Sunday, 9 January 2011

Rfiss Zirawi الرفيس الزيراوي

In Algeria and especially in the North East, we prepare the delicious Rfiss Zirawi to celebrate different special occasions (wedding, engagement, circumcision, or even for passing the baccalaureate exam). It is a convivial dish as it can be enjoyed individually or by a group of people sitting around a circular table and helping themselves from a big plate. It is a sweet pudding made from semolina and it is always eaten hot accompanied by a nice cold glass of lben لبن (buttermilk).

My eldest son loves it very much and the last time he ate it, he made a funny act copying Jamie Oliver (British TV cook) and said ‘hum……packed with flavours’.

The traditional recipe calls for far more butter and honey than my recipe!!! But it is still nice.

Ingredients: serves 10
3 mugs of coarse semolina
½ cup of oil or melted butter
1 tbsp salt
Orange blossom water
Icing sugar
2 cups Walnuts

1.      Mix the semolina, salt, oil, 2tbsp of orange blossom water until all blended. Add water slowly until you get a firm dough
2.      Preheat the oven (2000C), spread the dough in a deep baking tray and using a knife cut the dough horizontally and vertically to have small squares. This will help when moving to the next step
3.      Cook for ½ an hour or until the top of the dough turns takes a golden colour
4.      Leave the dough to cool down and put the pieces of cooked dough in batches in the food processor and grind them to a coarse consistency (a little bit like couscous
5.      because you do not grind them finely there will still be some bigger chunks, don’t worry because you will pass it through the sieve and put what didn’t go through it back to the food processor to be grinded with the next batch
6.      Get a cousscoussiere (couscous steamer double pot) ready. Add 1 cup of  half milk half orange blossom water to the Rfiss preparation and mix with both hands
7.      Stream the preparation for ½ and hour until it starts to soften
8.      Empty the preparation in a big mixing bowl add another cup (or 1 and ½ cup) of milk, mix thoroughly, then steam again
9.      Pass through the sieve
10.  Add 6 tbsp of butter, 4 tbsp of honey, 4 tbsp of icing sugar and 1 cup of coarsely crushed walnut.
11.  Dress up in a big serving bowl or individual cups, decorate with icing sugar, walnuts halves and a drizzle of honey (put more if you want)
12.  Serve hot with cold buttermilk

1 comment:

  1. Does it make a big difference in taste/texture if you used butter or oil?
    I am tempted to make this one but I should maybe wait until the week end. it looks as if it takes a bit of time. Well done again.