Moroccan Rezzat El Qadi / Judge’s turban : An all-threads pancake wonder
Rezzat el Qadi/El Kadi is a rather funny name for this Moroccan pancake. The reason why it’s called so is because it looks like an Oriental Turban’s judge (English translation of the Arabic name). Picture yourself placing one on your head, you’ll get the idea.
Our judges don’t place turbans anymore on their heads but the name remains to remind us the past.
You need some patience to make Rezzat el Qadi. You also need to make sure that the dough is firm, smooth and pliable due to a good long kneading. It’s rather firmer than Msemmen dough. This is the trick to make it go through the spaghetti machine without incidents.
Rezzat el Qadi can be served drenched with honey just like a regular Msemmen or Mlaoui. But there are regional dishes where it is the base to a R’fissa dish, usually kept for big happy family events.
When I was in Assilah, I bought one mega Rezza or Rziza from a woman. It was about 2 kgs weight. I did ask her how is this rather regional speciality from a different part of Morocco ended up there in their Northern Market. She said they also have this pancake but they use it to replace vermicelli in our inland Chaariya bel hlib (vermicelli with milk soup). Coming to think of it. Rezzat el Qadi is a bit like long Angel’s hair pasta anyway.
|This mega Rezzat el Qadi definitely needs and experienced person to shape it with such finesse|
Rezzat el Qadi is not part of the Fassi cooking repertoire and I know about it because I was brought up in Casablanca which is a city of melting pot with many rural specialities. So I’ve never seen anyone making it at home. We’d rather buy it since it’s part of Moroccan Street Food especially during Ramadan.
When I moved to live abroad and YouTube as become a sensation, I learned how to make it. Practice makes perfect, and I nailed it at my third trial, after a wise woman in Morocco told me to keep the dough firm but knead it very well..That’s all what I needed to get it right.
So here I give you the recipe and tutorial to make rezzat el Qadi the fastest and easiest way, using a pasta machine, a tool that Moroccans have accommodated to their Cuisine decades ago.
Serves 6 (I make mini and medium Rzizas)
Prep: 50 min – Cooking : 4 min per pancake
For the dough
- 400 g of strong white flour
- 100 g of fine semolina flour (or strong white flour)
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- A pinch of dried instant yeast
- 250 ml of water, lukewarm (maybe more depending on the flour’s absorption, use a tablespoon to add any extra).
- 100 g of butter, melted and cooled
- 60 ml of plain oil.
- 4 tbsps of flour, for dusting while running through the pasta machine
Mix the dried instant yeast with 2 tablespoons of water and stir. Set aside for a couple of minutes until it dissolves.
Sift all dry ingredients in a work surface or a large bowl. Add the yeast, the salt and the water and mix (you could do this using a food processor or a bread machine). Mix for a few minutes to combine.
Transfer the dough to a working surface and knead it properly and energetically for about 15 minutes. The more you knead the dough (up to 25 minutes), the better. The dough is rather hard but it moistens as you go, it will come together nicely after all the kneading is done.
I found that alternating between a 5 minutes kneading and 10 minutes resting (covered) makes it easier for anyone who does not have strong wrists and arms (like me).
Shaping Rezzat el Qadi using a spaghetti machine
Form thick sausages of dough, Cover them with a cloth and let them rest for 15 minutes.
With your hands, lousely flatten each roll and gently stretch it lengthwise.
Set the pasta machine on a large number and flatten the dough from the lasagna section (Use # 1 or 2 for now). Turn to a larger number for a thinner dough.
Place each flatten dough on a work surface and lightly dust it with flour from both sides.
Bring the bowl of mixed butter under the receiving end of the pasta machine; this is where the spaghetti dough is meant to land
With one hand, ass the dough through the spaghetti section of the machine. Collect it from the other side from that pool of butter, stretch and roll over a rolling pin, a thin bottle, a courgette/cucumber or just the handle of a wooden spatula. While you are doing this, make sure threads are parallel and separated. Sretch it as you go.
Having a second person to pick up the spaghetti looking dough from the other side will be handy!
Set aside each roll of dough. Drizzle a bit of butter/oil mix and give it a pat or two to flatten it and 10 minutes rest then flatten in even further. Shape the rest of the dough as described previously.
No spaghetti machine? No worries! Get a pizza cutter and cut small strings of dough.
Cooking/pan-frying Rezzat el Qadi
Place a non -stick heavy bottom skillet/frying pan on medium heat. Cook/pan-fry as many Rzizas as you can fit into the pan.
Delicately flip them on both sides for several times (at least 3 times in each side). It’s better not to let the crust turn golden in the first time before flipping them.
The Rzizas are ready when they look nicely golden crispy from outside and their spaghetti-looking threads are separated from the inside.
Once out the pan/skillet, place Rziza in a kitchen towel and crush it by bringing the edges towards the center. It helps releasing the steam and also making sure than the threads are separated. Cover with the kitchen towel Rziza remains soft.
I also learned to steam Rezzat el Qadi for a couple of minutes before serving it so it stays soft all the way through. I managed to do it differently though. Once the Rziza is almost ready to leave the skillet, I cover it for a minute so the steam is trapped and it comes nice right there and then!
Serve them warm or freeze for another day.
Shaping the dough in sausages depends on how big or small you want to shape the rezza…
To make mini-rezzas, I shaped 30 cm tall * 2 cm wide sausages and halved them into two later on. Another time, I shape them about 20 cm tall and 4 cm wide to make slightly bigger rezzas…
Tall is not the problem as long as you can cut it..Wide would be a problem since the machine may not handle the corners properly when the dough is flattened.