1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese, shredded (optional)
2 VeganEggs, prepared according to instructions on package
¼ cup non-dairy milk
for the crust:
1. sift flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
2. cut margarine into the flour with a knife or a pastry blender until the chunks are about the size of peas.
3. add water 1 tablespoon at a time and knead until dough just comes together, being careful not to overwork it. wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
for the filling:
1. cut onions in half lengthwise and lay them cut-side down. make four to five cuts through the onion lengthwise, angled towards the center of the onion, such that you get visible rings. crush, peel and chop garlic.
2. heat butter over medium-high heat in a large pan. cook onions, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and thyme for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and translucent. reduce the heat to medium-low, add garlic, and cook for about another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have caramelized and attained a deep golden brown color.
3. remove from heat. beat two VeganEggs (aka, just the powder mixed with water) with ¼ cup non-dairy milk and stir into the warm filling.
1. roll out dough between two lightly floured sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. form a rough circle by placing your rolling pin in the center of the dough and pushing outward, repeating the motion as you move around. the dough should be roughly 1/4″ thick.
2. remove the top layer of plastic wrap and flip the dough over into a 9″ tart tray or pie tin. press the dough into the edges of the tin with a fork, making sure that it’s pressed all the way down into the corners. don’t work the dough with your hands too much or you risk melting the butter. prick holes into the bottom of the dough with a fork
optionally, refrigerate the crust for another half hour or so before baking (this should make the finished product more flaky).
3. cover the center of the dough with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights, or something like dried beans, so that the dough doesn’t puff up during baking.
4. parbake the crust at 400 F for 12 minutes. remove the pie weights and cook for another 5 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden brown.
5. pour the filling into the pie and bake for another 25-30 minutes until the edges of the crust are golden brown.
6. cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil and continue to bake until the filling of the tart is no longer liquid.
7. top with shredded mozzarella and sliced fresh figs, or serve with fig jam.
seffa madfouna is a Moroccan main dish that consists of a meat such as chicken, lamb, or beef buried (“madfouna”) in a dome of couscous or vermicelli that’s been sweetened with powdered sugar, golden raisins, and butter. without the meat, the dish is called “seffa” and is served as a dessert.
for the seffa:
1lb (450g) broken vermicelli (you can find this in a Middle Eastern or comparable store)
½ tsp ground black pepper or whole black peppercorns, toasted and ground
½ tsp ground white pepper
or whole white peppercorns, toasted and ground
1 tsp salt
1 large pinch saffron, toasted
2 tsp ground cinnamon, or 2 cinnamon sticks
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup almonds
2 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tsp orange blossom water
about ½ cup dried dates (optional)
additional powdered sugar and ground cinnamon
steaming the seffa:
the vermicelli will need to be steamed three or four times.
1. place vermicelli in a large bowl and, using your hands, coat evenly with oil.
2. boil about 8 cups of water, lemon, orange blossom water, and cinnamon in the bottom of a couscoussier, or in a large pot.
3. reduce heat to medium-low and add vermicelli in the top of your couscoussier, or in a strainer or colander that fits inside the pot without touching the water. steam for about 20 minutes, until you see the edges of the broken vermicelli begin to point upwards.
[before and after steaming]
4. return the vermicelli to the bowl and add about 1 cup (250ml) warm, salted water, using your hands or a fork to ensure that the water is evenly distributed. allow the vermicelli to absorb the water for about 10 minutes.
5. return the vermicelli to the couscoussier and steam for another 20 minutes, until the edges begin to point upwards. this is the second steaming.
6. return the vermicelli to the bowl and add 1/3 to ½
(80 – 120ml) cup of water, depending on how dry the pasta feels. it should be almost tender enough to eat.
7. add in the golden raisins. return the vermicelli to the couscoussier and steam for another 20 minutes
(you may need to add more water). this is the third steaming.
8. repeat this process again if the vermicelli is still not tender enough to eat. it won’t have the same texture as cooked noodles but it shouldn’t be hard in the center.
