Recipes

Ghoriba – Moroccan Semolina Cookies

5th March 2015

As you know at the end of last year I spent a week travelling in Morocco and getting to know the local food traditions. One of the things that surprised me most was the amount of biscuits and pastries on sale in bakeries and street stalls.

Made with almonds or semolina, flavoured with rose water or anise, glazed with honey and scattered with pine nuts or sesame seeds…there are many biscuits to choose from when visiting Morocco!

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During my holiday I attended a Moroccan cookery class at La Maison Arabe where I learnt how to bake Ghriyyaba (or Ghoriba): semolina and coconut biscuits flavoured with orange blossom and rose waters.

They were so tasty that I decided to make them again at home.

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The fine semolina flour and coconut powder give a great texture to these biscuits. The flavours comes from the orange blossom water, lemon zest and marmalade used in the dough as well as from the rose water used to roll them.

Ghoribas are easy to make and are best served at tea time with a lovely cup of mint tea.

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Ingredients

  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp orange jam / marmalade
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 250g coconut powder
  • 170g semolina flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 3 tbsp rose water
  • icing sugar for coating

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Preparation

In a bowl combine the eggs, butter and sugar and beat with an electric mixer until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Add the jam, orange blossom water, vegetable oil, lemon zest an mix well. Now add the dry ingredients, semolina, baking powder and coconut powder.

Let the cookie dough rest for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Wet the your palms and fingers with rose water, then scoop out the dough using a spoon and form a small ball using your hands. Roll the ball on one side over the icing sugar and place it on a greased baking sheet. Repeat until you have used all the  dough.

Bake the biscuits for about 10 minutes or until they are lightly browned. Allow them to cool down on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them onto a baking rack.

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