Sunday, 24 April 2016

Stuffed dried apricots - Mechmach mâammar

-Guest post-

Today's post has been put together by a friend of mine who shares with me the love for everything Moroccan. We share similar interests when it comes to finding the origin of Moroccan recipes and how they're done across the country.

She is a very knowledgeable person who constantly looks for ways to promote Moroccan culture and traditions and she does it so beautifully.

When I asked her to write a guest post for the blog, she was so kind to accept and come up with a wonderful recipe from the magical word of Moroccan Sephardic Cuisine. Happy reading and cooking!



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Stuffed dried apricots or
mechmach mâmmar is a very old Jewish Moroccan recipe. 


Moroccans jews are known for having a rich repertoire of stuffed fruit dishes, such as stuffed fresh medlar (mzah), dried apricots, dried prunes and so on. 

Moroccan Jewish cooking is mild and uses spices which are different from the usual ones used in the common Moroccan cuisine. The main spices used are cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, bay leaves and white pepper.

This recipe was adapted from the book : "La cuisine Juive Marocaine", by Lévy-Mellul Rivka.




Ingredients
Serves 4 as a main dish or 8 served as an appetizer 
Prep: 10 min - Cooking: 25 -30 min

  • 500 g dried apricots, well washed
For the stuffing (meatballs)
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 yellow or white onion, medium, chopped finely
  • 200 g minced meat 
  • 1 full tbsp. of parsley, finely chopped 
  • Salt to taste 
  • ¼ tsp of each : ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, white pepper, mace 
  • ½ level tsp of black pepper 4 tbsp. water (it makes the minced meat softer)

For the sauce 
  • 2 tbsp. clarified butter (smen, or ghee) (You could also melt the butter in the pan until to a brown-hazelnut colour, without burning). 
  • 1 pinch of each : ginger, white pepper, mace, nutmeg, saffron threads 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks 
  • 1 ½ cups water (enough water to cover the apricots).

Preparation

In a pan, melt the butter and fry the onion until translucent.

In a bowl, mix the fried onion with the rest of the ingredients for the meatballs. Make small balls (hazelnut size) with the minced meat mixture.

If the apricots you are using are large, make larger meatballs.

Open the apricots with a sharp knife, along one side so they 
partially resemble to open clam shells.

In a pan, reheat the clarified butter. Add the stuffed apricots and the rest of the ingredients. Cover with enough water. Cover the pan and cook until the apricots are soft.


2 comments:

  1. You know, this recipe has been very loosely adapted from a Moroccan Jewish one for one glaring reason: Jews never have meat and dairy products (in this case butter) in the same recipe, it is against kosher rules. The meat should surely be browned in oil and the same for the stuffed apricots at the end. Otherwise the recipe is superb!

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    Replies
    1. You are absolutely right! However, she mentioned that it was adapted was adapted from the book : "La cuisine Juive Marocaine", by Lévy-Mellul Rivka. I guess she meant not literally followed the recipe to its bits.

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