Ramadan is for eating utterly delicious food. At least that’s my view – and one shared by many Moroccans. Of course, many of us fast, but to concentrate only on this important aspect of Ramadan would be to ignore all that goes on after sunset and prayers, including the zealous consumption of Moroccan cuisine’s best dishes, socialising and fun with family and friends!
In this blog post, Joe and I would like to share with you one of our favourite Moroccan Ramadan staples, msemen,
and to give you a recipe that you can make at home to try it for yourself. If you celebrate Ramadan in any capacity, cooking msemen will kick your iftar up several notches – if you don’t celebrate Ramadan, my exquisite recipe will give you some keen insight into this most holy month for Muslims… insight of the most delicious variety!
Msemen isn’t the kind of dish one typically finds at a restaurant, so unless you are Moroccan or if you ever celebrated iftar with a Moroccan family, it’s probably new to you. Msemen is a tasty flat bread that we dip in butter and honey, often after prayers during Ramadan, as a luxurious way to recalibrate our blood sugar and palates after a day of fasting. The plain msemen is the most common variety that is enjoyed throughout Morocco, but it is a bread that comes in many variations. Much in the same spirit as pizza – or a calzone, as it were – msemen can be filled with virtually anything to add another dimension or two. Two of my favourites are spiced minced lamb or merguez sausages. Pretty much if there’s a cheese, meat, vegetable or combination thereof that you fancy, you can stuff it in your msemen and it will be delicious.
The recipe I am sharing with you here is my personal one for msemen filled with onions and herbs. Not only is it suitable for vegan and vegetarians… it is taste fantastic! My onion and herb msemen will raise your Ramadan up another scrumptious level – and if you don’t celebrate, it is lovely to eat on its own or as an accompaniment to your favourite tagine!
To try a Moroccan classic that isn’t widely available outside of Morocco and the homes of Moroccans, cook my amazing msemen recipe.
But if you want to dip your toe in the proverbial water before doing so, join us at Zayane during Ramadan to try our special iftar menu, where you can enjoy our personal take on some of Morocco’s most spectacular dishes including msemen. To get the full story about our Ramadan menu, click hereto check out our blog, ‘Ramadan is Abundance, Not Lack’.
If you have any questions about this recipe or if you’d like to share with me what you think of my msemen recipe, please get in touch on Instagramor Twitter! And if you have any special requests for future recipes, Ramadan or otherwise, just let me know!
As ever – Ramadan Mubarak!
Zayane’s Recipe for Onion and Herb Msemen
- Bread dough
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- olive oil
- 1 bunch of parsley and coriander, finally chopped
- 2 red chillis, finely chopped
- 1tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- Salt and pepper
- Sweat the onions in a small drizzle of olive oil until translucent.
- Add chilli, herbs and spices. Cook for 5 minutes. Once done, let cool.
- Cut the dough into small balls
- Oil your working surface and spread the dough until it is so thin it is nearly translucent.
- Put 1 tbsp of the onion mix in the middle of the dough and spread it into a square.
- Fold the dough over the onion mix by bringing two opposite sides first to cover the onions then the other sides to cover the first fold making an envelope.
- Oil your first msemen and repeat the same process with the rest of the dough.
- Pan fry but do not use too much oil – just enough so the msemen doesn’t stick to the pan.
- Serve hot.