Beghrir- lacy pancakes

Beghrir- lacy pancakes
Beghrir- lacy pancakes Photo: Marina Oliphant

Our mothers have always told us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is especially true during the holy month of Ramadan when this meal is not taken first thing in the morning, but in the evening, literally to break the fast that Muslims observe each day from sunrise to sunset.


125g plain flour

125g fine semolina


1/2 tbsp fresh yeast

1 tsp active dry yeast

pinch sugar

500ml tepid water

melted butter

honey (I like orange blossom honey)


Tables are set with dried fruits, breakfast crepes, such as beghrir, breads and special pastries, a calorie-and-vitamin-packed mixture called sellou, fruit juices, milk and bottomless pots of mint tea. Soups are always on the menu and range from the complex harira, to simple grain-based porridges flavoured with oil, milk and herbs.

Combine the flour, semolina and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add both kinds of yeast, the sugar and a little water to dissolve the yeast. Stir, adding enough water to make a batter the consistency of whipping cream.

Set aside for 15 minutes, then add another pinch of salt and blend with a mixing wand or in a food processor to make the batter smooth. Set aside to rest for a further 15 minutes before making the crepes.

Heat a non-stick pan and gently pour in a generous ladleful of the mixture to form a pancake about 10 cm across. Cook over a medium heat until the pancake is slightly coloured on the bottom and the top is completely covered in burst bubbles like a crumpet. Turn and cook for a few seconds to dry the top surface and turn out onto a tray covered with a cloth. Repeat until all the batter has been used. Take care not to let the pan overheat. Serve hot or warm with melted butter and warmed honey or homemade preserves.