MarocMama

eat well, travel often, dream big!

Preparing for Ramadan in Morocco

Thursday afternoon the house became quite all of a sudden, except for the occasional whirl of the food processor I didn’t here noise from the kids. As most parents know this is never a good sign. Ever. For a second I assumed they had gone outside to play but every now and then I’d hear a phrase spoken.  When I finally got up to look downstairs (we live in a traditional style Moroccan home with 4 floors and an open courtyard in the middle) I saw this;

Boys and Grandma making sellou

Grandma had gotten the boys to help with Ramadan preparations by shelling kilos of almonds. It’s some task as they need to be boiled then cooled, the skins removed and then cleaned again. Finally they’re fried, cooled, and ground almost to flour. Some Moroccan families outsource all the prep work now, they buy cookies, or have someone come to the house to make them. They might rely on the dry packages of harira for the nightly soup. They maybe purchase briouats from someone else they trust. Not in our house. My mother in law set out this day to make sellou the flour/nut/spicey sweet mixture served for every iftar. I don’t even know how much she made but it was a lot!

Shelling Almonds in Morocco

I’ve never been in Morocco during Ramadan, hard to imagine considering we’ve been coming for the last ten years. In some ways I am grateful for that and in other ways I always wondered what I was missing. I struggle with Ramadan, the very concept of it. I attribute a lot of this to not being raised as a Muslim. I didn’t even know what Ramadan was before becoming Muslim! Every year in the US I tried to feel the excitement my husband felt. I tried to make it special for him and for the kids – because it is supposed to be special. It’s one of those things I hear people talk about with this sense of amazement and magic – like when you give birth. But I feel deflated, just like I did after giving birth! Maybe it just takes me longer to come around than most people. I don’t feel any closer to Allah, I feel hungry and crabby, pressed for time, and in the summer months I feel like we’re missing out on the fun. I don’t want my kids to feel this way. I want them to feel the same excitement as their dad.

Ramadan in Morocco

So I’m hoping this year I’ll feel different. I’m hopeful that being in a country where everyone around me is aware of and celebrating will bring some of the excitement. Even though I’ve not yet gone to a mosque here, I hope we can go to Kotoubia and pray tahraweh. I want to stand amongst thousands of people and feel the energy. I hope that when the cannons sound at the end of the fast, there’s happiness and not just a mad dash to shove down some briouats and suck down some water. I hope the streets come alive at night. I hope that this sparks a little something inside me to see Ramadan through the eyes of my husband and feel more than contempt in my heart.

The part of Ramadan that does get me excited is getting ready. I love planning and preparing! I haven’t done much cooking to prepare because I just don’t have the space I once did. We’re also leaving for the US in the beginning of July so the kids and I will only be here for about 1 week of Ramadan. If you’re preparing too I’ve gathered some links and ideas to help you out.

If you’re visiting Morocco during Ramadan, I wrote this article for Journey Beyond Travel to give some idea of what to expect.

Mental Preparation

Watch the six-part video series I created last year to prepare for Ramadan. From the home, to children, your kitchen, the workplace, general background on Ramadan, and getting spiritually prepared you’ll learn from six amazing sisters about all of these areas! Ramadan Revealed.

Ramadan Morning Gift Baskets – Love this idea from Amnah!

Another great idea a 30 Days of Ramadan Balloon Countdown

The Food

Moroccan Harira

Freezer Meals to make ahead of Ramadan

Gluten Free Chbekiya

Tips to Have A Healthy Ramadan

Visit Yvonne of My Halal Kitchen for amazing Ramadan recipes.

Be sure you’re follow @SaffronRoadFood and @WholeFoods on Twitter. There will be a Ramadan centered tweet chat on July 17th beginning at 6pm Eastern. I’ll share more details with you as I get them! You’ll also want to check all your retailers that sell Saffron Road products because they’ll be on sale in all Whole Foods and in some other retailers like Target and Kroger.

How are you preparing for Ramadan?

