Sunday, May 7, 2017

How to Make the Jamie Oliver's Savoury Moroccan Vegan M'Hanncha - Vegetarian Recipes



This recipe is Jamie Oliver's version of Moroccan M’hanncha, meaning ‘snake’ (snake cake or serpent cake), is an almond paste-filled pastry made with Morocco’s warkha pastry (filo pastry is a good substitute). The pastry is served at celebrations, with guests breaking off pieces from the coil. Serve with mint tea or coffee.

Jamie's version is Savoury style with pearl barley, squash and spices. It is a wonderful way to wrap up gorgeous smashed vegetables and grains to make a beautiful-looking dinner, while also adding amazing texture – crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle.

Serves 8
2 Hours plus cooling


100g pearl barley
1 butternut squash (1.2kg)
2 red onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 red peppers
1 big bunch of coriander (60g)
olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
1 heaped teaspoon fennel seeds
1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
100g mixed dates and dried apricots
1/2 a lemon
10 sheets of filo pastry (Sometimes called phylo (phyllo) leaves or warqa leaves which you can buy ready-made at local shops or from for extra convenience) You can substitute this using strudel leaves or Chinese spring roll wrappers but filo leaves is a lot thicker. Two common sizes of phyllo sheets are 12 by 17 in/30.5 by 43 cm and 9 by 14 in/23 by 35.5 cm.

1 tablespoon shelled pistachios
icing sugar, for dusting


1) Cook the pearl barley according to the packet instructions, then drain.

2) Wash the squash, then carefully cut it in half lengthways and remove the seeds.

3) Peel the onions and garlic, and deseed the peppers.

4) Chop the squash, onions and peppers into 1cm dice. Finely chop the garlic with the coriander stalks (reserving the leaves). Place it all in a pan on a medium-low heat with 2 tablespoons of oil, the chili flakes, fennel and cumin seeds, and the ground coriander.

5) Sweat with a lid on for 25 to 30 minutes, or until soft but not colored, stirring occasionally.

6) Remove the stone or seed of the dates and finely chop the flesh with the apricots and coriander leaves. Fold into the vegetable pan with the drained pearl barley, squeeze in the lemon juice, season to perfection, then leave to cool.

7) Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.

8) Lay out two clean damp tea towels on a large work surface, side-by-side, with the longest edges facing you. Working quickly but taking care, lay out 3 sheets of filo side-by-side with the short edges towards you, overlapping each one by 2- 1/2 cm and brushing between the overlaps with water.

9) Lightly brush the sheets with oil, place 3 filo sheets directly on top, then repeat with another 3 sheets.

10) Save the remaining sheet for patching up.

11) As evenly as possible, spoon your filling in a line along the long edge closest to you. Brush the opposite long edge with a little oil. Now, I would recommend finding a friend to help you roll it up if you cannot do it alone.

12) Working slowly and carefully, use the tea towels to help you roll it up and away from you into a giant cigar, keeping it on the damp tea towel at all times. Roll it into a large pinwheel, working quickly but handling it gently to avoid too many cracks.

13) Gently slide it into a large greased baking tray, and patch up any gaps, if needed.

14) Brush all over with more oil and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until gorgeous, crisp and golden.

15) Ten minutes before the end, smash and sprinkle over the pistachios and an extra pinch of each of the spices, if you like.

16) Serve with a super-light dusting of icing sugar. Delicious with all the usual trimmings or served with a Spiced tomato sauce (please refer to the recipe below).

Filo Pastry (Phyllo Pastry) Buyer's Guide

This thin pastry of the Eastern Mediterranean is not Moroccan, but it is the most easily available substitute outside Morocco for warkha pastry. Measurements have been given in the recipes regarding sheet sizes, which will serve as a guide for the size available in your area. However, most important is how it is handled. Thaw as directed on the package if frozen. Whether it is frozen or chilled, it must be left in its package at room temperature for 2 hours before use. Place the sheets flat on the work surface, and keep them covered with dry, folded cloths or plastic sheeting; never put damp cloths in contact with the pastry. Keep the kitchen cool
and draught-free.

Filo pastry is sold at on ready-made in rolled layers, fresh from the chiller cabinet, or frozen. Click here to get one, Athens Foods Fillo Dough Sheet. The one is a lot cheaper… filo pastry.

