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Maamoul is a popular Middle–Eastern pastry, which is stuffed with dry fruits and nuts. These pastries are considered to be of Syrian or Lebanese descent, but they are popular in surrounding countries too. This pastry is also popular in the Hatay Province of Southern Turkey, which is home to Syrian refugees. These stuffed pastries normally serve as a staple snack in many of the Levantine homes, and are either shaped like balls, crescents or flattened like cookies and shaped using hands or wooden moulds. The variations are also found in types of stuffing used.

The nut stuffed Maamoul is normally served during all the special occasions and religious functions, most especially during Pascha. The Muslims enjoy it during their religious festivals and Arabian Christians enjoy them during Easter as well; the Egyptian and Lebanese Jews eat nut filled pastries during the holy month of purim and date filled pastries during Hanukkah and Rosh Hashanah.

The name of this pastry in chaste Arabic translates to filled or stuffed.

Maamoul Recipe- Ingredients Required

The ingredients like solid shortening, semolina, all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, granulated sugar, rose flower water, walnut or date filling, and confectioners’ sugar are combined in unique proportions to make a Maamoul.

Maamoul Recipe- Method of Preparation

Flour, salt, baking powder and sugar are mixed in certain proportions during the dough preparation. The batter is left to swell over the night, and next day the flower water is sprinkled over the dough. The dough is mixed like pie dough and placed into the readymade wooden pastry moulds. The pastry is stuffed with fillings made of walnut or date and shaped inside the mould. The pastry is baked within the oven and sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Maamoul Recipe- Variations

  • Some Maamoul variants make use of unsalted pistachios or almonds for filling. The cinnamon is often substituted for rose flower water.

  • The Jewish version of the pastry differs from the regular Arabic ones in terms of combination of ingredients. The Jews use pure white flour and discard semolina. The pastry stuffed with date fillings are called menesas, and are often modeled to appear like date rolls than pastries.

  • Elaborate version of Maamoul called karabji is served during the auspicious occasions. The nut filled karabji is often teamed with white sauce made using sugar syrup, egg whites and soapwort.