You May Also Like

  • 70
    Have you ever heard of flowering tea?  Several months ago I was at a new sandwich shop in the area and came across Numi tea.  I'd never heard about it but whenever I see Moroccan Mint tea I get intrigued.  I happened to look at the back of the box and saw a halal marker.…
    Tags: ramadan
  • 58
    I got a message recently asking me if I could share what a day is typically like for us during Ramadan so this post is me making good on my promise to share!  Overall the day is really not that much different from any other day.  Though there are a few exceptions. That's 4am not…
    Tags: ramadan
  • 44
    Two weeks ago  I shared several different olive recipes using Lindsay Olives.  I hope that you liked them as much as I did.  When I sat down to write this post I remembered something I had written a long time ago that I titled A Train and a Tale of Olives.  It's hard to imagine…
    Tags: ramadan
Read more
Vegetarian Moroccan Harira

For Moroccans, harira soup is a Ramadan ritual.  Every evening families sit down to bowls of steaming harira – even when daytime summer temperatures soar about the 100F mark. I love soup, but the last thing I want to do is leave my stove on for hours during the hottest part of summer. Instead, I created this quicker version to satisfy the Ramadan ritual but keep my house at a tolerable temperature.

Bowl of Vegetarian Harira

Traditional harira is made with dried lentils, dry chickpeas, rice, vermicelli noodles, a potpurri of herbs and spices, vegetables, and meat – most often lamb. If you’ve ever cooked with dry chickpeas you’ll know this part of the cooking process can take hours, just to soften the beans. I really prefer this soup without meat (but that’s kind of every food lately!), and omitting meat automatically cuts off cooking time.  My next shortcut is to use a pre-made broth.

Vegetarian Harira

I rarely ever reach for a vegetable broth when cooking, mostly because I’ve never found one that tastes good. Often I find them bland, with the only flavor of salt coming through. I really love Saffron Road’s Vegetable Broth because it’s the opposite of every other brand I’ve tasted. If I were taking the traditional route for this soup, I would chop up a bunch of vegetables to create a broth, but really there’s no need when using this broth.  It has all the flavor I was looking for.  More time saved!

Quick Harira Soup

I wasn’t sure how this short-cut soup was going to be received but surprisingly MarocBaba actually preferred this version to others that I have made. I know that this is one recipe I’ll be holding onto for a long time to come.  When the temperatures drop I’ll be wanting a big giant bowl of this harira to warm me up.

**Great News!  Saffron Road products will be on sale at Whole Foods August 6-8th. Also, if you’re a fan of their frozen entrees the are increasing distribution!  They are now selling family sized Lamb Saag at Costco in AZ, NM, CO, UT, NV & CA. Also, starting around August 9th they will be selling family sized Chicken Tikka Masala at Costco in ME, VT, NH, CT, NY, NJ, PA (some), MD, DE, VA. You can always check out the store locator on their website to find a store near you.

Vegetarian Moroccan Harira

Ingredients

  • 1 medium to large onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 3-4 tomatoes as fresh as possible
  • 1 handful chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 handful chopped cilantro
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp Black Pepper
  • 1Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Turmeric
  • 1 small pinch Saffron crushed (if desired)
  • ½ c canned organic garbanzo beans
  • ¼ c lentils (rinsed)
  • 1/4 c rice (I use long grain or basmati)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 carton Saffron Road Vegetable Broth
  • Food Processor

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in large stockpot on the stovetop.
  • Finely chop onion and garlic, and saute in the stockpot.
  • Wash and core tomatoes and then puree in a food processor along with parsley and cilantro.
  • Add tomato and herb puree along with salt, pepper, paprika, turmeric (and saffron if desired) to the pot.
  • Next, add water, tomato paste and 1 carton of Vegetable Broth to the mix.
  • Bring the soup to a boil and add lentils, rice, and garbanzo beans and reduce heat to medium. Cover.
  • Once the lentils and rice are tender (will vary but about 20 minutes) turn down the heat.
  • You can thicken the soup by adding a flour roux or leave as is.
  • The harira should be thick but still have a soup consistency.
3.1
http://marocmama.com/2013/08/vegetarian-moroccan-harira.html

This soup took about 1 hour start to finish to make.  Traditional harira takes several more. You might not be making this every night, but by making one big pot you’ll be guaranteed leftovers.  To preserve, transfer soup to smaller sized, freezer safe containers and allow to cool completely. Cover the containers, and pop into the freezer.  When you want to use it again, transfer to your refrigerator until the soup can be removed from the container.  You could also submerge it part way in warm water.  Heat through in a pan on the stove top.

Disclaimer: I am a brand ambassador for Saffron Road Food.  I do receive compensation for recipe creation as well as product to use. My opinions and creations are my own. 

