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Almost 5 years ago, on a university team trip to university of Ifrane-Morocco, one of the events took place on a rainy evening in the old part of the former capital of morocco, Fès el Bali, where we had dinner in a very traditional hotel (too bad i didn`t pay attention to the name of the hotel!) .. it was such a beautiful night, traditional music, great company .. and hungry empty stomachs when they started serving food !.. after we tried their famous Harira soup, comes the waiter with a big silver tray and a silver cover just like movies and voilà ! i was told the dish’s name is “bastilla” or pastilla, i tried it that time and loved it, i couldn’t tell what where the ingredients, but it was an awesome new taste!

Pastilla as served in Fès el Bali – Morocco 2006


in our last day in morocco, in the capital, Casablanca, we went to a small restaurant and I couldn’t stop myself from ordering bastilla again, .. and once again I loved it, so it wasn’t just about “empty stomachs” !

A traditional restaurant in Casablanca- Morocco 2006

Pastilla in a restaurant in Casablanca- Morocco 2006

so 5 years ago, was the first and the last time for me to try the bastilla in its home-land.

Just few weeks ago, I remembered it, and thought to try it out myself, and after surfing different recipes, I made it .. = D

Ingredients (for personal size pastilla)

  •  2 boneless chicken thigh
  •  1 small sized onion chopped
  •  1 egg (whisked)
  •  2 big sheets of Filo pastry cut into quarters. –
  •  1 tsp of shopped coriander
  •  1 tsp of chopped parsley
  •  ¼ tsp saffron
  •  ¼ tsp turmeric
  •  ¼ cup of almonds
  •  Salt and black pepper to taste
  •  Powdered sugar and cinnamon for garnish

Steps:

  •  In a pot with little vegetable oil, fry the onion on high heat and before it gets brown add the chicken, the parsley, coriander and the spices for couple of minutes.
  •  Add ¼ cup of water and lower the heat and close the lid and let it cook for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken and put it on a side.
  • Remove the lid and let the sauce thickens on medium heat.
  • While the sauce thickens, slice the chicken into thin long pieces and put aside as seen in the middle bowl. (in the picture below)
  •  In a separate pan, fry the almonds and let them cool, grind them into small pieces (not a fine grind) as seen in the right bowl.
  •  Now back to the sauce, add the egg slowly to the sauce while stirring fast with a wooden spoon, then you will have the last element ready for our bastilla as shown in the left bowl.

  •  Now we’re ready to put our pie together 😀
  •  In a round non-stick thick-edged baking pan (I used a small cheesecake pan), butter it (or oil it), tuck four layers of filo sheets (buttered/oiled in between), don’t worry about the edges, keep them hanging outside the pan we will put them together at the end.
  •  Then start adding the filling: add the ground almonds then put a sheet of filo on top of the almonds, then the sliced chicken and another layer of filo, then finally the egg-thickened sauce!
  • Now, fold the filo edges to close the pie, if some of the filling is still showing, use extra filo sheets and stick them with some oil, don’t worry about the look of it, this top will be a bottom while serving!
  •  Pre-heat the oven on 350 F, and bake the bastilla for 20 minutes, or until brown. – Let it cool for few minutes then flip it on a plate
  •  Decorate it with powdered sugar and ground cinnamon.

And it’s ready!

Not bad eh ? ; )

After 5 years, this was a dish from Nostalgia, every bite, brought up all great memories : )

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