Traditional Moroccan Rghaifs with spiced onion and Khlii

I love having these baked onions and khlii Rghaifs for lunch. Actually, one of my aunties makes them better than anyone else in the family. She makes them about 8 cm square with a fine layer of dough. Perfection! Whenever she invites me for lunch, she knows I’ll ask for them. So it became a tradition. My mother comes second in the family when it comes to making these..

 

Anyway, Rghaifs with spiced onion and khlii are a bit heavy. They’re served for lunch as a starter, hot with a hot glass of Moroccan tea. Any dish that comes after should be really light. We never served them with cold salads. Khlii and its sediments called agriche (a must in this recipe) contain a bit of fat, so a cold salad and these filled laminated pancakes will clash in your stomach.

We make extra Rghaifs and we freeze them for another day. They just need to go to a hot oven (without thawing them).

This is a family recipe ..

A new way of shaping Rghaif

Ingredients
For 15-20 small Rghaifs
Prep: 60 min / Cooking time: 20 min

Rghaif/Msemmen dough

  • 250g of strong white flour
  • 250g of fine semolina flour
  • A pinch of dried instant yeast (optional)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 260-280 ml of water, lukewarm

For laminating the Rghaifs

  • 100 ml of vegetable oil
  • 200 g of fine semolina flour

Extras for finishing and baking

  • 1 egg yolk for egg wash (optional)
  • Oil for the baking trays

Khlii and onion filling

  • 4 medium-size onions, grated or finely chopped
  • 200g of khlii shredded or cut into small pieces
  • 6 tbps of agriche (mostly the sediments)
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbps of sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne (optional)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • Pepper

 

Preparation

Make the filling

Place a pan over medium heat. Fry the onions in a bit of Khlii’s fat. When the onions become transparent and cooked through, add the remaining ingredients and stir. Set away from the heat.Set aside to cool.

Make Rghaif/Msemmen dough

Mix all ingredients with 3/4 of the water. Knead for 10 minutes by machine or 20 minutes by hand Add the 1/4 of water progressively during the kneading process when needed.

The dough should be smooth and kneaded to a perfect elasticity. Cover and set aside to rest for 15-20 minutes so the dough relaxes a bit.

Shape onions and Khlii Rghaifs

Oil your hands, make balls the size of an apricot and smear them with oil. Place all the dough balls in an oiled tray.

Cover with foil or cling film while you prepare the work top and preheat the oven at 180 degrees.. Store them on a table or an oiled tray.

Roll the balls one by one with the palm of the hand and then with oiled fingers gently stretching the dough in all directions until it is thin (transparent) and spread evenly. Sprinkle with fine semolina flour (optional).

Classic method of folding small stuffed Rghaifs. They should
be filled generously. (Here: the stuffing is with vegetables)

Place a couple of tablespoons of filling and shape a Rghifa square by folding the opposite sides on each others. At this stage, the filled square should be no more than 6 cm large.

A modern way of shaping Small Rghaifs (here with onion and agriche only)

Place on a baking sheet and leave about 15 cm space around each Rghifa. Flatten slightly and brush with egg wash (optional). They should be around 10 cm large by now.

Baking Rghaifs

Make preheat the oven to 180-200 degrees C depending how big the oven is. Bake for about 20 min until golden from top and bottom,

You will need a good glass of tea with mint to digest ..

Author: Nada

Nada Kiffa is an Expert in Moroccan cooking and her recipes are coming from a lineage of Moroccan home and professional cooks. Cooking classes and posted articles are inspired by her family life in Morocco and elsewhere. You will learn what makes a dish Moroccan before learning how to execute it. You will also learn how to work around recipes and cut corners without missing on the flavour.

One thought

  1. Whats the keybto not getting any tears on the stretching part? I used a lot of oil and used my fingers with a gliding, sweeping motion and i still get tears around the edges. Ive made msemen many times but its harder to hide the tears when making stuffed msemen and rghaif

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