You May Also Like

  • 80
    The first few days of Ramadan I am always excited to prepare meals that we rarely have during the rest of the year.  However by the end of the first week I start to notice bits and pieces of leftovers in my fridge and my enthusiasm begins to wane. Some of my favorite dinners are…
    Tags: vegetable, road, saffron, salads, soups, ramadan
  • 63
    What happens when you leave North Africa and are dropped to the Midwest in under 24 hours? Severe temperature issues that's what! When I left Morocco it was in the mid-80's and I've been "enjoying" balmy 30 degree temperatures daily since being back.  It left me with one thing to do - make soup. Lots…
    Tags: soup, lamb, broth, saffron, road, making, vegetables, meat, vegetable, food
  • 59
    All across the city people are making preparations for Eid, including our family. The sheep have started to find their way into city markets, small stalls are popping up to sell charcoal and bundles of straw for the sheep. There are plenty of advertisements marking the holiday, new clothes for sale, and people looking to…
    Tags: cooking, freezer, time, love, recipe, vegetables, meat, find, hours, flavor
Read more
Gluten-Free Chebakia

Chebakia and Ramadan and synonymous in Morocco. You simply can’t have one without the other. This presents a big problem for us. Chebakia are cookies made of flour, spices, honey, and sesame seeds. It’s the flour that is problematic. It’s safe to say that Moroccan families eat dozens and dozens of these cookies every Ramadan.  They are made (or bought) in huge quantities and are time consuming to make – which makes it very clear to me why they’re a special holiday treat.

Gluten Free Chebakia

 

Last year I decided I would try to make a gluten-free chebakia to serve with harira during Ramadan.  Traditionally these cookies are a very unique shape.  The dough is rolled flat, cut into rectangles, then sliced 3-4 times in the middle of each piece of dough.  It is then inverted to create a shape that reminds me of a flower. While this can be tricky to master, traditional dough has enough elasticity to make it possible.  I tried and tried to get a gluten free dough elastic enough to recreate the shape but sadly I couldn’t do it.  It has been one of my lessons in gluten-free cooking.  It’s possible to almost replicate the taste of most things, however it’s not always possible to get them to look the same.  Instead, I used a pastry cutter with a rippled edge to cut these into strips and I then twisted some of them as I put them in the fryer to create a different shape.  This is totally optional, they’ll still taste great if you just cut into strips!

That being said, I am happy with how these turned out.  A few things to keep in mind; the dough is much softer than traditional chebakia dough, they must be kept in the refrigerator or they will turn to a ball of mush, and they tend to brown much faster when frying.  If you’ve got a celiac in the house, or are just cutting back on wheat, I hope you’ll enjoy these cookies as much as the original.

Gluten-Free Chebakia

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4c almond flour
  • 1 1/2c rice flour + extra for dusting
  • 1 1/2c corn or tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp anise seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • a pinch of saffron
  • a pinch of mastic + pinch of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c melted butter
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/4c white vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tsp yeast + 1/4c warm water + 1 tsp sugar
  • sesame seeds
  • vegetable oil
  • 2-3 cups honey

Instructions

    Preparing the Dough
  • In a large mixing bowl combine 1 1/4c almond flour, 1 1/2c rice flour, and 1 1/2c corn or tapioca starch along with baking powder, salt, anise seeds, cinnamon, and saffron.
  • In a separate bowl, or ideally with a mortar and pestle, crush and blend the mastic and sugar. If you don't have a mortar and pestle you can use the back of a spoon to break it down. When you've formed a powder add this to the flour mixture.
  • Prepare the yeast by adding 1/4c warm water and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Leave to activate 5-10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, slowly add the butter, olive oil, vinegar and orange blossom water to the dry ingredients. Combine with a wooden spoon or your hands. Once the yeast has activated (bubbling) add it to the dough.
  • The resulting dough will be a bit sticky, but should hold together in a large ball. Cover with a towel and set aside to rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Finishing the Cookies
  • On the stovetop begin to heat vegetable oil for frying the cookies. The oil should be deep enough to submerge the cookies. In another pot, add the honey and turn the heat to low.
  • When the dough has completed the resting time, dust a cutting board or surface with rice flour and pinch off a piece off a palm-size piece of dough. With a rolling pin (or a glass!) roll out the dough to about 1/4" thickness.
  • Cut the dough into 1/2" width strips using a ribboned pastry wheel. Alternately, you can cut with a pizza cutter you just won't get the fluted edges.
  • Gently drop pieces of dough into the oil and fry until light brown in color. If you notice your cookies are falling apart in the oil, place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. If the dough gets too warm I found it tends to fall apart when cooked.
  • Strain cookies with a slotted spoon after frying and place into the honey. Allow to sit in the honey for 30-45 seconds and then move to a drying rack or plate.
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the cookies before they dry.
  • Store in a sealed container, in the refrigerator. Cookies will keep for 1-2 weeks. You can also freeze them for longer storage time.
3.1
http://marocmama.com/2013/07/gluten-free-chebakia.html
Read more
5 Tips to Help You Have A Healthy Ramadan

