Ghriba with Coconut and Semolina/Moroccan Coconut and Semolina Cookie/ Ghriba Marocaine à la Semoule et à la Noix de Coco

غريبة الكوكو وْ السّْميدة
These are the divinely simple Moroccan cookies, moist and chewy inside while still maintaining a fun crisp crust outside, they are called "Coconut-Semolina Ghriba".  This is one of my favourite treats as a child and I always loved making them with my mum right from childhood. I used to help her shaping the sticky dough into ghriba balls, and this is another story because this part was a very messy affair, but the best role I liked most was dusting them with icing sugar, I mean a lot of icing sugar. My mother always maintained that in our beloved country, Morocco, there are so many happy occasions to celebrate due to the multicultural population, thus each day in the year was a happy excuse to make those lovely ghribas, and as she used to say "No occasion is complete without Ghriba to sweeten our palette"!.

11 Aug 2012

Meskouta or Kika Yoghurt / Moroccan Yoghurt Cake / Meskouta au Yaourt / Gâteau Marocain au Yaourt!

مْسْكوتة بالرّيْبْ

After a very busy week with Eid Adha Celebration and wondering how to entertain my three lovely boys during the half term, I invited a good friend and her two wonderful boys round for Moroccan tea and decided to do a bit of stress-free Friday afternoon, by baking a Meskouta Yoghurt,  a well-known simple butterless cake, which I make quite often as it is really easy!  I have already posted a Meskouta Recipe a few months ago, and this one is similar, just adapted to yoghurt flavour.

17 Jul 2012

المْخَرْقَة-الشّباكيّة/ Chebakia or Chebakiya (Mkharqua-Mkharka-Mkhar9a)/The Classic Moroccan Flower Cookies / Chabakia ou Chebakiya ou Tresses (Roses) au miel!

Since I was young I've always been intrigued by these sesame/honey cookies, called in Morocco "Chebakia", not only for their beautiful flower shape but also because they are surprisingly delicious sweet treats and I love all the flavours in them!  Chebakia is one of the luxurious, tasteful, traditional and special occasion sweet, served without fail on Moroccan Ramadan table with Harira on Ftour (Iftar) meal.  However; in some regions in Morocco, chebakia is also served at wedding ceremonies and other special feasts.  Traditionally, few days before Ramadanthe whole family usually gets together to make large numbers of these cookies, which are customarily shaped like a rose, symbolizing "Respect and Love". 

8 Jul 2012

تقاوت/سْلّو/سْلِيلُو/سْفُوفْ/زمّيطة/Tquawt or T9awt (Flourless version of Sellou or Slilou)/Tquawt ou Sellou ou Sfouf (Version Sellou Sans Farine)!



You can read my article at Morocco World News by clicking on the link below:
The Culture Of Sellou : The Top Feel-Home Food For Ramadan!

This is Tquawt (also known as Sellou or Slilo or Sfouf or Zmitta), this is definitively top feel-home food for Ramadan in Morocco.  It has so many different names but each name refers to the same nut-based paste, known as energy paste or brown mixture.  This is a unique Moroccan speciality which is made of amazing mixture of almonds, sesame seeds and other spices and flavourings. Sellou is not only impressive to look at, it is a taste buds pleaser too!

Although Sellou might seem complicated to make, it is actually a very easy recipe if you have the right tools and ingredients required.  Most Sellou recipes contain two basic nuts (Almonds and Sesame Seeds), which are blended along with regional and traditional spices into a thick rich paste. Though Sellou is one of several traditional dessert treats, served at Weddings, Newborn Ceremonies and other special occasions, it is particularly consumed in Ramadan during Ftour or Iftar (the evening meal that breaks the day-long fast), as it is very nutritious and gives instant energy. Actually, this has made Sellou synonymous with Ramadan.

Traditionally, Sellou is considered as a natural dietary remedy, and is recommended for nursing mothers as it has been known to increase the milk supply. Moroccan nursing mothers consume this nutritious and fortifying paste for at least 30 days after childbirth, and it really helps to increase milk secretion.

25 Jun 2012

Stuffed Buttermilk and Argan Oil Harsha / Stuffed Harsha with Black Olives and Cheese/ Harcha au lait de beurre et l'huile d'argane, farcie aux Olives Noires et Fromage!

I already talked about harsha (harsha ) in my last post a few months ago, so I won’t blab again (Here is the Link for my last post about this bread).  I frequently turn to this stuffed harsha when there is no bread to serve with Harira or any type of soups for supper.  This is a classic harsha recipe that lends itself to endless possibility and variation.  I like to use cheese cream with coriander, but you can use any herbs or soft cheese that suit your preference, and you can use either fresh or buttermilk powder.

