Moroccan Recipes with Semolina (Smida)

Semolina is called in Moroccan Arabic. All of these Moroccan recipes use semolina as an ingredient.
  • 01 of 19
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    Beghrir - Moroccan Pancakes. Ming Tang-Evans/Photolibrary/Getty Images

    Beghrir are tender Moroccan pancakes made from semolina. Yeast in the crepe-like batter causes hundreds of bubbles to form and break on the surface of the pancake as it cooks.

  • 02 of 19
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    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    These traditional cookies have a light, sandy texture and may be flavored with either vanilla or lemon zest. Wetting your hands with orange flower water prevents the dough from sticking while you shape the cookies; the fragrant water's essence is transferred to the cookies, of course.

  • 03 of 19
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    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    These date-filled cookies are fried and then dipped in honey - sweet and delicious!

  • 04 of 19
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    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    Similar to the semolina sweets above, but this time filled with almond paste.

    Continue to 5 of 19 below.
  • 05 of 19
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    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    Harcha (also spelled harsha) is a Moroccan pan-fried bread made from semolina flour, butter, and milk. Although it looks a bit like an English muffin, it's more like cornbread in texture and taste.

  • 06 of 19

    Harcha with Onions, Olives, Herbs and Cheese

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    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    This savory version of harcha is flavored with olive oil and (wild thyme), then stuffed with a filling of onions, olives, parsley and cheese.

  • 07 of 19
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    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    This easy Moroccan recipe yields a semolina soup flavored with saffron and anise. It's equally satisfying as a supper and breakfast food and is traditionally served with dates on the side.

  • 08 of 19
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    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    This simple Moroccan soup is easy to prepare and can be served in the evening or for breakfast. Although it's delicious as-is, honey is traditionally offered on the side for sweetening the soup.

    Continue to 9 of 19 below.
  • 09 of 19
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    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    Ghoribas with Coconut are delicious Moroccan macaroons with a crisp crust. This traditional recipe uses semolina, which perfectly complements the flavor and texture of coconut.

  • 10 of 19
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    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    Although semolina is famously used to make pasta or couscous, it also makes a very flavorful, chewy bread. Moroccan Semolina bread – or khobz dyal smida – is easy to prepare and perfect for sandwiches, breakfast, tea time or serving with tagines.

  • 11 of 19
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    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

     Easy and fairly quick to throw together, these cookies are actually an oven-baked version of harcha. Anise, sesame and raisins are optional. Make them large to serve them for breakfast, or shape smaller for tea time or as an after-school snack. 

  • 12 of 19

    Harcha au Mais (Semolina and Cornmeal Cookies)

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    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    This version of harcha dyal ferran (oven-baked harcha) is similar to the recipe above, but it includes the addition of cornmeal for rustic flavor and texture. 

    Continue to 13 of 19 below.
  • 13 of 19
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    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    Batbout is one of my family's favorite Moroccan breads. This recipe yields a soft and chewy bread with a pocket that can be stuffed like pita. Increase the amount of semolina in the dough as desired.

  • 14 of 19
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    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    These soft semolina rolls are sweet enough to offer for breakfast or tea time, but not so sweet that you can't use them as a sandwich roll. Shape them smaller if serving as dinner rolls.

  • 15 of 19
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    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    You don't have to use semolina when making the dough for this classic Moroccan stuffed bread, but I highly recommend that you do. Pan-fried like batbout, khobz chehma is first stuffed with a savory filling of onions, parsley, spices, and beef or lamb suet.

  • 16 of 19
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    Meloui - Round Moroccan Crepe or Pancake. Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    Meloui are round Moroccan pancakes (rghaif) that are shaped by rolling a folded strip of dough up like a rug, and then flattening the upright coil into a circle. They can be eaten plain or with syrup made from butter and honey.

    Continue to 17 of 19 below.
  • 17 of 19
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    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    These classic Moroccan pancakes, or rghaif, are made by flattening portions of dough and then folding them into squares. Frying the folded dough in a pan yields a layered pancake which is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

  • 18 of 19

    Moroccan Basbousa with Almonds (Chemia)

    Moroccan Basbousa (Semolina Cake). arsheffield/Flickr - CC BY-NC 2.0

    Easy to make, this Moroccan version of basbousa features a semolina and almond cake topped with a sugar syrup flavored with orange flower water. Delicious! 

  • 19 of 19

    Moroccan Baklawa

    Almond Baklawa (Baklava). Faiz de blida/Flickr - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Morocco's rendition of baklava (or baklawa as it's called instead) is made by sandwiching an almond filling between multiple layers of homemade pastry made from semolina and white flour.