Makroud is one of the tastiest Algerian sweets. It consists of a mixture of semolina and flour that is later kneaded and fried in abundant oil before being watered with syrup.
The syrup is made of lemon sugar, vanilla, water, and a fragrant aroma that gives it a memorable taste.
What is Makroud?
Makroud (المقروض), makrout, maqroudh, or maqrouth, is a North African pastry that is popular in Algeria and Tunisia as well as in some cities of Morocco, Libya, and Malta.
Origin Of Makroud
Some sources say that its origins are from the oases of Mzab and the steppes of Setif in Algeria and others say that its story would be linked to the city of Kairouan, the spiritual capital of Tunisia, a city that hosted the first national makroud festival on May 20, 2008.
Methods To Make Makroud
It can either be fried or baked in an oven
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180˚C), and bake the pan on the center rack for about 30 minutes (watch carefully so they evenly get a nice golden color).
Heat a large pot with oil and deep fry the makroud on each side until browned.
For both methods, the diamonds should be arranged close to each other to prevent the dates from burning.
It is in Algeria that most varieties of this rich North African pastry can be found. The Algerian version is fried or baked.
In Tunisia, even if the famous Kairouan makroud is prepared with dates, the most traditional Tunisian version and the oldest is a semolina-based version stuffed with fresh figs. However, both versions are equally famous and widely consumed in the country.
Moroccans also eat a lot of these delicate pastries, especially in the cities of Oujda, near the Algerian border, in Tetouan where it was introduced by Algerian immigrants, and in Fez where it was introduced by the Tunisians from Kairouan in the ninth century.
In Morocco, the most common version is the classic preparation with semolina and dates.
Be Sure to Try These Other Authentic Algerian dishes!
Below is our homemade Makroud recipe and there is nothing better than homemade.
Makrout (Algerian Semolina Pastries)
- 4 cups semolina flour
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 pinch salt
- ⅓ cup warm water or as needed
- 1 tablespoon orange flower water
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
- 4 cups finely ground almonds
- 1 ¼ cups white sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
- 2 pinches ground cinnamon
- 1 dash almond extract
- 1 12 ounce jar honey
- 3 tablespoons orange flower water
- 2 cups oil for frying or as needed
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds for garnish
- Combine semolina, oil, butter, and salt in a large bowl. Rub the grains of semolina between your fingers, so that all the grains are well coated. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside. Let it rest like this for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight. The mixture should be like wet, oily sand in the morning.
- Combine warm water and orange blossom water when you are ready to make the makrout. Slowly add mixture to the semolina mixture along with flour and vanilla sugar and knead into a soft dough. Add just enough liquid for a soft, smooth dough. Don't overwork the dough-- knead it just enough to have a smooth and flexible dough that can easily be shaped into a ball. Set dough aside.
- Combine ground almonds, sugar, vanilla sugar, cinnamon, and almond extract in a bowl for the filling. Roll mixture into 2 long logs and set aside.
- Divide semolina dough into 2 balls, then flatten to pat into a rectangle, about 3 times the width of your filling logs. Press down in the center of the rectangle with your fingers to form an indentation. Set filling log into the indentation. Fold dough over the filling and press the edges together to seal. Roll the log back and forth gently to shape the dough around the filling and smooth log into a uniform shape. You can cut the logs in half for easier handling.
- Cut each log into diagonal pieces, creating diamond-like shapes. Reshape the cut ends to have a nice uniform look. Set the makrout aside to rest, as you heat up a deep, heavy saucepan with oil - about 3 fingers deep.
- Combine honey and orange flower water in a small saucepan for the syrup. Heat over low heat until just below simmering and keep warm.
- Once the oil is hot, deep-fry makrout in small batches until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue frying until all the dough pieces are cooked.
- Dip fried makrout into the hot honey syrup and submerge in the syrup for about 1 minute. Remove and drain on wire racks. Repeat the process, dunking each makrout into the syrup a second time. Remove and drain on wire racks. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.