Today is the 4th day of Ramadan in the United States and the hottest Ramadan I’ve experienced – and I’m not fasting!  Unfortunately my surgeon would not clear me to fast, preferring me to wait at least a year after having gastric sleeve surgery to attempt fasting.  Truthfully I’m not sure I would be able to do it even if he were to allow me. We begin fasting at 3:15am and the fasting day ends around 9pm. I simply wouldn’t have the space or ability to eat enough food or drink enough water in 6 hours to be safe.  Right now, it takes me all day to eat 800-1000 calories and drink enough liquid not to dehydrate. There have been times when I have not eaten enough and it’s immediately apparent to MarocBaba.  He says the color drains out of me and my eyes start drooping. I can feel it, I get very tired, dizzy, and unresponsive, but I didn’t realize it was physically so apparent.

Just because I can’t fast doesn’t mean I’m withdrawingfrom all Ramadan activities.  I’ve been trying extra hard this year to be more patient and understanding.  I’ve been extra “wifely” preparing special iftars and dinners.  But, I am also keeping things a whole lot healthier. Summer means lots of fresh produce and I am taking advantage! I am not sure if this is a general trend or one of those “if you are looking for it, it’s what you’ll see” things, but it sure seems to me that a lot of people are adopting a healthy Ramadan experience.

When I asked my Facebook and Twitter followers what kinds of things they wanted to see this Ramadan many answered healthy recipes and/or traditional recipes made healthier.  I think it’s great that people are more aware of not just the act of not eating during Ramadan, but also thinking about the foods they are choosing to eat.

Healthy Ramadan Ideas

Here are my tips for helping you have a healthy Ramadan;

Use Seasonal Fruit

I mentioned this above but take advantage of the produce that’s available in summer months.  I’ve made a fruit salad every night.  This is a good way to replenish natural sugars and liquids in the body.  Chilled fruit is refreshing and a much better “dessert” than a big plate of cookies.

Modify Portion Sizes

There’s a tendency to “put out a spread” for iftars, I think it’s cultural to some extent, but it also encourages over-eating and waste. Instead of putting out a large plate of sweets, opt for a smaller plate. Cut back the amount of meat that you use, and replace it with vegetables.

Grilling

When I think of summer I think of grilling. If your house is anything like mine, it’s hot to turn on the oven or the stove top. Grilling meats, vegetables, and even fruit is an excellent way to keep the inside temperature down and eat more healthfully.  Grilling brings out the natural flavors in foods, and like baking, requires very little added fats to cook food through. Kababs, grilled corn, mixed grilled vegetables, burgers, or grilled chicken pieces are all excellent options.  Not to mention, it’s a great way to get everyone (by everyone I’m thinking oh…husbands) to help with meal preparation.

Drink Nutrients

Water is of course incredibly important when fasting, but having a smoothie or protein shake for iftar or suhoor is a great way to add nutrition without “eating” it.  Avocado smoothies are a big favorite here, and I simply mix in a tablespoon of protein powder when mixing it.  You could do something similar with fresh mangos, bananas, or even dates.  Mix in some full fat Greek yogurt for even more protein.

Protein for Suhoor

This relates back to the previous tip.  Eating protein keeps you full longer.  A protein smoothie, eggs, yogurt, and lean meats are all good sources of protein.  Aim to get 20g+ of protein at suhoor to keep you fueled and full.

Links and Resources for More

Here are some of the other links and resources I’ve found on eating healthy during Ramadan.

5 Health Benefits of Fasting – from Nour Zibdeh featured on My Halal Kitchen

5 Tips for Healthy Eating During Ramadan – Yvonne Maffei of My Halal Kitchen

Staying Healthy During Ramadan -  from Holly of Arabic Zeal

Iftar Day 1 – Follow Henia of Teal Tadjine for her healthy Ramadan iftars!

