Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Moroccan cooking unites nations
Popular Moroccan cooking show host, Choumicha, is delighting Algerian audiences during Ramadan.
Al-Arabiya News Channel reports that Choumicha's Ramadan recipes are uniting Algerians and Moroccans in a way that politicians have failed to do.
The recipes, both sweet and savoury, are so popular that people from both countries are coming together to break the fast in the late afternoon, especially in the border areas.
Choumicha has signed several contracts with Algerian companies to sell her recipes. Her clientele includes the wives of senior officials from both countries despite the on-going political disagreement between Morocco and Algeria over the Western Sahara region.
Last Ramadan, Choumicha signed a contract with the Algerian daily newspaper al-Chorouk al-Youmi to publish her recipes every day of the Muslim holy month and this year she has signed up with an Algerian radio station.
Despite her huge success, Choumicha only made her first visit to Algeria in June this year and was impressed by the huge welcome she received. She commented that although there are political issues between the two countries, Moroccans and Algerians themselves are friendly towards each other.
Samir Boudjaja, Commercial Manager at al-Chorouk al-Youmi, said that the circulation of the newspaper increased significantly when they started publishing the recipes last Ramadan. He added that a competition will be held for Algerian women and the winner will be awarded a flight to Morocco where she will be taught how to cook by Choumicha herself.
Moroccan Ramadan Recipe
Ramadan wouldn't be the same without sellou, a sweet, nutty, moreish nibble. Here's how to make it:
1/2kg sesame seeds
1/2kg blanched almonds
250g icing sugar
3/4 tbp cinnamon
1/2 tbp ground aniseed
1/4 tsp gum arabic, powdered
1/4 tsp salt
First, brown the flour in a dry pan, stirring constantly. Sift into a large bowl.
Wash and drain the sesame seeds, brown them in a pan and grind.
Brown the almonds in a pan and grind them too.
In the large bowl with the flour, add the sugar, almonds, aniseed, cinnamon, gum arabic, sesame and salt.
Melt the butter and allow the milk solids to fall to the bottom of the pan (or use clarified butter). Add the butter to the dry ingredients, leaving behind as much of the milk solids as you can. Mix well.
Form into a pyramid shape on a serving plate, sprinkle with icing sugar and decorate with browned almonds.
You can also mix sellou with some honey, form into balls and dip in sesame seeds.
See all our Moroccan recipes here: MOROCCAN MENU!