The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down,
a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion.
[Quran: Chapter 2:183]


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Iftar Recipe | Moroccan Seafood (Shrimp) Briouat

Today, we feature an iftar recipe from Morocco. It is good as an appetizer. Briouats are small Moroccan savory pastries which are stuffed with a variety of fillings and then deep-fried. It is like the Indian samosa. These finger foods are good to fill the stomach during iftar.

But in the Moroccan version, a crisp, paper-thin Moroccan pastry called warqa is used. Phyllo (filo) dough or spring roll wrappers can be substituted for the warqa.

Iftar Recipe
Seafood (Shrimp) Briouat from Morocco

1 kg (2 lbs. 3 oz.) fresh medium or small shrimp, shelled and cleaned
1 tablespoon butter
handful dried black mushrooms
125 g (4 1/2 ounces) uncooked rice vermicelli
2 large fresh tomatoes, grated (discard skin)
3 cloves garlic, pressed or chopped very fine
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (divided)
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper (divided)
1/2 kg (about 1 1lb.) warqa, fillo dough or large spring roll wrappers
1 egg yolk , slightly beaten (for folding the briouats)
4 tablespoons butter, melted (for folding the briouats)
vegetable oil (for frying the briouats)


1) In separate bowls of water, soak the black mushrooms and rice vermicelli. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.

2) Cook the shrimp. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt one tablespoon of butter. Add the shrimp, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Sauté for a few minutes, stirring often, just until the shrimp is no longer transparent. Drain the shrimp and reserve the liquids to cook the vermicelli.

3) Make the tomato sauce. In a small pan, combine the grated tomatoes, garlic, vegetable oil, one teaspoon salt and one teaspoon pepper. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Mix in the parsley and hot sauce, and set aside.

4) Meanwhile, cook the vermicelli. Drain the rice vermicelli and transfer it to a pot. Add the reserved liquids from the shrimp, the tomato sauce, and the soy sauce. Stir to mix. Simmer the vermicelli uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the vermicelli is tender and the liquids are mostly absorbed. Remove the vermicelli to a cutting board, and coarsely chop it into two- to three-inch strands.

5) Make the filling. Drain the mushrooms and chop coarsely. Combine them with the vermicelli and shrimp, and stir to mix well.

6) With scissors, cut the pastry dough into strips about two-and-a-half inches wide. Place a single strip of warqa or spring roll wrapper – or two layered strips of phyllo dough – on your work surface. (If the strip of warqa is less than 10 inches long, use two layers.) Lightly brush butter on the bottom two-thirds of the dough. Place a large tablespoon of filling towards the bottom of the strip, and fold the bottom up to enclose the filling.

7) Fold the bottom left corner of the enclosed dough upwards to the right, aligning it with the right edge of the strip. Then flip the bottom right corner upwards to the left, aligning it with the left edge of the dough. You should see a triangle take shape. Continue folding the triangle, flipping right and then left in this manner, until you reach the end of the dough.

8) Trim any excess length off the edge of the dough, dab it with a little egg yolk, and tuck the end of the dough into the "pocket" formed by the open edge of dough on the briouat. You can use the tip of a butter knife or your scissors to help tuck in the flap of dough.

9) Cook or freeze the briouats. Deep fry the briouats in hot oil until light golden brown. Drain and serve. Briouats stay warm for a long time, but if frying them well in advance of serving, you can reheat them in a 350 degree oven for five to 10 minutes.

Note: You may try it baked as well - see a variation of baked spring rolls that might inspire you.

Try This Iftar Recipe Today
Shrimp Briouats

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