Date Nut Bars – Nourition has a great recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth without empty calories.

Chicken B’stila Soup – Swap the traditional Moroccan b’stilla for this soup

Cauliflower “Popcorn” – A great low calorie, low carb snack!

Pindi Chana - from Veg Recipes of India, I love this vegetarian dish that would be great with brown rice and grilled chicken.

What are your tips for keeping Ramadan meals healthy?

Read more
Pistachio Rosewater Ghriba

Before I went to Morocco I had never eaten a pistachio. The closest I had come to a pistachio was in the Jello pudding my dad ate. But, once I ate one, well I was hooked – and a little upset that I had missed out on this delicious nut for the first 20 years of my life. I’m making up for it now.

Pistachio Rosewater Ghriba

Like the lemon, vanilla, and almond ghriba I shared earlier this week, these ghriba are gluten-free and delicious. Pistachios have a unique flavor that some people really don’t like.  As I began to look for a good flavor to pair them with I struggled.  What I remembered about the pudding my dad loved was that the pistachio pieces were a strange consistency.  They weren’t crunchy and they weren’t soft – they were something in the middle.  I hated that texture.  I succeeded with these cookies.  The outsides have just a little crunch, while the insides are soft but not mush.  I know not everyone has rosewater, so if you don’t you can use vanilla.

Pistachio Rosewater Ghriba

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pistachios
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp rose water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • powdered sugar for dusting
  • whole pistachios to top cookies
  • parchment paper or silpat

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350F.
  • In a food processor, blend the pistachios until they are broken down to almost a powder.
  • In a large bowl combine pistachio flour, granulated sugar, and baking powder.
  • Add to the dry ingredients the rosewater and egg yolks.
  • Break up the butter with your hands or a pastry cutter and begin working into the dough.
  • Using your hands or pastry cutter mix all of the ingredients until everything has been combined, the dough will feel slightly sticky.
  • From small balls with your hands, about 1" in diameter.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat sheet.
  • Coat the balls with powdered sugar and place onto a cookie sheet or plate.
  • Refrigerate the cookies for 30 minutes, or place in freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Arrange cookies on baking sheet and gently press a pistachio into the top of each. Do not flatten the cookies, they will naturally shape.
  • Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. The cookies should still be a pale color.
  • Leave on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes to allow the cookies to finish setting, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  • When the cookies are completely cool, transfer to an air tight container.
  • Cookies can be stored on the counter for 1-2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve, remove from the freezer and allow to warm up before serving.
3.1
http://marocmama.com/2013/06/pistachio-rosewater-ghriba.html
Read more
I’ve Got Your Ramadan Meal Planning Covered!

Do you struggle to find meal ideas for your family during Ramadan?  Not this year!  Today my first Ramadan meal plan is available to make your Ramadan meal planning easier.

Ramadan Meal Plan 1

One of the biggest complaints I hear from women during Ramadan is, “I have no idea what to make!”  I know meal planning isn’t for everyone. It’s a big process to find meal ideas, create a list, shop, and then either prepare one evening, or nightly meals.  Whew, I’m exhausted just thinking about it!  Last year I created a cookbook titled Ramadan Nights, this cookbook is still available but this year I wanted to take it a step further.

This meal plan has 6 recipes for suhoor, iftar, and dinner.  Several of the meals have multiple variations for more than 25 recipes. I have also created a shopping list that covers the basics.  I think you’ll like that many recipes can be customized for your taste.  Perhaps the other most important aspect of this set is that all of these recipes are either;

  • made in 5-10 minutes
  • can be made in the slow cooker
  • can be pre-made and frozen, needing only to be heated up the day they’re served.

The recipes all include gluten-free adaptations or are gluten-free to begin with.  These are recipes that I make in my home and for my family, they’re not just random ideas I’ve had!

I plan to create two more meal plans that are of similar length. You can mix and match these recipes or you can make them all one week.  I’ve included a basic shopping list.  You will need to customize this based on how you choose to vary those multiple option recipes.

Now you’re probably asking how to get this meal plan.  I’ll be releasing two more meal plans over the two weeks and I can’t promise how long I’ll be offering them at this price.  Each meal plans takes me over 10 hours to put together, adapting for slow cooker and freezer preparation, shopping list creation, and editing.

Right now this meal plan is available for just $8!

