Moroccan Beghrir Recipe - Spongy Semolina Honeycomb Pancakes

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Beghrir - Moroccan Pancakes. Ming Tang-Evans/Photolibrary/Getty Images
  • 35 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: approx. 16 5" beghrir
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Beghrir are tender, spongy, melt-in-your-mouth Moroccan pancakes made from semolina. Yeast in the crepe-like batter causes hundreds of bubbles to form and break on the surface of each pancake as it cooks. This gives beghrir its unique texture and appearance.

Although beghrir are normally cooked only on one side, in some regions of Morocco they are flipped over for just a moment to help dry out the top. Prepared this way, they might be referred to as khringos, although in Casablanca I am more familiar with that term as the name for tiny fritter-like Moroccan churros.

Beghrir are easy to make, but in order for the bubbles to form properly, the batter must be the right consistency. If the batter is too thick, the bubbles can't form. Use the conventional measures, or try my preferred method – using a tall drinking glass to measure ingredients. (Also see the Tips at the end of the recipe.)

Also see the Gluten-Free, Yeast-Free Beghrir Recipe.

What You'll Need

  • --- Conventional Measures ---
  • 1 1/2 cups fine semolina () or durum flour ()
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • --- Traditional Moroccan Measures ---
  • 2 glasses (to the brim) lukewarm water
  • 1 level glass fine semolina
  • 1/2 glass all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon yeast

How to Make It

Make the Batter

Mix the flour, semolina, salt, sugar and baking powder in a mixing bowl. In a blender, measure lukewarm water to just over the 3-cup line. Add the yeast and process on low speed to blend. Gradually add the dry ingredients.

Increase the processing speed and blend for a full minute, or until very smooth and creamy. The batter should be rather thin, about the same consistency as crepe batter or cooking cream.

Pour the batter into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest for 10 minutes or a bit longer, until the top of the batter is light and a bit foamy.

Cook the Beghrir

Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Stir the batter, and use a ladle to pour batter into the hot skillet. Pour carefully and slowly into the center and the batter will spread evenly into a circle. (Do not swirl the pan as you would for a crepe; the batter should spread itself.) Make the beghrir as large as you like.

Bubbles should appear on the surface of the beghrir as it cooks. Don't flip the beghrir. It only gets cooked on one side.

Cook for about two minutes, or until the beghrir doesn't appear wet anywhere on the surface. It should feel spongy, but not sticky or gummy when you touch it lightly with your finger. 

Transfer the beghrir to cool in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel. Once they are cool, they can be stacked without sticking.

Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve plain with toppings on the side, or dip the pancakes in hot syrup. (See tips below.)

Leftover beghrir are best stored in the freezer, with a small piece of plastic wrap or wax paper between each pancake.

Tips for making beghrir:

  • If the bubbles don't form properly, the batter was probably too thick or it has risen too long and bubbled too much. Try thinning it by stirring in an additional tablespoon or two of water. Leave the batter to rest for an additional 10 minutes before using.
  • To speed up the cooking, try using several skillets at the same time. You could also use a large non-stick griddle
  • Many Moroccans reserve a small non-stick skillet or two exclusively for the purpose of making beghrir. Normally you don't need to oil the pan, but if there is some residue from a cooked beghrir, you can use a lightly oiled paper towel to wipe the pan clean before making the next pancake.
  • Beghrir are best served with a syrup made from butter and honey. Heat equal portions of butter and honey until bubbly and hot, and then dip the beghrir carefully and quickly in the syrup. Roll them up or layer them on a serving plate.