18 Jun 2012

"Morocco Version" of French Beignets (Sweet Doughnuts or Donuts)/Version Marocaine du Beignets Sucrés!

It is raining sugar!
A few weeks ago, I had a hankering for French Beignets, pronounced as (BAI-NYEE), a sugary pastry, very popular in Morocco as well. Like North-American version doughnuts (donuts), beignets are a French puffy deep-fried pastry, circle-shaped, and without a hole, served hot, garnished with caster or icing sugar.  However, unlike North-American doughnuts, beignets tend to be very light and airy with a hollow centre cavity that is usually filled with jam, crème patissière, melted chocolate etc......

8 Jun 2012

Black olives and Fresh Herbs Toghrift (Batboot)/Batbout aux herbes et olives noires!

Sure, I've already posted toghrift bread recipe, but here I switched things up a little bit by adding black olives, coriander/parsley and spices to the dough. Green olives would also be nice. The result is a very tasty, soft and spicy bread, the perfect accessory to any meal!

5 Jun 2012

عصير الرّْمّانْ /Pomegranate and Strawberry Smoothie, Moroccan Style! / Jus Panaché aux Grenades et Fraises, à la Marocaine!

 عصير الرّْمّانْ

In Coran or Quoran = القرآن, it is called the "Fruit of Paradise"!  In Moroccan Darija, we call it "Rman = R-MAN" = الرّْمّانْ, it is the Pomegranate Fruit!  I have wonderful childhood memories of eating and enjoying this fruit, and have loved eating these gorgeous ruby red seeds since I was a child, especially when served for desserts.  My mother would break open three or four pomegranates, fill up a bowl of those ruby-like seeds, add a segment of mandarin and some fresh orange juice, then sprinkle some icing sugar and ground cinnamon on top, then finally add the magic touch of orange blossom water. So delicious!

31 May 2012

إِباوْنْ- مْنْكوبْ/Mangoob/Moroccan Broad or Fava Bean Salad/Salade Marocaine aux Fèves Fraîches (Mangoub)!

مْنْكوبْ - إِباوْنْ 
We call them "Ibawn =إِباوْنْ " in Tachalhit or Imazighen, and "Fool" or "Ful = فُولْ ", in Moroccan Darija, elsewhere they are commonly known as fava beans, broad beans, horse beans or windsor beans etc.... When I was a kid, I tried to grow fava beans in a glass!  So I got a clear drinking glass, put some shredded newspaper to hold my beans inside, then put 4 or 5 fresh shelled fava beans in the center and poured a few cm of water. I was sure I could actually make fava beans sprout in my glass!  So there sat my glass, on our kitchen windowsill, and dutifully I watered or rather over-watered the beans every single day, waiting several weeks for a sprout to appear or for something or anything to emerge. Nothing, I gave up on my fava beans!

21 May 2012

طجينْ الكْفْتَة وْ الْبيظْ/KBM/Moroccan Kefta Tagine with Tomato and Eggs!/Tajine Kefta Marocain aux Oeufs et Tomates (Kefta bel bayd w maticha)!

طجينْ الكْفْتَة وْ الْبيظْ
Click the link below to learn more! / Cliquez sur le lien pour en savoir plus!

Today I'm sharing KBM, which is a Moroccan Kefta Tagine that I made a few weeks ago ("K" stands for Kefta, "B" for bayd, which means eggs, and "M" for Maticha, which means tomato).  I've received several e-mails from readers, requesting the recipe for this dish, and first I would like to apologize for the delay.  Kefta Tagine is a divine meal prepared with tomatoes, kefta and eggs, and the happy marriage of these three (3) ingredients has made this Tagine the national dish in Morocco, after of course Bastilla or Pastilla (Moroccan Pie)Couscous/SaksouSafa/Seffa and Mrouzia/Mroaziya.

16 May 2012

أسْكِّيفْ/حْسُوَّة/حْرِيرة البِيظَة/Warm up with Moroccan Cornmeal porridge!/Soupe Blanche à Base de Farine de Maïs à la Marocaine!

