Sunday, September 1, 2013

Moroccan Harsha (Harcha)- Moroccan Semolina Flatbread

Harsha (Harcha) means "rough or coarse" in Moroccan Darija . It is a traditional Moroccan pan-cooked flatbread made with fine semolina .  It is often considered the Moroccan version of an English muffin, but its taste and texture are similar to cornbread if not better.

Harsha is typically served during Ramadan and occasionally for breakfast or an afternoon snack accompanied with moroccan mint tea. Harsha is served hot with butter and honey, or cheese, jam, chocolate (Nutella), eggs, almond butter, etc.

What You Need: 

2 cups fine semolina      
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp instant yeast 
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil 
3/4 cup warm water 

What To Do: 

 1.  In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Add oil and combine well until mixture is crumbly and grainy.  
2.  Add water, mix until a cohesive and a very moist dough is formed. 
VERY IMPORTANT: Harsha dough does not require kneading. All the ingredients are mixed well to form a wet ball. 
3.  Allow the dough to rest for 15-30 min to absorb the liquids. 
4.  Heat a non-stick pan or skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle a working surface with semolina, flatten the dough with hands to form a thick big disc (3 inches in diameter).
5.  Cut circles using a big cup, small bowl, or a big circular cookie cutter. 
6.  Cook the Harsha over a medium heat on both sides. About 4 min per side. 
7.  Serve hot with honey, butter, jam, cheese, and a hot cup of Moroccan Mint tea or coffee. 


Monday, April 1, 2013

Moroccan Green Peas with Eggs Tajine

This is a very easy and flavorful side dish that will make you fall in love with green peas. 

What You Need: 

1 large onion, finely diced
16 oz. frozen peas, thawed
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup fresh chopped parsley
4 eggs 
5 tbsp olive oil
1  1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ginger powder 
1 tsp turmeric 
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Pinch of saffron (optional) 

What To Do:

1. Heat the olive oil in a tajine or a large shallow saucepan. Add the onions and the  garlic, sautee for 1-2 minutes over medium heat.
2. Stir in the peas, half of the parsley, and cook for 5 minutes. 
3. Add the vegetable stock or water, cover and let simmer over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until tender. 
4. When the mixture is thick (to your liking), break the eggs over it.
5. Reduce the heat and cook for 3 minutes or until eggs are cooked. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley. Serve in the pan with bread or rice.

Bon Appetit! 


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cumin Kefta (Meatballs)

Have you ever had one of those days when you open the fridge or the pantry and just stare trying to figure out what to make for dinner? Well, stare no more, this is a super easy and delicious meal that you can whip out in less than 20 min.

What You Need:

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 egg
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1 Tbsp breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans tomato sauce

What To Do:

  1. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, garlic, egg, parsley, bread crumbs, and all the spice. Mix well.
  2. Shape into finger-shaped or round meatballs. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and brown them on both sides. (Better to work in batches so meat could brown properly).
  4. In a large saucepan, add the tomato sauce, same amount of spices used in the meatballs mixture. Let simmer for 5 min.
  5. Add the browned meatballs and cook for 7-10 min.
  6. Serve with cooked pasta, white rice, bulgur, or crusty French bread.
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Monday, December 27, 2010

"La3dass"- Moroccan Lentils Stew

This is a very simple, delicious, and nutritious dish that will surely warm you up this winter. It can be served as a meal on its own with chunky crusty bread to mop up the thick sauce.


What You Need:

1 16oz Dried lentils package
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
3 garlic gloves, crushed or chopped
1 Tbsp tomatoes paste
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (for spicier sauce, use 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp cumin
Pinch of Saffron
1 cup water

What To Do:
  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, add onions, garlic, lentils, all the spices, and sautee for 5 min. Add the tomatoes,tomato paste, chopped cilantro, and cook for an additional 5 min.
  2. Cover with water. Cook covered on high medium heat for 40-45 min or until lentils are tender. Check on the water level frequently. (If using a pressure cooker, cook on low-medium heat for 30 min).
  3. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve immediately with bread.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Maakouda- Moroccan Potato Patties

Maakouda(Moroccan potato fritters) is a very popular street food in Morocco. The potatoes are mashed and well seasoned with Moroccan spices, parsley, and onions. They can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or in a sandwich with tomatoes, lettuce, and onions.


