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My Favorite Moroccan Breakfast: Hrbil

Winter comes slow and late to Marrakech. One day we’re sweating, wondering when the heat will finally break and then suddenly there’s a rain storm one day that snaps the weather awake to realize it’s time to change seasons. Reluctantly the weather wavers for a few weeks. Alternating between those scorching hot days and dreary, rainy ones. A sandstorm might blow through and then we’re lurched into winter.

But this too is beautiful. 

Atlas Mountains Beyond City Walls

The haze in front of the High Atlas lifts, giving way to the beautiful mountain backdrop that makes my heart sing. It’s a sight I wait for all year. Rarely do the mountains appear until they’re capped with snow, leaving many people to believe they have snow all the time (they don’t). The clear, sunny winter days are what I love waking up to. I just really hate leaving my bed!

Few people, including us, have indoor heating. We really don’t need it. Winter will only last two or maybe three months and it will never get to freezing – even though some days feel like it. An extra blanket on the bed, a space heater tucked under the desk, and taking advantage of every chance to warm up the house when the sun shines make it possible. You see Morocco is a cold country with a warm sun. The sun changes everything and even in the middle of winter is warm.


Kotoubia Mosque at Sunset

Our morning start a little later now but it’s still just barely light when the kids get up for school. I love a warm bowl of oatmeal in the morning with nuts and brown sugar. But, I also love the Moroccan version of oatmeal – that’s not made with oats at all – called hrbil. Normally it’s only made for special occasions. It’s always on the table the morning of Eid al Adha and Eid al Fitr. But, I’ve also made it and saved it in the refrigerator to heat up the next day. It’s always better right after it’s made.

Breakfast for Eid Moroccan hrbil recipe

Breakfast for Eid Moroccan hrbil recipe
Yield: 8 servings

Moroccan Oatmeal: Hrbil

A delicious breakfast dish served during Eid and other special occasions in Morocco.


  • 1 cup of dry wheat grains (wheat berries)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • water

For the Top

  • melted butter
  • olive oil
  • honey


  1. Soak the wheat in water overnight. The longer you soak this the faster it will cook.
  2. When you're ready to cook, add the olive oil to a pressure cooker and drain the water from the wheat.
  3. Add the wheat to the pressure cooker and stir to coat with olive oil.
  4. Add enough water to fill pressure cooker about 1/2 full.
  5. Cover and cook on medium temperature for about 45 minutes – 1 hour. You will need to check the water level of this often. The goal is to cook out all the water so that the wheat plumps to it’s maximum.
  6. You can test the water level by holding the pressure cooker off the heat and swirling around.
  7. When you feel most the water has been cooked out, release the steam and remove the cover.
  8. If there is some water left, continue to cook on low – medium heat until it has been mostly removed.
  9. Stir in the milk, until the consistency is a little more liquid than porridge.
  10. Fill a bowl or large rimmed plate with the grains.
  11. In the middle create a small well and add olive oil, butter, and honey.
Recipe for Hrbil, a Moroccan breakfast popular at Eid.

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Thursday 10th of June 2021

Have you tried this in an instapot/electric pressure cooker? I am not sure of the water/oat ratio. 1/1?

Amanda Mouttaki

Thursday 17th of June 2021

I haven't but it's on my list to try!

Moroccan Eid Menu Planning Ideas - MarocMama

Friday 9th of August 2019

[…] Hrbil […]


Monday 5th of November 2018

But what is Oat in darija accent?

Amanda Mouttaki

Wednesday 7th of November 2018

Shofan is the word for oat in Moroccan.

What Does an Eid al-Adha Celebration Look Like? - MarocMama

Monday 29th of May 2017

[…]  I made batbout the night before with several different toppings.  My favorite dish for Eid is Hrbil but it takes a little more time to prepare.  We went to the mosque for Eid Prayers and then to a […]

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