Eid Mubarak to friends around the world celebrating Eid al-Adha
Around the world today people are celebrating Eid al-Adha. It is a time when people join together to feast and share with friends, family and those less fortunate than ourselves.
Traditionally delicious date and cardamon filled pastries will be enjoyed at the table. Big batches will often be made to celebrate Eid with Grandmothers, Mothers and also the children joining in to make these tasty treats.
We at Arganic love to share and feast together and today we want to share with you these delicious date and cardamon cookies created by our friend Iraqi Chef Philip Juma of the Juma Kitchen. Our founder Dana is from Iraqi descent and her face lights up with memories and joy just from the very thought of these cookies.
All around the world people will be joining together to celebrate this time including all our colleagues in Morocco at Sidi Yassine who wont be making any Argan oil during this time as they will be celebrating with their families. Don’t worry though we still have our delicious Argan Oil in stock during this time.
These cookies, also know as Kleicha, are perfect for sharing with those around you and Philip suggests best enjoyed with a nice cup of tea. Philip was kind enough to share his delicious recipe with us and what kind of friend would we be to keep this all to ourselves.
Ingredients: (makes 40)
600g plain ‘OO’ grade flour
200g melted butter
1 tbsp dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
½ tbsp salt
5 tbsp water
2 tbsp nigella seeds
600g packet of date paste (can be found in most Middle Eastern supermarkets)
3 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp cardamon
2 large sandwich bags (cut open)
For the pastry
Begin by making the pastry. In a food mixer, add the flour, melted butter, yeast, and sugar. Next add the salt, but please ensure you place the salt as far away from the yeast, as they cancel each other out.
On a low setting, mix the ingredients together. You are looking for a pizza dough-like texture. Add water gradually and if you feel the mix needs more, then add. When you feel it is close, add the nigella seeds.
Once blended, push the dough with your hand, there should be a spring in the dough and it should feel moist.
Place in a bowl and cover with a towel – leave to rest for 40 minutes to allow the yeast activate.
For the date mix
While the pastry is resting, start on the date mix.
Begin by heating a large saucepan with the sunflower oil. Add the date mixture. It will seem hard at first, however, as the pan heats up, the date mix should begin to soften. Add the cardamom powder.
Keep stirring and folding it. You are looking for a soft texture that can be easily rolled.
After the pastry has risen, separate it into four pieces.
On a floured surface roll the pastry out into a rectangle shape. You are looking for the longest part to be vertical and the shortest, horizontal to you.
Separately, take your sandwich bag and place a ball of date paste (size of a small apple) on top, and then place another sandwich bag on top of the date. Roll the date paste out to a similar shape of the rectangular pastry, it should be easy to shape/mould.
Peel away the top layer and place the dates on top of the pastry. Remove all of the plastic from the dates. Any gaps on the pastry, you can just fill it in with extra date paste.
Next, shape your cookies. Begin from the vertical side and roll from right to left. You are looking for a tight roll. Start from the top and work your way down.
Take your rolled pastry and cut the Kleicha as you see fit. Traditionally, 2-3 inches in size.
Brush with beaten egg and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 180°C. You are looking for a golden colour and the smells should be wonderful.
Repeat for the other three batches.