What you Need:

4 medium potatoes
1/4 cup fresh cilantro,finely chopped
4 garlic, pressed or minced
1 egg
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper (or more)
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
1 tsp salt

2 eggs lightly beaten
oil for frying

What To Do:
  1. Making the potatoes Mixture: Peel and cut the potatoes in quarters and boil them until they are soft.
  2. Drain and mash them well with cilantro, egg, garlic, spices.
  3. Shape the potato mixture into cakes about 3" in diameter.
  4. Frying the potato cakes: Heat oil in a skillet, dip each pattie in the eggs, then in the flour (removing any excess), then fry in hot oil until deep golden brown- about 8 to 9 min per side.
  5. Serve the Maakouda warm.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Peanut Butter and Jam Cookies

These cookies are to die for!! They are easy to make and will surely satisfy your sweet tooth even if you don't like peanut better.

Peanut Butter & Jam Cookies

Adapted From Peanut Butter Cookies with Blackberry Jam

What You Need:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( I used Nestle's)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
1/2 packed cup light brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup strawberry jam (or blackberry)

What To Do:

  1. Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer, or by hand (what I did), mix the butter, peanut butter, 3/4 cup of sugar, and light brown sugar together until smooth.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until blended. Add dry ingredients & beat at low speed just until combined.
  5. Put the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl. Form the dough into 1/4 cup-size balls and roll in the sugar. Arrange 5 balls of dough, evenly apart, on each baking sheet. Using a round 1/4 teaspoon measure, or the thin end of a wooden spoon, make a hole in the center of each ball of dough, about 1/2 to 3/4-inch deep. Spoon 1 teaspoon of jam into each hole.
  6. Bake for 11 to 14 minutes until the dough has spread and the surface of the cookies are crackled. Cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes. Arrange the cookies on a serving dish and serve.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Namoura- Sweet Semolina Cake (Recipe 2)

Namoura is a sweet, savory semolina cake often called Basbousa in some regions of the Middle East. This cake is moist and scrumptious and will surely satisfy your sweet tooth.

I have previously shared a Basbousa Recipe and I am back with another Namoura/Basbousa recipe that was also successful. I just want to remind you all that the quality of the semolina makes a huge difference in taste and texture. So make sure you get the semolina that's made from durum wheat (yellow in color) and not from rice. Unlike the first Basbousa recipe, this Namoura recipe calls for two types of semolina: coarse and fine, which are both available in local Arabic stores or at Whole Foods.


Recipe adapted from DedeMed

What You Need:

1/2 cup fine semolina
2 cups coarse semolina
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 packet or 2 tsp dry active yeast
1/4 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp water
1/2 cup yogurt ( I used vanilla flavor)
1 cup milk
1 cup melted sweet butter
1/2 cups almonds or pistachios for garnishing
2 1/2 cup syrup

Syrup Recipe:

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
juice of 1/2 of a lemon
1 Tbsp rose water or orange blossom water

Combine sugar, water and lemon juice in a pot and let simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes then add the rose water and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely before serving.

What To Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 5 dry ingredients. In another bowl combine the yeast, water and 1/4 tsp sugar and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Mix the yogurt and milk until well combined. Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients and stir, slowly add the rest of the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
  4. Stir well until all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray, then pour in the cake mixture. The mixture should be a bit heavy.
  6. Smooth out the top of the cake. Decorate with almonds or pistachios or any nut of your choice.
  7. Bake for 50 min to an hour until the top is dark golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Remove the cake form the oven and poke small holes in the top with a knife so that the cake absorbs the syrup. Pour about 1 1/2 cup room temperature syrup on top of the cake, let it absorb then pour over the rest of the syrup(remaining 1 cup) and let the cake sit until completely cooled then serve.



Sunday, July 11, 2010

Moroccan Potato Spring Rolls

This spring roll recipe is easy to make, deliciously seasoned and infused with Moroccan spices. It makes a great appetizer or a side dish. Usually, tuna is added to the mixture, but since I am not a big fan, I just used potatoes.

What You Need:

2 medium potatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic crushed
2 Tbsp shredded cheese
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1 tsp hot chilli sauce (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp butter
Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 Tbsp water)
Spring Roll pastry
Oil for Frying

What To Do:
  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 20 min. Drain.
  2. In a big bowl, add the potatoes, cheese, garlic, parsley, butter, hot chilli sauce, and the rest of the spices. Mash and mix well until all ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Gently pull out each spring roll sheet from the package, lay it flat on a cutting board. Spoon some of the potatoes mixture and put on 1/3 of the spring roll.
  4. Fold both sides of the wrapper to the center. Roll tight and seal the end with egg wash. Click here for how to roll the pastry.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet, deep fry the spring rolls until olden brown. Drain on a paper towel and serve on a bed of lettuce.
  6. You can bake the rolls instead. Brush them with melted butter and bake them in a 400 degrees oven for about 10 min or until golden brown.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mexican Pizza

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE (major understatment) Mexican food. I try my best to make Mexican dishes at home, at least I control the calories. This Mexican Pizza is delicious, very filling, easy and super fun to make. You can adjust the ingredients to your liking and you can choose your toppings.

