This week for our creative ESOL & Cooking class at Levenshulme Old Library, our student and dear friend Hanane kindly showed us how to make the delicious Messamen (مسمن), a traditional pancake-like bread stuffed with meat, vegetables and aromatic herbs. Hanane informed us that this bread is usually eaten in the morning or in the afternoon with guests, but always has to be served with Moroccan tea or coffee. That’s a requirement! We would love to share the recipe with you as it is so easy, so versatile yet looks impressive once it is cooked!
For the Dough:
- 500g self-raising flour
- 1 cup warm water (approx) -just enough to make the dough supple
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
For the Filling:
- 500g beef mince, halal
- 4 mixed peppers, diced
- 2 red onions, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and grated
All the following ingredients are approximations, according to your taste:
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
Mix all ingredients above in a big bowl. Mix carefully, adding the water bit by bit to combine all ingredients together. Knead methodically for 5-10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth. Cover in clingfilm, leave to rest for 1 hour.
Whilst the dough is resting, make the filling. Fry together the beef mince with oil, ginger and basil. Break up the mince and fry until brown. Put to one side.
Next fry the vegetables with the cumin, turmeric, fresh herbs and finally chilli powder. Cook until soft. Combine the meat and vegetable mix together.
Remove the dough from the clingfilm and make into small balls. Cover hands with oil to make it easier to handle.
Flatten the balls with your fingers into a base. Make it quite thin, but with no tears.
Add mixture in the centre and fold any way you like into a little parcel.
After that, flatten out the parcel again so it is flat. Then, you can bake in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius until brown (around 10-15 minutes), or you can fry like a pancake on both sides until golden brown and crispy. Hanane prefers the oven-cooked way, but we really enjoyed the fried version!
Finally, enjoy with good friends, tea, and chat about anything you wish.