If you want to pick up this meal plan and my Ramadan Nights cookbook, I’ve got a special deal.  Bundle them together for $13.50!  You’ll be getting over 50 recipes including lots of Moroccan holiday favorites for a great price. Get the Bundle Now.

Get your meal plan copy today!

When you’re checking out, select add to cart  (it’s cut off a little – sorry about that I’m trying to figure it out!) Then using the top navigation bar select checkout under Shop.  Let me know if you have any problems – I don’t want anyone to miss out on this!

Looking for more Ramadan meal planning ideas?  Make sure to join me Thursday with my special guest Yvonne Maffei of My Halal Kitchen for this week’s Ramadan Revealed webinar series. Be sure to visit the webinar page and sign up if you haven’t so that you don’t miss access information.

You May Also Like

  • 90
    We are almost through the first week of Ramadan, and I'm not sure about you but time is going a lot faster than I thought it would!  Today I want to share a few articles from the internet that I have found interesting and beneficial during this Ramadan.  If you've been overloaded with all this…
    Tags: ramadan, meal, list, recipes, plan
  • 89
    Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity. ~ Khalil Gibran I wish you all could join me at my table.  But until then here's some ideas to get you through tomorrow. Suhoor: I love this recipe from TLC because of how unique it is.  (PS who knew TLC had recipes?)  Mexican Omelet Roll-up with…
    Tags: ideas, recipes, ramadan, plan, meal
  • 74
    If you're fasting this month are you making sure to eat enough fruits and vegetables?  Last month American Muslim Mom posted a story that many Muslims actually GAIN weight during Ramadan.  How can that be?  For many after a day of fasting the foods that fill the table are fried or sugar laden.  The recipes…
    Tags: meal, ramadan, plan, planning, recipes
Read more
Gluten Free Ghriba for #SundaySupper

Moroccan pastries are small, bite size gems of deliciousness.  Most have nuts, usually almonds, honey, and powdered sugar. Sadly, the majority also have wheat making them off-limits for us.  Ramadan is right around the corner and I have been re-making all of our favorite treats into gluten-free replicas. Are you ready for a ghriba-a-palooza?  I’ve created four new ghriba recipes that I’ll be sharing over the next few days. I think you’ll have a hard time choosing your favorite!

Gluten Free Ghriba Cookies

What is a ghriba?

Ghriba are one of the most well known Moroccan cookies.  They are easily identified because of their cracked surface – a must in ghriba making. They tend to be a bit crunchy on the outside but chewy inside. Most of the time they’re made with almonds, but can be made with walnuts, peanuts, really any kind of nut. When I started developing a recipe for gluten-free ghriba I first looked to traditional recipes. There are some gluten-free recipes that exist but I find it easier to try and convert from a recipe with gluten to gluten-free. The problem here was there are a lot of different ways people make ghriba!  Some used butter, some oil.  Some caster sugar, and some powdered sugar.  Some used semolina, or white flour, or coconut. Some people make ghriba and put jam in them, like thumbprint cookies. Basically there was no real base recipe to start from. Maybe that’s a good thing?

What I Made

I came up with four new kinds of ghriba – all of them are gluten free.

Today I’m sharing the recipe I created for Lemon Vanilla Almond Ghriba.  I promise to share my recipes for all of the others, if you’re following me on Facebook or subscribe for updates (sign up is on the right sidebar), you’ll know as soon as they’re up!

Gluten Free Almond Ghriba

Lemon Vanilla Almond Ghriba

35 minutes

12 minutes

50 minutes

20-24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp liquid from preserved lemon (if you don't have this, the zest of 1 lemon will work)
  • 4 Tbsp room temperature butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Whole blanced almonds to top cookies
  • powdered sugar to coat cookies

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350F.
  • In a large bowl combine almond flour, granulated sugar, and baking powder.
  • Add to the dry ingredients the preserved lemon juice (or lemon zest), vanilla extract, and egg yolks.
  • Break up the butter with your hands or a pastry cutter and begin working into the dough.
  • Using your hands or pastry cutter mix all of the ingredients until everything has been combined, the dough will feel slightly sticky.
  • From small balls with your hands, about 1" in diameter.
  • Coat the balls with powdered sugar and place onto a cookie sheet or plate.
  • Refrigerate the cookies for 30 minutes, or place in freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Arrange cookies on baking sheet and gently press an almond into the top of each. Do not flatten the cookies, they will naturally shape.
  • Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. The cookies should still be a pale color.
  • Leave on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes to allow the cookies to finish setting, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  • When the cookies are completely cool, transfer to an air tight container.
  • Cookies can be stored on the counter for 1-2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve, remove from the freezer and allow to warm up before serving.
3.1
http://marocmama.com/2013/06/gluten-free-ghriba-for-sundaysupper.html

