Mofletas




Mofletas/mufletas may be less known than their Muslim cousins rghaif /msemmen but they are practically the same. Sure one is round, the other is square but the difference is only in shape. The taste and texture are the same.

Mofletas have more to them than a wonderful flaky texture and delicious buttery taste, they are often associated with a time when Muslims and Jews were very close. A time when they ate and celebrated together. They were made during Mimouna, a Moroccan holiday which united Muslims and Jews. I could go on and on about the beauty of this holiday but I thought the comment left by one of my readers about the experience of his Moroccan father-in-law captures the essence of it all:

“…he gets tears in his eyes when he recollects the good relations they had with their Muslim neighbors. He recounts how their Muslim neighbors wept when they left en masse to Israel in the early fifties. He also likes to tell about the Moroccan Jewish holiday of Mimouna, which marks the end of Passover. During Passover, the Moroccan Jews would not throw away the prohibited wheat flour (who could afford it?), but would entrust it to Muslim neighbors. At the conclusion of the holiday, they would reclaim it, and as a reward, would make sweets for Mimouna and invite their Muslim neighbors over. The main dish was a simple pancake called mufleta, served with honey. This is still the centerpiece of a Mimouna celebration.”

So, perhaps, as we continue to make mofletas and rghaifs we should reflect on our similarities. We all have the same needs after all. We all enjoy a flaky pancake doused with honey with a glass of mint tea. Why not do it together in harmony.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mufletas/Rghaif Recipe

Makes 4 pancakes

½ cup whole wheat flour, sifted
½ cup all purpose flour, sifted
½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water

 

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
Cornmeal or semolina (about ½ cup)

Whisk the flours and salt together. Mix the yeast with the warm water and sugar, let it activate for 10 minutes until frothy then add it to the flours. If the dough is a bit dry, add extra water, one tablespoon at a time. Mix the dough and knead it for 10 minutes until supple. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 2 to 3 hours somewhere warm.

Divide the dough into 4 balls. Combine the melted butter and olive oil in a bowl. Dip each ball in the butter-oil and flatten it with a rolling pin as thinly as possible without tearing it. Brush the flattened disc of dough generously with butter-oil mixture (about 1 tablespoon) and sprinkle it with cornmeal or semolina. Fold two ends of the dough in. Brush the folded ends with butter-oil mixture and sprinkle with cornmeal or semolina. Fold the other two ends in to obtain a square. Flatten with a rolling pin to a 6 to 7-inch square. Brush the square of dough generously with butter-oil on both sides.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Cook each mofleta until it has golden brown spots scattered throughout, 2 to 4 minutes per side.

Serve warm or at room temperature with honey and mint tea.

Related Posts:
Skhina
Celebrating Jewish Moroccan Cuisine

 

30 Responses to “Mofletas”

  1. 1

    Barbara — 01/13/2011 @ 12:18 pm

    Interesting, Nisrine. I expected with the yeast it would be more pancake texture, but the amount of flour changes that as you roll it out rather than pour it out. The basic recipe is much like my grandfather's buckwheat pancakes, but our addition of buttermilk makes it fluid.

  2. 2

    Peter M — 01/13/2011 @ 1:14 pm

    I like food as a unifer of peoples…like you and I would like to see what wrap in these.

  3. 3

    lisa is cooking — 01/13/2011 @ 3:37 pm

    What a great story of sharing the end of the holiday. And, you're right, we do indeed all enjoy a flaky pancake doused with honey!

  4. 4

    My Little Space — 01/13/2011 @ 3:55 pm

    Nisrine, this looks really inviting! I would love to have this with some curry. Thanks for the recipe. Hope you're having a fabulous day.
    Cheers, Kristy

  5. 5

    Jennifurla — 01/13/2011 @ 6:34 pm

    What lovely story you shared, I definitely learned something.

  6. 6

    Tanvi@Sinfully Spicy — 01/13/2011 @ 11:41 pm

    These pancakes look quite healthy with whole wheat flour.And the color is so nice.

  7. 7

    ♥peachkins♥ — 01/14/2011 @ 2:10 am

    I hope I can try it one of these days….

  8. 8

    Fresh Local and Best — 01/14/2011 @ 3:46 am

    I have not had mofletas or rghaif /msemmen, but I do love flat breads. These look so good!

  9. 9

    Karen from Globetrotter Diaries — 01/14/2011 @ 8:19 am

    Love this post :) I've actually never had or heard of this, just one more new thing for me to try!

