Moroccan potato fritters called maakouda served with a spicy harissa and tomato sauce

Moroccan street food’s maakouda: battered potato fritters


Today’s post is about one of the most amazing street food bites in Morocco: the battered Maa’kouda although the non-battered seems to be the most published and written about especially in English..

I never had a non-battered maa’kouda although I grew up in Morocco. Instead, this battered version is what what my family has been making before I was born. It’s the same version I see sold in Fes as well as in old fast food shops located in old quarters of Casablanca. I’m sure the other one also exists, but I’m sure that if you eat both, you’ll enjoy this one more.

Battered maa’kouda, or “Tortilla” as we call it in our family (don’t ask why, and don’t mix it with the Spanish egg tortilla) is made in masses. You can’t just have 1, you will eat a lot, especially when it’s served with a nice harissa sauce and a glass of tea or a soda drink (if you’re on diet, pass another day). We usually count at least 5 per person :). You’ve been warned..If you have a large family, as for help 🙂

How about this sandwich? 

For the record, I never got that batter right before. The reason why is that everytime I asked one of my family members about the ratio water/flour in the batter, they laughed at me. In Morocco, we measure by the “eye” especially in the cooking.. Measuring does not make sense, you reproduce what you see..

For the sake of this post, I measured anything going into the batter, but for the potato patties, it’s not a big deal although I measured it as well. Making good battered maa’kouda means that you need to get the batter right, this is what makes the fame of some street food sellers more than others.

I tried to give approximative measurement because some potatoes might need more seasoning than other, just like the people who might want more herbs or garlic than others..

This is a street maakouda bought in the old Rcif (Fes), the filling is almost absent. Homemade is much better.

I’ll just try to give a mother-recipe which is already a good one and an authentic one. I hope you give it a try..

Makes 14 maa’koudas
Prep: 30 min- cooking: 4 min by batch

For the potato patties

  • About 400g of boiled potatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 tbsp of chopped herbs (parsley and/or coriander)
  • Salt, black pepper, harissa or cayenne, ground cumin to taste

For the batter

  • 70 g of all purpose flour
  • 10g of corn starch (I like to add it, replace with all purpose flour)
  • 40 g of fine semolina flour (or fine semolina), see note
  • 180 ml of water, lukewarm
  • 3 g of instant dried yeast
  • 3 g of baking powder
  • Seasoning: 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of ground cumin (optional), 2/3 tsp of turmeric, 2/3 tsp of sweet paprika, a hint of grated garlic.

For the harissa sauce SEE HERE

  • 1 heaped tbps of good homemade harissa (if you really can’t find it or make it, use tabasco or sambal oelek)
  • 1 heaped tsp of tomato paste/concentrate
  • 2-3 tbsp of water
  • 2 heaped tbsp of freshly grated tomato (seeds out) or a good passata
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt, black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp of chopped coriander
Battered fish served with Maa’kouda. So instead of fish and chips, how about fish and maa’kouda?


Prepare the batter

Mix all ingredient in a blender and set aside at room temperature, covered, for 1 or 2 hours (you can also make it ahead and keep it in the fridge for up to 12 hours). The batter should have some bubbles and ned to double in size. It should be thicker than baghrir’s batter.
Prepare the potato mix
  • Boil potatoes with a clove of garlic and a pinch of salt.
  • Once potatoes are tender, let them cool a bit then peel them and mash them. Add the seasoning and mix.
  • Make patties up to 4 cm in diameter and not more than 1 cm thick. Make sure you compact them properly.
  • We usually form the patties by squeezing, rotating and patting in order to from a compact patty. Be gentle or otherwise the edges will break.
  • Place the patties in a tray, cover them with a cling film and set aside for about 1 hour. You may as well keep them in the fridge until you need them. The more we keep the potato mix throughout the day the better it is for the texture as well as the flavour.
You don’t have to add harissa to the potato patties’ mix but it does make a difference.
Fry the battered maakouda
  • Heat the oil in a deep pan.
  • Stir the batter with a fork. Dip in the potato patty. Fry from both sides on medium-high heat. Usually it takes about 90 seconds up to 2 min per side.
  • The battered maakouda is ready when it looks nicely golden. Fish it and transfer it to sieve to drain from oil.
  • Serve maakouda hot or at room temperature along with the harissa sauce (rather than the harissa paste), along with a glass of mint tea or a fizzy drink.
Options for the batter
  • You may use 100% all purpose flour but the fine semolina flour gives it a nice texture. I usually mix up to 50%-50%. You can even coat the potato patties with the semolina flour to enhance the texture..
Battered maakouda with fine semolina flour
Options for the filling
  • You may add more dry ingredients to the filling such as sautĂ©ed ground meat, sautĂ©ed mushroom, sautĂ©ed onions, cold cuts, spring onions, tinned tuna, peas, herbs, spices etc..
Potato patties with spring onions and grated spicy cold cuts called “cacher” in Morocco
If you have leftovers for the next day, you may heat them in a hot oven, it will be still yummy.

2 thoughts on “Moroccan street food’s maakouda: battered potato fritters

  1. Hanaa indeed you can use it to batter fish, vegetables such as zucchini. In one of the pictures I have battered 2 pieces of cod fish filet..My dad used the leftover batter by stirring more seasoning in it and made flat beignets, we enjoyed them too..


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s