Khboz bishemar

This is a spicy fried bread from Morocco. It can be served alone, cut into small portions, as an appetizer, or served as the bread with a stew or curry. Of course you can vary the amount of hot pepper or cumin to suit your taste, but I've chosen an amount that makes you notice the spices without making you feel uncomfortable. It is best made just before eating.


Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, add the flour and salt. Mix together with a large spoon or your hands. Knead until you have an elastic, smooth dough. All of this kneading and mixing can be by hand, in a mixer, or in a food processor, if you wish. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand for 30 minutes.

Thoroughly mix the remaining ingredients, stirring well with a wooden spoon (or in a food processor).

Knead the dough for a minute. Divide into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a thin rectangle, about 3 inches by 5 inches, 1/4 inch thick. Divide the filling equally, and put on the center of each of the 6 pieces. Fold the sides over lengthwise (as you would fold a letter to put into an envelope), and flatten each filled bread, without breaking the dough. Then fold the top down to the center and the bottom up to meet it, and flatten out again. Place the filled breads on a floured surface while heating the pan.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Put 2 or 3 buns on the pan and prick the tops with a fork to release some of the steam and melted fat. Cook until golden brown on each side. Serve warm, directly from the pan.

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