MAKROUT ENG

How do we make Moroccan Makrout ?

            The Maghreb is a part of North Africa, which includes Morocco , Algeria , Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania . These countries share several and multiple common points , such as unity of history, traditions, culture and they have a great similarity in customs and a little resemblance in sewing as well as food and many other similarities . The mini cake / dessert that we will talk about in this article is part of one of the common points of these countries and is known as Makrout.

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            Al-Makrout or Al-Maqrout is a North African pastry. Its ingredients contain wheat semolina and DATE PASTE and can be identified by its diamond shape and is found everywhere in Morocco, in Algeria, in Tunisia as well as Libya.

The origin of these Moroccan sweets :

            There are two different stories that had been told, regarding the origins of these Moroccan cakes:    the first hypothesis tells that it is possible that the makrout has origins from Kairouan, located in Tunisia. In the other hand , they say that they refer to the oases of Mzab and the Sitivian located in Algeria.

          The name of Makrout varies from country to another, and sometimes even from city to city. In Algeria for example, in the region of Kabila, Oran in particular, it is called:  makrout. While in Tlemcen it is called:  MKIRAT or makrout. In Libya and Morocco, they both use same name, it is known as makrout while in Tunisia they refer to it as MAKEROUT.

And not only the label that is different and its naming, but even its ingredients, not the whole recipe, just some of them. They change according to each geographical area. Here are some examples of each country or city and the elements they use:

  • Makrout with dates : the dates are a stone fruit. They grow in Asia, In Mexico, in the Mediterranean as well as the U.S. They are highly recommended for people on diet, and generally for people who wants to eat healthy.

The Makrout with dates is prepared in a small region in Algeria and consumed in all over the country. We can notice it from i’s name, this sweet cake is prepared using, semolina and dates, cinnamon, cloves and orange blossom water, all covered with honey and can be fried or baked (its much tastier when fried , even though the baked one is healthier) .

  • Oran’s Makrout , is a specialty of the city of Oran which contains only semolinawith spices.

The spiced semolina is prepared with several healthy ingredients, such as: mixed pepper , chopped fresh coriandre, , butter, , star anise or grains (it is a brown plant), onions, semolina and last but not least, powdred cinnamon.

  • Makroutmdour, it is a specialty of modern Algerian cuisine, as indicated in its Arabic name (Madour), is a different type of cake, where the filling is prepared in large quantities using butter and date paste.
  • Makrout with dates , it contains fresh fig paste, pieces of caramel and vanilla .
  • Makirat, an Algerian specialty of Tlemcen. This type of makrout is prepared with a large amount of eggs, grilled sesame seeds, cooked and then soaked in lemon syrup, honey and peanut, which is very rich in vitamin B3, vitamin B5, magnesium, folic acid, manganese and fiber.
  • Salty Makrout , among its ingredients we have  potatoes and   spices such as “ ras el hanout “ and  other aromatic plants such as  turmeric,  cumin, oregano and thyme  that are often stuffed with chicken that has been left to lay in a sauce in advance based on garlic, tomatoes,  paprika  and  oil , then covered with fresh sesame. 
  • The Makrout  in Tunisia, is prepared according to several recipes based on dates or traditionally with figs, this great choice and variety of ingredients is due to the rich influence that Tunisia has known for centuries with the Vandals, The Byzantines and the Phoenicians who founded Carthage and the Romans.

In this article, we have chosen to offer you a recipe of dates and honey, for the simple reason that it is the best known and most famous in Morocco.

Here is the list of ingredients:

  • 800 g of semolina
  • 200 ml of water
  • 200 ml of orange blossom
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Half a teaspoon of coffee
  • 500 g of date paste
  • 1 g of soft butter
  • 1 g of cinnamon
  • 1 g of orange blossom water
  • Frying oil
  • honey

Now let’s move on to the preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the semolina, add salt, cinnamon and melted butter.  Place the paw to knead it using your hands until the semolina is well mixed with butter. Cover your dish and leave it to lay overnight. 

In the next day:

2- In order to prepare the dates, take a small amount of semolina, add the flower water and mix well your ingredients.  

3- Next, spread the semolina on a surface containing butter, it will help you to make the cakes easily, make a small hole in them using your fingers.

4- Add the date paste you had prepared and place it in the hole then close it.

5- Now flatten the pudding of the semolina using the date paste

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  • Repeat the second and fifth steps makrout until the semolina is finished.
  • In a very hot pan, heat the frying oil and soak the makrout until it’s color turn to golden.
  • Meanwhile, prepare a bowl where you’ll mix honey and flower water.
  • Once cooked, immerse the macaroons in the bowl containing the honey and flower water and leave them – immersed in the mixture for ten or fifteen minutes, then drain them.
  1. Once they are ready let them cool and bon appétit.

             To succeed cooking this delicious oriental cake, it will have to absorb flower water, lemon juice and honey ‘s mixture as much as possible.

              Serve it with mint tea and enjoy it.

Share with us in comments what do you think of this sweet biscuit, we look forward to your feedbacks!