Maqrūt (Fried Diamonds with Dates and Walnuts)

Hélène Jawhara Piñer
Recipe by
Hélène Jawhara Piñer

This is another type of fried honey pastry common to Jews and Muslims from Morocco. This recipe dates back to 13th century al-Andalus. These tasty pastries flavored with honey and dates are now associated with holiday. Muslims eat maqrūṭ when breaking the fast of Ramadan, and Sephardim of Morocco and France eat them for Rosh HaShana and Hanukkah.

2 1⁄2 cups medium semolina
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1⁄3 cup melted butter
5 oz dates (or date paste)
3 Tbsp. of orange blossom water
1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp. neutral oil
1 Tbsp. walnuts, finely chopped
1⁄2 cup water with 1 tsp. orange blossom water
neutral oil
1 cup honey (with 1 tsp. orange blossom water optional)
toasted sesame seeds to decorate
  • In a large bowl, mix semolina, salt, and butter until the fat is absorbed.
  • Prepare the date filling by chopping the dates very finely and putting them in a saucepan. Add the orange blossom water, cinnamon, and neutral oil. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped walnuts. Mix and set aside in the fridge for 2 hours.
  • Add the 1⁄2 cup water flavored with orange blossom water to the semolina and butter, mixing with the tips of your fingers.
  • Divide the dough into quarters and make strands about 1 inch in diameter and 9 inches long.
  • With your index finger (or a knife), make a slit length wise in the center of each roll, without cutting through it.
  • Roll a little date paste and put it in the slit.
  • Close the edges of the dough over the date paste and seal. All the stuffing needs to be covered. Prepare all the strands in the same way.
  • Take the rolls and flatten them until they are 0.4 inches thick. Cut into lozenges about 1.5 inch long (2.5 cm). Take a knife and draw marks like a star.
  • Pour some neutral oil into a frying pan until it is 1.5 inches deep. Heat over medium heat.
  • Fry the first side of the maqrūṭ for 2-3 minutes, and then fry the other side for another 2 minutes.