Moroccan Harcha Semolina Pan-Fried Flatbread

Harcha

 
Picture Partners/Getty Images

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
283 Calories
12g Fat
37g Carbs
6g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 283
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 202mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 108mg 8%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 119mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Harcha (or harsha) is a Moroccan pan-fried bread made from semolina. Although it looks a bit like an English muffin, it's more like cornbread in texture and taste. Recipes for harcha vary from family to family. This one is quite rich in that it uses all butter and milk—it is delicious, especially when hot from the griddle! 

Offer harcha for tea time or breakfast; they're best served warm with jam, cheese, or syrup made from melted butter and honey. For a step-by-step tutorial, see how to make harcha.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (350 grams) fine semolina (not durum flour)

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup (125 grams) soft or melted unsalted butter

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup (120 to 180 milliliters) milk

  • 1/4 cup coarse semolina, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. In a mixing bowl, blend together the fine semolina, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter, and blend with your hands or a wooden spoon just until the mixture is the consistency of sand and the semolina grains have all been moistened. 

  2. Add 1/2 cup milk and mix until dough forms. It should be quite moist, wet almost, and easily packed into a large mound. Add additional milk if necessary to achieve this consistency.

  3. Shape the dough into balls any size that you like and leave the dough to rest a few minutes.

  4. Preheat a griddle or frying pan over medium-low heat. While the griddle is heating, roll the balls in the coarse semolina (if using) and flatten each ball into a disc about 1/4-inch thick, or a bit thicker if you like.

  5. Cook the harcha over fairly low heat, about 5 to 10 minutes on each side, until they turn a pale to medium golden color. Flip only once, and check occasionally to be sure the harcha aren't coloring too quickly, as they need some time to cook all the way through.

  6. Serve immediately with jam, cheese, or butter.

Tips

  • Coating the cakes in coarse semolina before frying is optional but creates a nice appearance and texture.
  • Harcha stores well in the freezer. Reheat them in a pan or in a 350 degree F (180 degree C) oven for a few minutes.
  • Dip the harcha in syrup made from melted butter and honey. To make the syrup, heat equal portions of the butter and honey until bubbly and hot.

Recipe Variations

  • Cut-out version: Instead of shaping the dough into balls, you can cut out rounds if you prefer. Leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes, sprinkle your work surface with semolina, and then press the dough flat into a large 1/4-inch-thick disc. Cut out rounds and proceed with cooking the harcha on a griddle.
  • Savory version: Stuff the harcha with some of your favorite savory ingredients, such as onions, herbs, olives, and cheese.