How to make Chebakia also called "Griwech" with this easy and delicious recipe. These small oriental pastries are crispy and coated with honey syrup flavored with orange blossom water and decorate with sesame seeds.
Griwech or Chebakia recipe, are delicious small cakes with oriental flavors, native from North Africa and more precisely from Morocco but also very popular in Algeria.
This oriental Moroccan sesame cookies in a elongated flower shape is very appreciated for its airy and crispy texture in the mouth and its delicious honey coating.
The chebakia have a different name depending on the region but its recipe is generally the same, a chebakia dough cut with a pastry wheel and which is then cooked in an oil frying and finally coated with a hot honey bath perfumed with orange flower water and decorated with sesame seeds.
The Moroccan chebakia is one of the favorite pastries made during the celebrations in the Maghreb and in the world on all occasions, during Ramadan, the feast of Aid or for weddings and other celebrations.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Here are the necessary ingredients and possible substitutions to make chebakia (griwech) at home, scroll down the page to see the quantities in the recipe card.
- Flour: Use only all-purpose flour to make this recipe.
- Baking powder: half a sachet of baking powder that you can replace with baking soda (but be careful, baking soda is 4 times stronger).
- Sugar: optionally, use granulated powdered sugar that you can replace with flavored sugar like brown sugar.
- Vanilla and salt: Essential to flavor the dough, vanilla extract or vanilla sugar and table salt to bring out the flavors.
- Butter: Use unsalted, melted butter.
- Egg: Use a large egg at room temperature.
- White vinegar: White vinegar can be used to improve the texture of the dough and make it crispier. You can replace it with lemon juice.
- Orange blossom water: To moisten and perfume the dough you can replace it with rose water or just water.
- Oil: for frying use preferably a neutral vegetable oil like sunflower oil or grape seed oil.
- Sesame seeds: Use preferably toasted sesame seeds or white sesame seeds, you can also take golden unhulled sesame seeds.
- Sesame seeds: Add a small amount of ground sesame seeds to the dough to add flavor.
- Almond: For an almond flavor, replace one part of the flour with almond flour.
- Spices: ground anise, ground cinnamon etc.
⚠️ You will find the quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page.
How to make Morrocan Chebakia
1 - Make the dough
- Place the dry ingredients, flour, pinch of salt, baking powder, vanilla sugar and granulated sugar in a large bowl.
- Mix with a tablespoon to obtain a homogeneous mixture.
- Then add the other liquid ingredients, the melted and cooled butter, the beaten egg, the white vinegar and the orange blossom water.
- Mix with your hands until you obtain a homogeneous dough ball without kneading it.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2 - Shaping
- Roll out the chebakia dough on a work surface with a rolling pin to a thin thickness of about 2 mm.
- Using a pastry cutter cut out 8 x 10 cm rectangles.
- Re-cut the inside of the rectangles with the pastry cutter (leaving the edges) to get about 7 to 9 evenly spaced cuts lengthwise.
- Fold the rectangle in half across the width and pinch the ends together (see photo below).
- Separate the strips of dough to make a hole in the center, and push the top end inside.
- Shape the dough into a nice shape and repeat for all the other folded dough.
- Then place the folded chebakia on a large baking sheet and cover them with a tea towel until ready to cook.
Tip: Do not use any flour or fat to roll out the dough, the thinner it is, the lighter and crispier your cakes will be, so if you can use an Italian dough machine to have a very thin dough.
3 - Cooking
- Heat neutral vegetable oil in a deep frying pan, pan or skillet until it boils.
- Lower the heat and plunge the chebakia into the hot oil and fry until golden on both sides.
- Remove the chebakia cookies with a slotted spoon to drain them and place them on paper towels to remove excess fat.
Tip: Use enough oil to completely cover the chebakia.
4 - Honey bath
- In a large saucepan, place the sugar syrup (or honey) and add the orange blossom water and lemon juice.
- Heat the syrup for a few minutes on a medium heat and stir with a spoon to obtain a smooth, liquid mixture.
- Remove from the heat and dip the chebakias into the sugar syrup and coat them well in the mixture.
- Drain the cakes and place them on a wire rack or in a sieve to catch any honey that drips off.
- Sprinkle a few toasted sesame seeds on top of the chebakia and enjoy with a glass of mint tea.
Storage and freeze
At room temperature: You can keep the chebakia for up to 2 weeks, placed in a storage box with an airtight container box to keep them fresh.
In the freezer: You can also store them in the freezer for up to 3 months in storage bags or in a box with a lid.
Let the chebakia defrost slowly at room temperature.
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