9. add margarine and sisugar, making sure they’re evenly incorporated.
preparing the meat:
1. defrost the beefless tips in a bowl filled with warm water until no longer frozen.
2. mix the oil with the ras el hanout, ground ginger, black pepper, white pepper, salt, cinnamon (if using ground) and saffron. toss beefless tips in spiced oil, leaving aside about 3 tbsp for cooking the onions. set beef in the fridge to marinate.
3. heat the remainder of the spiced oil over medium heat and add onions, beefless tips, and cinnamon (if using a stick). cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the tips are fully cooked. set aside.
preparing the toppings:
1. blanch the almonds by leaving them in boiling water for about a minute, rinsing them in cool water, and gently removing their skins. dry thoroughly.
2. heat enough oil to cover the almonds in a pan over medium-low heat. an almond dropped into the oil should cause a bubble to form–if the oil sputters, it’s too hot. fry almonds, stirring constantly, until golden brown. allow to cool.
3. grind ½ cup of fried almonds in a food processor with 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tsp orange blossom water until coarse crumbs form. set aside.
assembling the dish:
1. spread a layer of vermicelli on the bottom of a large serving dish. top with a mound of beefless tips in a rough dome shape.
2. pile the rest of the vermicelli on top of the beefless tips until they are fully covered, completing the dome.
3. top with fried almonds, almond mixture, ground cinnamon, powdered sugar, and dates as desired.
vegetable pastilla (Moroccan sweet and savoury pie with squash, chickpeas, and almonds)
recipe under the cut!
I’ve substituted the typical pigeon or chicken with zucchini, yellow squash, and chickpeas in this vegan recipe. for the shell you’ll need to make warqa dough (which isn’t really commercially available outside of Morocco), or you can substitute store-bought phyllo dough, which isn’t quite as thin and crispy but will do the trick.
for the warqa dough:
1 ¾ cup high-gluten bread flour
¼ cup semolina flour / durum flour (or substitute all-purpose flour)
½ cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight, or 1 can chickpeas
3 vegan eggs from Follow Your Heart (optional)
1 small bouquet of parsley, diced
1 small bouquet of cilantro, diced
1 ½ cup almonds
1 tbsp cinnamon
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp orange blossom water
to form the pastilla:
¼ cup vegan margarine, melted
additional almonds (optional)
about 2 tbsp powdered sugar
about 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
for the warqa:
1. add flours and salt to a food processor and pulse a few times to sift.
2. add the wet ingredients and process on low for 1-2 minutes, until you get a smooth batter.
3. refrigerate the batter for at least two hours, or overnight.
4. bring a few inches of water to a fast boil in a large pot, and place a large, nonstick pan over the pot, tying it with kitchen string if necessary–this will help to evenly distribute heat and prevent the warqa from drying out. allow the pan to heat for a few minutes.
5. using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of batter onto the pan in large, circular strokes, filling the entire pan. carefully apply a second layer to any bare spots (but don’t worry about small holes or feathery edges).
6. cook until the warqa becomes opaque and the edges start to curl, about 2 minutes. loosen the edges of the dough with a spatula and peel the dough off of the pan using your hands.
7. flip the dough over onto a plate covered with a paper towel, and lay another paper towel on top of it. repeat, stacking the sheets of dough on top of each other, until you’ve used all of the batter.
for the savoury filling:
1. toast cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and saffron threads in a dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant. (if using ground spices, just toast the saffron threads.)
2. grind spices in a spice mill (I use a coffee grinder). if you’re using ground spices, you can just crush the toasted saffron threads with your fingers or in a mortal and pestle.
3. mix ground spices, ras el hanout, and 2 tsp salt with 3 tbsp olive oil–if you’re using ground ginger, add it now. chop the zucchini and yellow squash into small cubes and coat them with the spiced oil.
4. spread the squash evenly in a single layer over a baking sheet and roast at 450F for 20 minutes.
5. heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan on medium heat for a few minutes until sizzling. add diced onion and garlic and grated ginger and cook for a few minutes until fragrant, stirring occasionally.
6. (optional): whisk ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp Follow Your Heart vegan egg mix with 1 ½ cups of cold water until smooth.
7. add egg mixture, roasted squash, chickpeas, parsley, and cilantro to the pan with the onion and garlic. heat, stirring occasionally, until the eggs are fully cooked and appear scrambled (or until the filling is warmed through, if you’re omitting the eggs).
for the almond filling:
1. blanch the almonds by boiling them in water for about a minute, emptying them into a colander and rinsing with cool water, and gently pinching the skins to remove them.
2. heat about 2 tsp of vegetable oil on medium in a large pan and fry the almonds for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown. set aside some almonds for a topping, if desired.
3. pulse almonds, sugar, cinnamon, and orange blossom water a few times in a food processor until you get coarse crumbs.
forming the pastilla:
1. place one sheet of warqa in the bottom of a pie pan and brush with melted margarine. place 4-5 more sheets around the pan so that they cover all of the sides and hang over the edge, brushing each one with more melted margarine. add 2 more sheets of warqa in the middle, brushing each with margarine.
2. place the savoury filling in the pie, making sure that it’s even and spread all the way to the edges.
3. (optional): add another sheet or two of warqa on top of the savoury filling and brush with margarine.
4. spread the almond filling over the warqa, making sure that it’s even and spread all the way to the edges.
5. add another 2-3 sheets of warqa, brushing each with margarine, and fold the excess inwards.
6. fold the excess warqa around the sides of the pan inwards, brushing each sheet with more melted margarine.
7. cover the pastilla with 1-2 more sheets of warqa, tucking the excess into the sides of the pie pan. brush the entire thing with more margarine to seal.
8. bake on the center rack of an oven at 400F for about 40 minutes, until warqa is golden brown and crisp. allow to cool slightly before removing from pan.
1. sift powdered sugar evenly onto the surface of the pastilla.
2. add ground cinnamon, spread evenly or in a pattern as desired (I formed diamonds by criss-crossing lines of cinnamon carefully with a small spoon).
3. add the almonds you kept back from the almond filling as desired. you can also use sliced or slivered almonds. try doing an image search for “Moroccan pastilla” or “pastilla marocaine” for decoration ideas.
cut carefully and serve! pastilla is often eaten with harissa, a North African hot sauce made with red peppers.
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated (or 1 tbsp ground ginger)
1 can coconut milk
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tsp brown sugar (optional)
for the cream:
½ ~13.5 fl oz can of coconut cream (or allow a can of coconut milk to separate and scrape the solidified cream off the top, then heat it until it’s liquid)
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
for the cream:
1. mix coconut cream with ginger. allow to set in the fridge while you make the soup.
for the soup:
1. mix salt, pepper, turmeric, mace, paprika, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves in a small bowl (also add ginger at this point if you’re using ground).
2. halve and seed the squash. coat each half in melted margarine and cover liberally with some of the spice mix (you’ll have some left over). place the squash cut-side-down on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.
3. remove the papery outer skin from the head of garlic and chop about ¼ inch off across the top of the whole bulb, exposing the cloves of garlic. drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over the top of the bulb until all of the cloves are covered. wrap with aluminum foil and place on the baking sheet with the squash. roast squash and garlic at 425F for 35 minutes.
4. set squash aside to cool slightly, then scoop the flesh into a bowl. remove the roasted garlic cloves from their skins.
5. heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in the bottom of large pot over medium-high heat, then sauté freshly grated ginger & chopped onion with the rest of the spice mixture until the onion is soft and translucent. allow to cool.
6. puree the squash with roasted garlic, onion, vegetable stock, coconut
milk, and brown sugar in a food processor or blender until smooth. depending on the size of your food processor or blender, you may need to do this in several batches.
7. return the soup to the pot and heat through. taste and adjust spices.