Recipe Adapted from Delicious Meliscious

What You Need:

1/2 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced (optional)
1 package taco seasoning
1/4 cup water
4 wheat tortillas
cooking spray
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 can (8 ounces) refried beans
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup taco or enchilada sauce
1 cup shredded cheese
sliced olives, optional

What To Do:
  1. Over medium heat, cook the ground beef until brown, drain. Return to the heat and add the onion & pepper, taco seasoning and water. Continue to cook for several minutes, until cooked through, stirring often.
  2. Spray both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray and place directly on the middle rack of your oven. Bake for about 6 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden brown and crispy. Watch carefully so they do not burn. Remove to a baking sheet.
  3. Microwave the refried beans for 1-2 min or until spreadable.
  4. Lay 2 tortillas out on a baking sheet; top each with a spoonful of the beans, ground beef, and 1/4 cup cheese. Top with another tortilla and lightly press down.
  5. Top the second tortillas each with 1/4 cup taco or enchilada sauce. Layer with diced tomatoes, cheese, red onions, green bell pepper, and a few green olives.
  6. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into wedges and top with sour cream and/or salsa if desired.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lamb Tajine with Caramelized Apples

Yesterday, I hardly had any vegetables except for fruits. So I had to work with what I've got- Apples- and try making a caramelized apples lamb tajine. I was thoroughly satisfied with the results. This tajine is a perfect blend of salty lamb and sweet fruits. I served it with crusty bread to mop up the thick syrupy sauce, but it can be served on a bed of fluffly couscous or rice.

What You Need:

1 pound lamb (cut into bite sized pieces)
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 large pinch of saffron
1-2 cups beef stock or warm water

Ingredients for the Apples:

3 medium apples (any kind), peeled and quartered. DO NOT throw away the skin, we will use it for garnishing.
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter

What To Do:
  1. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, meat, and all the spices. Mix well. Cover the pan and let the meat cook for 8-10 min or until thoroughly brown.
  2. Pour enough warm water or beef stock (about (2 cups) to cover the meat. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 1 hour or until meat is tender. Check on the level of sauce from time to time. Add some more water if necessary.
Preparing the Apples:
  1. In another pan, add the butter, apples, cinnamon, sugar, and cover with some of the meat sauce. Cook on medium heat for 20 min or until apples are tender.
  2. In a pan, drizzle oil and fry the apples skins until golden. Drain excess oil.
After the meat is cooked and apples are caramelized, serve the meat and apples garnished with the apple skins.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Carrots with Charmoula (Zaalook Style)

The perfect side dish to chicken, fish, or any other main dish you make. This was a hit at my last dinner party even though there were numerous side dishes on the table. Not only this carrot dish is full of flavor, but also colorful and easily prepared. It can be served warm or cold.

What You Need:

5 medium size carrots
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
3 Tbsp of olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika

What To Do:

  1. Peel the carrots and cut them in little cubes.
  2. In boiling water, add the carrots and the 3 garlic cloves. Let them cook for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Drain the carrots and garlic from the water.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add the carrots with the garlic, the parsley and the spices.
  5. Mash the carrots while they are cooking, for about 15 min.
  6. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm or cold.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Carrot Cake

Yep, I baked another cake and it came out simply p-e-r-f-e-c-t! I think I am regaining confidence in my ability to bake:) This delicious and moist carrot cake was easy, super simple to make and I definitely surprised and impressed my in-laws with it. They thought it was store bought, Ha!!!!

Recipe courtesy of sousoukitchen

What you Need:

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground spice mixture (fennel, anise, nutmeg)
3 cups finely shredded carrots
1 cup roasted and chopped nuts of your choice ( I used walnuts)

1 recipe Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (See Below)

What To Do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a baking pan ( I used a tube pan); set aside.
  3. In large bowl, mix together sugars, oil, vanilla extract, and eggs until well blended.
  4. In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and the other spices until combined.
  5. Add the dry mixture to the sugar and eggs mixture and mix well until you get a smooth consistency. Add carrots and nuts (save some for decorating). Mix until well combined.
  6. With rubber spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake 50 to 55 min or until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pan, turn out on wire rack. Spread with the Vanilla Cream Cheese frosting. And decorate with the remaining roasted nuts.
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a medium bowl, sir together 8 ounces cream cheese, softened; 1 tsp milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, a dash of salt. Add 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar gradually to the mixture until smooth.



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