In an earlier article we covered the savoury side of Moroccan cuisine, here we’re looking at the sweeter dishes on the menu:
These sticky little pieces of taste heaven are similar to ring doughnuts and made from unsweetened, leavened dough. Once they have risen they are shaped and then deep-fried until they are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Served plain or with a liberal dusting of sugar, Moroccans usually eat them at breakfast or teatime. We recommend both, just to be on the safe side. Take a leaf out of My Moroccan Food blog and give them a go for yourself.
These are small, chewy Moroccan biscuits that come in a multitude of different flavours; chocolate, walnut, almond, coconut, and lemon are common. They are so versatile it’s easy to see how they came by their name – Ghriba means ‘The Mysterious’ in Moroccan Arabic – when you bite into one you never know what you might taste! One thing they all have in common is their ‘cracked’ appearance, caused by the hand-shaped dough growing in the oven. Try making them yourself with the help of this handy recipe.
On the surface it’s green tea infused with Moroccan mint and plenty of sugar (around a dozen cubes per pot), but it’s far more than that. Mint tea is an essential part of the Moroccan culture, and sharing it properly is a formal ceremony. It’s taken in different ways depending on who is making it and where you are; men often make theirs with heaps of sugar and flourishes, women less so. Southern Moroccans tend to serve the tea three times, going from strong and bitter to weak and sweet. To give it a go at home why not follow this recipe from The Spruce Eats blog?
Another form of biscuit, these chewy, crunchy cookies are commonly made during the month of Ramadan and used to break the day’s fasting. Consisting of long strips of dough, fried and then coated with sesame, turmeric and honey, Chebakia are traditionally shaped into a flower, which gives them their French name La rose des sables, or the desert rose. Find out more here.
Take some warqa pastry tubes (similar to flaky crisp filo pastry), fill them with sweet fillings such as spiced frangipane, almonds, citrus and pistachios, then coil them round and round to form a delicious celebration cake. These are indulgent and flexible – often created to be showstoppers, some mhencha have been known to cover entire tables! Try making your own using this excellent recipe.