8. optionally: retain the seeds from the butternut squash. wash and dry them, then roast them at 275F for 15 minutes. you can also use pumpkin seeds.
serve soup warm topped with cream, squash seeds, and additional spice mixture if desired.
1. prepare the vegetables: chop the onion, peel the potatoes and turnips and cut them into large cubes; peel the carrots and cut them into large chunks (horizontally in pieces of about 3 inches and then in half lengthwise); wash the zucchini and cut it in the same way; peel the tomatoes (placing them in a covered bowl for about a minute with some boiling water should make this easy) and cut them into forths, keeping the seeds; cut the cabbage into very large pieces; and dice the parsley and cilantro.
2. heat olive oil in a large pot on medium-high until it starts to shimmer. add chopped onion and ras el hanout, cumin, paprika, ginger, cinnamon, and salt and saute until the onion begins to turn transluent (about 8 minutes).
3. lower the heat to medium / medium-low. add potatoes, turnips, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, chickpeas (if using dried), saffron, parsley, and cilantro to the pot along with 2 cups of water. cover and cook for about an hour.
4. add the zucchini, red chilis, chickpeas (if using canned) and another cup of water. taste and adjust spices. cover and continue to cook until the zucchini is slightly soft, about 15 minutes. remove from heat.
for the couscous:
1. add 3 cups of couscous to a large bowl. add olive oil and work the couscous with your fingers until the grains are coated in the oil.
2. add salt and boiling water, then cover the bowl. allow couscous to steam for about 10 minutes.
3. add butter if desired and fluff up the couscous with a fork–it should be cooked through and much larger in volume.
1. in a large dish, pile the couscous in a dome-like shape.
2. pour some of the sauce from the pot over the couscous, then top the dome with the vegetables as desired. (make sure to fish out the cinnamon stick if you used one!)
couscous dishes are always eaten with khobz and are especially popular during Ramadhan.
about 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
1 or 2 13.5 fl oz. cans or boxes of coconut milk (preferably Chaokoh or another brand that has nothing added to it), refrigerated and allowed to separate
2 tablespoons of red curry paste
1 small white onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
a 1-inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 zucchini, sliced
1 cup mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
2 tsp brown sugar
4 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
splash of lime juice
a few tablespoons of basil (optional)
salt to taste
1. slice open the package of tofu on one side and drain out as much water as you can. press the tofu–place a dish towel or folded paper towels on a hard surface, then place the block of tofu on top of those, then add another layer of towels, and then weight it all down with something (about the weight of a can of soup). leave that for about 30 minutes to get more moisture out.
2. cut the tofu into even cubes of your preferred size. lay the cubes on a plate in a single layer and freeze for a few hours, until they darken and harden. toss the frozen tofu into boiling water and boil for at least 15-20 minutes, agitating occasionally.
3. remove cubes of tofu from boil and drain. pat them dry with a towel to get as much moisture out as possible. sprinkle 2 tbsp of cornstarch over them and coat evenly. heat coconut oil in a large pan on medium-high heat and then add tofu. turn the cubes to a new side to cook every couple of minutes, until all sides are golden brown (this is tedious but I find that chopsticks help). set aside and rinse out your pan.
4. open 1 can of coconut milk and scoop out just the cream–it should form a solid, white layer on the top. add the cream to your pan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the fat in the cream starts to separate out from the oil. (if this doesn’t happen, which is possible depending on what kind of coconut milk you used, just add some coconut oil to the pan and you’re good to go.)
5. decrease the heat to medium-low and add the curry paste to the coconut milk. fry for 5-10 minutes, until you can see coloured oil start to separate out.
6. add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion starts to soften and turn transculent. add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute, stirring often.
7. add the brown sugar, the remaining coconut water from the first can of coconut milk, and the cream from a second can of coconut milk if desired. increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil.
8. decrease heat to medium and add tofu, zucchini, and mushrooms. simmer until zucchini starts to soften slightly.
9. add bell peppers and cook for another 5 minutes, until slightly softened. add soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, and salt. serve over brown jasmine or long-grain brown rice.