Berkoukes. Photo: Danya Weiner | Styling: Rotem Nir
Berkoukes. Photo: Danya Weiner | Styling: Rotem Nir
Recipe

Berkoukes

Berkoukes is large semolina couscous popular in the south of Morocco, used here in a sweet porridge - a delicious treat served on the morning of Purim

Berkoukes is a Moroccan semolina porridge – a thick, sweet, larger couscous, served with a cube of butter and buttermilk.

Couscous is made from semolina grains that have been steamed and plumped, after which the swollen grains get processed twice through a strainer called a “kish-kash” to obtain fine the fine texture we know and love. When preparing berkoukes, the semolina grains are only processed through the kish-kash once, resulting in grains of a larger size and more substantial texture, their shape resembling Israeli couscous (ptitim) – the large grains are called berkoukes in Berber or mhammsa in Arabic, and are popular in Southern Morocco, used in savory dishes as well as this sweet porridge. These are then taken and cooked in milk and served with butter, sugar, and a little cinnamon for a sweet porridge similar to rice pudding.

Berkoukes is a traditional dish eaten in Moroccan homes for Purim, specifically the morning of the Purim feast. Berkoukes is also prepared when a bride goes to the mikveh, to help wish her a sweet life.

Ingredients for berkoukes

For the couscous:

  • 1.1 lbs (500 grams) semolina
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups (500 ml) milk

To serve:

  • Buttermilk
  • butter
  • Sugar
  • cinnamon

Instructions

Prepare the couscous:

  • 1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, while adding water, until small balls the size of ptitim are formed.

  • 2. Steam in a couscoussier or a strainer placed over boiling water for 15 minutes.

  • 3. On a clean kitchen towel, spread the couscous out in an even layer until cooled. At this point you can freeze in a sealed bag and cook when you want, making prepping ahead easy.  

Prepare the berkoukes:

  • 4. Cook about 2 cups of the prepared couscous in 2 cups of boiling water for about 5 minutes, while stirring, until all the water is absorbed. Add 2 cups of milk and boil again.

  • 5. Serve in individual bowls with a cube of butter, sugar and cinnamon to taste.

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