  10. 10

    A Bitchin' Kitchen — 01/14/2011 @ 3:10 pm

    I've never heard of these before, but I love trying foods from different cultures! Unfortunately I have a crippling phobia of cooking anything with yeast (it seems so easy to mess up!)

    - Maggie

  11. 11

    Chow and Chatter — 01/14/2011 @ 5:55 pm

    wow what a wonderful post on how food unites us and would love to have this with afternoon tea yum

  12. 12

    A Canadian Foodie — 01/14/2011 @ 7:09 pm

    Nisrine…. what a truly beautiful and heart felt post. Food does really bring people together and the memories linger through the food. I can understand the sorrow of that loss of closeness through my relationship with my husband (from the former Yugoslavia)…. fortunately, he has been able to maintain his friendships will all sides there… but what a struggle life can be.
    :)
    XO
    Valerie

  13. 13

    Carolyn — 01/14/2011 @ 7:16 pm

    What a gorgeous post. The mofleta is lovely, but the comments about Muslims and Jews being united are even lovelier. It brings tears to my eyes.

  14. 14

    Lisa — 01/15/2011 @ 3:50 am

    I have never heard of these before, but they sound tasty and that history of them is beautiful.

  15. 15

    Dimah — 01/15/2011 @ 6:49 pm

    So beautiful , it looks scrumptious!

  16. 16

    Lael Hazan @educatepalate — 01/16/2011 @ 4:01 pm

    I'd not heard of the holiday. What a fabulous way to celebrate.

  17. 17

    Beth — 01/16/2011 @ 6:43 pm

    Those look wonderful! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  18. 18

    Not Your Ordinary Agent — 01/16/2011 @ 9:28 pm

    I enjoyed this post! I can't wait to give it a go. Thank you for sharing the history and meaning. Wonderful photos as well.
    I've attempted two Morroccan dishes… check out my blog some time and give me your thoughts: http://homesandbabies.blogspot.com/2010/10/mo-rockin-meatballs.html

  19. 19

    Magic of Spice — 01/19/2011 @ 2:22 am

    Lovely post Nisrine…
    I love mofletas, but I do not think I have seen the other round version…But either sounds wonderful. With a bit of butter and honey is how enjoy. I have never made them myself so I will have to make sure and save this recipe :)

  20. 20

    ceilithe — 01/19/2011 @ 11:54 pm

    These look absolutely lovely. I wonder how they'd work with a gluten-free flour mix. Will try. Thanks for posting!

  21. 21

    Nisrine Merzouki — 01/20/2011 @ 10:26 pm

    Ceilithe, yes you may use two cups of gluten-free all purpose flour tto make these.

  22. 22

    Liz — 02/04/2011 @ 2:07 am

    Lovely post. I've never seen mufletas made this way. The methods I've seen involve flattening and stretching out the dough balls with your fingertips (and not folding them over), and then frying them in a stack — you put one mufleta in the pan, put the next raw mufleta on top of it, and flip the stack, and repeat until you have a stack of a dozen-plus!

  23. 23

    Anonymous — 08/24/2011 @ 2:08 pm

    I have a question that you may not know the answer to, but anyways, here it is: Do you know if mufletas is similar to Egyptian pancakes called fatir? My fiance wants me to make them for him (btw I've never eaten or seen fatir before), and these seem similar from the description he gave me. I can't find a recipe for it that fits his description and I've only found a youtube video of someone stretching the dough (reminded me of strudel dough- not that I'm talented enough to have ever made it though)! So, I know you're the Moroccan expert and not an Egyptian expert of food, but I thought I'd go out on a limb and ask. Thanks! These look delicious in any event :-p

  24. 24

    Nisrine — 08/24/2011 @ 7:05 pm

    Yes, very similar in texture though I think fatir is flakier.

  25. 25

    Sarah Kafif — 09/06/2011 @ 10:50 am

    Mmm… so my favorite dessert or snack!

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  29. 29

    Miranda — 07/28/2012 @ 7:13 pm

    Hello! I spent a semester abroad in Rabat, and I ate these almost every morning – though I remember calling them milwi. I was wondering if it’s necessary to use the wheat flour; the kind I had seemed all white. I can’t wait to make these and relive one of my favorite parts of Morocco!

    Thank you!

  30. 30

    Nisrine — 07/28/2012 @ 8:16 pm

    Miranda – It’s not necessary to use whole wheat flour. They’re usually made with all-purpose.

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