A cross between a crumpet and a pancake, Beghrir are a bubbly, lacy breakfast favourite in Morocco. They’re also an excellent way of using up any semolina you might have hanging around. Cooked on one side only and traditionally smothered in butter and honey, you need to make sure that your batter isn’t too viscous. My mother in law gave me some beautiful Hampshire rhubarb recently and I came up with this tart, fragrant compote. The pop of stem ginger and cardamom works a treat with the magenta stems. If you can’t be bothered to wait for the Beghrir batter to do it’s thing you can always make the batter the night before and just let the mixture come to room temperature before frying. Just the thing for a rainy day brunch.
makes about 20 Beghrir
for the compote
4-5 sticks of rhubarb, roughly chopped into chunks
250ml orange juice
5 green cardamom pods
3 pieces stem ginger, finely chopped plus a tablespoon of the syrup
50g brown sugar
for the Beghrir
60ml warm water
1 tbsp. active dried yeast
2 tsp. sugar
225g fine semolina
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
440ml tepid water
sunflower/vegetable oil for frying
- Make the beghrir batter by placing the warm water in a small bowl and sprinkling with yeast and then sugar. Set aside somewhere warm to activate for 5-10 minutes (it should start to look frothy).
- Tip the semolina, flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the frothy yeast mixture, vanilla, beaten egg and tepid water. Mix to form a smooth, creamy batter (it should have the consistency of thin cream). Cover and set aside for an hour.
- Meanwhile, place all the compote ingredients into a pan and simmer for about 30-40 minutes (or until the rhubarb is tender). Fish out the cardamom pods and discard.
- To cook the beghrir, heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Brush with a thin coating of oil. Stir the batter and pour a ladleful into the hot pan. Cook without turning until the surface becomes pockmarked with tiny craters and the base is a deep, golden brown. Remove and continue to add a little more oil to the pan for each one. Serve immediately with the compote.