Makroud, Tunisian Date Pastry Recipe
Makroud, Tunisian Date Pastry
Flavors of Tunisia

Preparation time: 1 hour or more, depending on your skill
Resting time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: a few minutes per batch

Difficulty: Average
Chef's Note

An authentically Kairouanese specialty
Makhroud are small semolina cakes cut in the shape of lozenges, stuffed with dates, hazelnuts, or almonds, deep fried in oil and drizzled with honey or sugar syrup.

These delicacies are special because they combine the cereals of the north of the country with the olive oil of the Sahel region. In the past, Makhroud were made at home; today bakers and pastry chefs do the work. The most famous are called “Segni-ben Sokrana-Bouhafer-Omrani”.

Varieties :

  • Makroudh diyari (normal)
  • Makroudh bzit zitoune (with olive oil)
  • Makroudh billouze (with almonds)
  • Makroudh bijiljlan (with sesame seeds)
Semolina pastry
- 200 g (7 oz.) fine semolina
- 2 g (1/2 tsp.) ground saffron
- 100 ml (6 Tbsp.) vegetable oil
- 20 g (4 tsp.) butter
- a pinch of salt

- 150 g (5 oz.) deglet nour dates (or other variety)
- 1 orange
- 2 g (1/2 tsp.) ground cinnamon

- 150 g (5 oz.) powdered sugar
- 75 g (3 oz.) honey
- 1/2 lemon
- 50 ml (3 Tbsp.) geranium flower water, or orange flower water
- 250 ml (1 cup) water

- Toasted sesame seeds
- or ground almonds

- oil for frying

- wooden makroud stamp

1st step

  1. Heat and clarify the butter.
  2. Combine it in a bowl with the vegetable oil.
  3. Prepare the pastry by putting the semolina, saffron and salt in a bowl.
  4. Add the clarified butter/oil mixture.

2nd step

  1. Combine everything with a spatula.
  2. Gradually add in 100 ml (6 Tbsp.) warm water to form an elastic dough.

3rd step

  1. Knead the dough on a work surface.
  2. Form into a ball and spread out using the heel of your hand.
  3. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes, covered with a damp cloth.

4th step

  1. Prepare the filling by pureeing the pitted dates in a blender.
  2. Peel the orange and cut the zest into small dice.
  3. Combine the dates, orange zest and cinnamon into a paste.
  4. Shape into 3 cylinders.

5th step

  1. Knead the dough again with the heel of your hand.
  2. Divide into 3 equal pieces.
  3. Form into cylinders 2 cm in diameter.
  4. Using your fingers, form a cavity along the length of the cylinders.
  5. Fill with a cylinder of date filling.
  6. Seal the edges of the dough to enclose the filling.
  7. Smooth and shape the cylilnder lengthwise.

6th step

  1. Using the wooden press, flatten the pastry (or use a rolling pin).
  2. Cut the cylinders into rectangles and cut into equal-sized lozenges.
  3. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon.
  4. Combine the ingredients for the syrup.
  5. Fry the lozenges in hot oil until golden.
  6. Drain on paper towels before immersing in the syrup.
Makroud, Tunisian Date Pastry 1
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A recipe in special collaboration with Neyla Chehimi

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