أسْكِّيفْ/حْسُوَّة/حْرِيرة البِيظَة

It’s so interesting how people choose their favourite breakfast dish from all around the world. Some start their day with eggs, beans, sausages, potatoes, tomatoes, rice, filled buns, toasts, croissants etc.... and others will drink a bowl of Askif, as my mother used to have for breakfast!  Askif (AS-KEE-F) is a dish made by boiling some types of flour, corn, semolina, barley flakes or grits, etc.... in water, or milk, or both (but usually milk is added at the end of cooking), and then the whole thing is stirred up like a soup. In some regions of Morocco, other grains, spices, seeds, herbs and vegetables are added to make Askif.

10 May 2012

عصير الحامض الخْظْرْ- بُوعْوِيدْ/Pear and Lime Smoothie/Milkshake, Moroccan Style! / Jus Panaché aux Poires et Lime (Citron Vert), à la Marocaine!

عصير الحامض الخْظْرْ- بُوعْوِيدْ

All you need is add a decorative paper umbrella to accompany this juice, garnish with a lime wheel and it will make you feel like you are in Agadir Beach, relaxing under the sun with toes in the sand!  The combination of sweet pears and sharp lime is invigorating.  The lime adds a nice and sharp flavour to the pears and keep them from turning brown. I had to add a drop of orange blossom water, I am such a sucker for that taste, but if you don't like it, a drop of natural vanilla extract will add some subtle flavour.
K. El Mary (Mamatkamal)

12 Mar 2012

مسكوتة بللّيمونْ وْ اللّوزْ / كيكة /Meskouta or Maskouta or Keeka/ Moroccan Orange and Almond Cake (Butterless Cake) / Maskouta ou Meskouta ou Kika, Gâteau Marocain à l'Orange et Amandes Sans Beurre!

مسكوتة بللّيمونْ وْ اللّوزْ

I still haven't replaced my broken oven and I really miss baking!  My boys love cakes and cookies, especially GhribaFekkasMacarons etc.... and I used to bake a lot of these, but now, it will be impossible to give them what they like, till I get a new oven. We just have to draw, temporarily, the line at dessert treats, our ultimate ending for our meal. We bake lots of things on the grill, microwave, or we just order takeaways, praying it will be fresh and good.  Here is a popular Moroccan Cake, called Meskouta [M S K O O T A], that I made a few days before my oven broke!

1 Mar 2012

أمْلُو /How to make Amlo Paste? / Comment préparer Amlou? Amlou de la région de Souss-Sud du Maroc (Pâte à tartiner à base d'huile Argan)!

Amlo (AM-LO) is a richly tasty mixture or spread made of organic roasted almonds mixed with Argan Oil and then sweetened at the end with Pure Honey.  Amlo is a great delicacy among the Imazighen or Shlooh, known as Swassa, living in the South of Morocco .  It is usually served with bread at breakfast, or as a filling with BaghrirMsamen ,  Harcha, Rziza, or Malwi or any sort of Crepes.  It is a widely used ingredient, especially in the South of the Kingdom, in cooking, dressing and baking i.e Cakes, Friandes, SauceBreadsalads etc...

16 Feb 2012

خبز المْحْراشْ/Moroccan Bread Mahrash / Pain Marocain Mahrach / Pain à la semoule d'orge (Khobz L'mahrach)!

خبز المْحْراشْ

One of my favourite things about my country culture is the Souk (السّوق = Local market) and for me, it has always been an interesting place to wander. I just like walking through the grand Bazaar, the narrow streets and enjoy the smell of freshly baked bread drifts from Frane (communal ovens = فْرّانْ), and all those aromatic, exotic, colorful spices.  The place is filled with vendors, very friendly who bargain with a smile on their faces, and little boys running, with schoolbags bouncing on their backs, all grins and full of energy, and women carrying wassla (االوصلة = Wood Tray) of bread on their heads, and old men selling bundles of fresh mint, absinthium, coriander, parsley and Mahrash Bread (or Marhrach = مْحْراشْ)!

14 Feb 2012

سبيعات لَلاّ مريم باللّوز / Lalla Mariam's Almond Fingers / Doigts Lala Mariam aux Amandes!

سبيعات لَلاّ مريم باللّوز

Those almond fingers, commonly known as "Sbi3at Lalla Mariam Blouz" are so delightful and delicately flavoured cookies from Morocco that have been enjoyed by both adults and children for generations, nibbling on them between sips of fresh mint tea.

12 Feb 2012

Potato Buns / Buns ou Pain Hamburger aux Patates (Pommes de terre)!

In fact I was planning to post this recipe along with many other pictures of potato doughnuts, pizza crust and brioches, few recipes I will be sharing soon, under the title "Potato Dough", but these buns turned out to be such a lovely treat on their own that they are really worth to be posted separately with a few praising words!

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