Bouchnikhas are sweet Moroccan delicacies served during Ramadan along with a soup, or during coffee time just after the Iftar meal..
I’m posting this outside Ramadan because I’ve fasted about 33 days during the last 4 months.
They’re less complicated than chebbakia (check my facebook page to see how they’re made) or/and griwech, which are more classic and old recipes
I suspect the invention of this recipe being at the same time when the pasta making machines became available in Morocco, which could have been only in the last 30 years. Chebbakia and Griwech seem to be more of an old Moroccan deal than bouchnikha.
As to why it is called like that, well it’s because in Morocco, we grew up using this thing called Bouchnikha as a natural toothpick. I can’t really translate it into English but here is the picture. You can still find it in the old Markets all over Moroccan cities.
If you don’t have a pasta machine, you could just shape it like this:
So, Ramadan or not, have a go at these, they are a wonderful accompaniement to your daily coffee or tea..This is my recipe which I have come up with after trying 3 or 4 variations.
Makes +50 pieces
Prep: 20 min – Frying: 3 to 4 min by batch- Soaking: about 30 min for all batches
- 500g flour
- 150 ml of milk (use what’s needed to have a smooth dough ball)
- 50 ml of orange blossom water
- 1 egg
- 70 ml of butter, melted
- 1 tbsp of vanilla sugar
- 1/2 tsp of baking powder (optional especially if you want to keep it longer)
- 1 tbsp of ground aniseed (optional)
- A pinch of salt
- Vegetable oil for frying
- About 100g of corn starch if you are making the rolled shape instead of the bouchnikha shape, otherwise you will need less
For soaking and decorating
- About 750g of honey
- 1 or 2 tbsp of orange blossom water
- Sesame seeds or fried skinned almond and crushed
Mix all liquids (use 2/3 of the milk as a start and add the rest if needed).
Make a well in the mixed dried ingredients, pour in the liquids and mix to combine.
Form dough balls the size of a small orange then shape each one into a sort of a small hot dog roll. Pick one and cover the others..
Flatten the dough balls in lenght so they go through the pasta machine, using corn starch as you go so the dough does not stick.
I start with number 7 all the way down to number 1. That’s how thin the dough should be.
Dust the dough again with corn starch in case you feel it might stick.
To make the delicate bouchnikhas
Pinch the spaghetti looking strings after each 4 to 5 cm and cut the 2 opposite sides to form one bouchnikha. You also need to push them towards the center so the string sort of open up and fan out.
Carry on with the rest of the dough.
Pour the honey and orange blossom water in a medium-size saucepan and heat them just about enough to liquify the honey. Set aside.
In a deep saucepan, heat the oil and fry batch by batch, they’re very delicate and you need space to turn them to the other side. They’ll take a couple of minutes to take a golden colour. Make sure the oil is not extremely hot to burn them either.
Once a batch has fried to perfection, use one of those strainer ladles if you have, to get rid of excess oil then dip the fried bouchnikhas into the honey. Make sure they’re well soaked.
Carry on with the next batch to fry and repeat the same thing for each fried batch.
The bouchnikhas need to soak for at least 20 min and definitely until they’re totally cooled.
Delicately transfer them into a serving plate or a container and sprinkle each layer with sesame seeds or crushed almonds (after being skinned and fried or baked).
To make the rolled version
After rolling and flatening the dough through the lasagna section of the pasta machine, dust it generously with corn starch and roll tight (as if you are making a Swiss roll). But like I said earlier, you may still use the rolling pin to do this, the dough is easy to roll thin as long as you cover it with corn starch, it won’t spring back.
The next thing you do is to cut each 3 to 4 cm of dough until the end of the rolled dough.
Use the back of a wooden spatula or a thin rolling pin and flatten the middle of the cut bits of dough while pushing toward the sides, making sure the 2 opposite sides look like this (do you see the layers of dough sort of coming out and looking pretty?)
|These were made in summer, in my mom’s kitchen|
Fry them a couple of minutes from each side. These are less delicate than the previous version however they should be fried over medium/low heat so they cook through.
|Getting rid of the extra honey..|
These need to soak in honey a bit longer than the first ones. I’d say leave them for 1 hour at least.
|Here, I remember my sister used a simple rolling pin to flatten the dough (no pasta machine) and they turned out good|
Remove them from the honey and scrape off any excess. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and place in a serving plate or a container.
|These ones have been fried and soaked in honey to perfection|
|These ones could have done with an extra minute of frying|
You could keep them in the fridge/freezer or just over a kitchen counter/pantry, but they’ll keep longer in kept in a cold place.
- 500g farine
- 150 ml lait (Utiliser selon le besoin pour former une boule de pate souple et lisse)
- 50 ml d’eau de fleur d’oranger
- 1 oeuf
- 70 ml de beurre fondu
- 1 cs de sucre vanille
- 1/2 cc de levure chimique
- 1 cs d’anis moulu (optionel)
- 1 cc de sel
- Huile pour friture
- 100g d’amidon de maïs (Maizena) surtout si vous allez faconner en rouleau au lieu de bouchnikha
- Environ 750 g de miel neutre
- 1 cs d’eau de fleur d’oranger
- Graines de sesame
Dans une casserole profonde , faire chauffer l’huile et faire frire lot par lot , ils sont très délicats et vous avez besoin d’espace pour les tourner vers l’autre côté . Ils vont prendre quelques minutes pour avoir une couleur dorée . Assurez-vous que l’huile n’est pas excessivement chaude.
Pour faire la version roulée et laminée
Après le laminage et aplatissement de la pâte à travers la section de lasagne de la machine à pâtes , saupoudrez généreusement avec de l’amidon de maïs et rouler serré dans le sens de la largeur.
Ensuite, il faut couper des trancons à chaque 3 à 4 cm de pâte jusqu’à la fin de la pâte roulée .
Utiliser le dos d’une spatule en bois assez fine ou un rouleau à pâtisserie fin et aplatir le centre des morceaux de pâte tout en roulant vers les côtés , en s’assurant que les deux côtés opposés ressemblent à un feuilletage bien apparent un peu comme sur la photo.
Les faire frire quelques minutes de chaque côté.
Cette version doit tremper dans du miel un peu plus que la premiere. Je dirais qu’il faudra les laisser tremper pendant 1 heure au moins. Par la suite, il faudra se débarrasser de l’excédent de miel ..
Saupoudrer de graines de sésame et les placer dans un plat de service.