You have to work quickly with filo pastry otherwise it dries out – it’s best to keep it in the plastic wrapping or cover it with a damp cloth while you’re working with it. The layers are usually brushed with melted butter or oil to help them brown. Filo pastry can be fried or oven-baked and cooks very quickly. It is used to make a wide variety of sweet and savory dishes, such as Greek Spanakopita (spinach and cheese triangles) or decadent baklava (honey and nut pastries).

If you want to make your own Filo Pastry Leaves, follow the recipe below:

How to Easily Make Homemade Authentic Warka Pastry Leaves

Warqa (or Ouarka, warkha)

Warqa (or Ouarka, warkha) is a union of Berber cooking and Arab influences drawn from its Persian heritage. Via the Silk Road, the Persians had learned the art of making thin pastry from the Chinese.

Moroccan warqa (called malsouqa in Tunisia and dioul in Algeria) is made precisely the same way as Chinese spring roll skins. In Canton, this type of pastry is called chun gun: it should not be confused with the thicker egg roll skin. Though many people confuse this type of pastry with Greek phyllo dough and Hungarian strudel leaves (both of which, by the way, will make an adequate m'hanncha) the warqa- spring roll skin type is found only in China and North Africa.

The fine, paper-thin pastry sheets used for savory stuffed pastries and layered desserts are made by smearing a fine coating of damp, sticky, elastic dough across a wide, hot griddle before peeling it off after 15 seconds or so in a single, fluid motion. Warqa is tricky to make, and most Moroccans buy fresh sheets in the market or commercial brands in stores.

The technique used in this recipe requires a lot of patience and dexterity. Filo pastry is a very good substitute and is well worth the time and effort saved.


4 cups (600 g) flour Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups (500 ml) lukewarm water
Makes approximately 10 sheets
Preparation time: 1 hour + 1 hour for dough to rest


1) Mix the flour, salt, and oil together in a bowl. Gradually add the water, kneading into a soft, elastic dough. Sprinkle with a little more water, cover and set aside to rest for 1 hour.

2) Set a skillet (preferably copper skillet) on top of a pot of water, with the under-side facing up. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat and grease the upturned skillet. When the metal is hot, reduce the heat to low. Take a handful of dough and quickly touch the lump of dough to the skillet. It will leave a thin round film on the pan. Repeat several times, leaving no gaps between each film, forming a large, almost transparent sheet.

3) Remove the sheet carefully and keep under a damp cloth until ready to use. Repeat with the remaining dough, greasing the upturned skillet before making a new pastry sheet.

Are you into healthy living or paleo diet? Spare a few minutes and check the best vegetarian cookbooks (Book Award Winners- James Beard). Please click here NOW… Best Vegetarian Diet Cookbooks of All Time- 2017.

How to Make Homemade Spiced Tomato Sauce Easily


3 fresh red chilies
1 stick of cinnamon
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 a bunch of fresh thyme (15g)
2 large peeled roasted red peppers
2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


1) On the hob, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a roasting tray on a medium heat. Leaving them joined at the stalk, halve the chilies lengthways, then add to the tray with the cinnamon for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

2) Meanwhile, peel and slice the garlic.

3) Scoop the chilies and cinnamon out of the tray and put aside, then add the garlic, strip in most of the thyme leaves and cook for 5 minutes.

4) Drain, chop and add the peppers, pour in the tinned tomatoes and 1 tin’s worth of water, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, then add the balsamic and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for 20 minutes, or until thickened and reduced, stirring occasionally.

Related Post: Try another Jamie Oliver's favorite recipe, get it here… How to Make the Perfect Jamie Oliver's Lancashire Hotpot- Lamb Recipes


Fatema Hal, Jean-Francois Hamon, Bruno Barbey. 2007. Authentic Recipes from Morocco-(Authentic Recipes Series). Periplus Editions (HK) ltd. ISBN-10: 9780794603250. ASIN: 0794603254

Jamie Oliver. 2016. Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook. Michael Joseph (1836). ISBN-13: 978-0718183653

Paula Wolfert. 1987. Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco. Ecco Books ISBN-10: 0060913967

If you own you like healthy recipe and soups, you need to learn this… 10 Best Tips for Freezing Soup: How to Freeze Individual Portions of Soup in Mason Jars (Glass), Plastic Containers, Ziploc Bags and Tupperware

Watch Related Videos:

1) Warka (Brick Pastry) Recipe- How to Easily Make Homemade Authentic Warka Pastry Leaf

2) M'Hanncha - Moroccan Almond Pastry Recipe - CookingWithAlia - Episode 72

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