This week’s #SundaySupper theme is a “free for all” so every recipe is “free” of something.  There are other gluten-free recipes, sugar free, dairy-free, you name it! The hostess this week is Beate of The Not So Cheesy Kitchen – thanks for hosting! I hope you’ll join with us and try some of these great recipes from my fellow contributors – don’t forget to check back for the rest of my ghriba recipes!

Breakfast

  • Dairy, Egg, Gluten, Nut & Soy Free Brown Rice Breakfast Pudding bygirlichef
  • Dairy & Nut and Sugar Free Blueberry Tangerine Muffins by Vintage Kitchen
  • Dairy, Egg, Gluten, Nut, and Soy Free Homemade Mango Jam Recipe byMasala Herb

Main Courses

Sides
Breads

Treats

Drinks

 

You May Also Like

  • 65
    Chebakia and Ramadan and synonymous in Morocco. You simply can't have one without the other. This presents a big problem for us. Chebakia are cookies made of flour, spices, honey, and sesame seeds. It's the flour that is problematic. It's safe to say that Moroccan families eat dozens and dozens of these cookies every Ramadan.…
    Tags: gluten-free, ramadan, free, gluten, desserts
  • 59
    For Ramadan this year I decided to re-make several traditional Moroccan pastries. Usually MarocBaba's mom sends us a big box of Moroccan cookies.  The problem with that is they all have gluten. Between MarocBaba's celiac disease and my difficulty eating gluten after gastric sleeve surgery we're pretty much a non-wheat home. The only thing to…
    Tags: gluten, ramadan, gluten-free, desserts
  • 44
    Every year for the Fourth of July our family has a little get-together at a local lake.  It's been a few years since we have been able to attend and so this year I was excited to be going.  Since we have seen marked improvements with MarocBaba since removing gluten from his diet I didn't…
    Tags: gluten-free, gluten, desserts
Read more
Moroccan Eid Menu Planning

This year I’ve been seeing so many great posts sharing Eid menu plans, like this one from Holly of Arabic Zeal or this one from Hollie of Common Cents Mom. In the past I have done a post after our big Eid celebration but as I started to plan it made sense to instead share ideas early.  We will only be staying in New York until Sunday afternoon but I still plan to make breakfast and lunch to celebrate.  I am really hoping that this year will be a little more special than years’ past. Just being surrounded by a MUCH larger community will hopefully give a more holiday feel.

So here are some of my favorite recipe ideas for Eid Breakfast and Lunch. 

Msemmen

M’semmen always is a part of our Eid table.  I don’t make m’semmen very often anymore and I haven’t been able to finalize a good gluten-free version but the kids love it.

Earlier this month I shared a guest post on My Halal Kitchen for Moroccan style crepes.  What I love about this recipe is that it’s versatile.  You can stuff them with sweet or savory toppings.  Or make a mixture and have a crepe filling station for your guests.

If you want something that can be assembled and tossed into the oven in the morning this Apple Pear Galette might be the perfect option. This version includes cheese but you can easily omit it.

Other Breakfast Ideas:

  • Harcha
  • Beghrir 
  • Fruit Salad
  • Scrambled Egg Station – include toppings like cheese, meats, sauteed vegetables, etc.

Eid Lunch/Dinner Ideas

In late summer soup is not something highly sought after.  This shrimp soup is light and unique.

This is quite possibly the most delicious “set it and forget it” style recipes. Traditionally cooked in a coal burning oven or in an underground oven mechoui is a delicious addition to any Eid table.

Beef or Lamb Tagine with Prunes is celebration food in Morocco. It’s served on Eid tables, at weddings and birth celebrations. The combination of sweet and savory in this dish is not appealing to some but, after the first bite they can’t put down their bread.

 

Amalou Cookies

I like to make these amalou cookies for guests because of how unique they are.  You won’t find them in a bakery (it’s my own recipe), and they are a little work but the results are worth it.

If you’re looking for more recipes stop by Pinterest and browse my Appetizer, Breakfast, EidMoroccan Food, and Desserts boards.

What’s on your menu?

Read more