Baghrir are small, spongy pancakes made from semolina that (when cooked correctly) are riddled with tiny holes that are perfect for drinking up a rich, sweet sauce.
Baghrir are found throughout North Africa in varying styles and presentations and closely resembles the Ethiopian injera made from Tef or buckwheat flour.
The most common way to eat baghrir in Algeria is by dipping them into a honey/butter mixture and eating them warm.
Baghrir are delicious eaten for breakfast or served with coffee in the afternoon, as is common in the city of Algiers. They are also perfect for Suhor (breaking the fast) during Ramadan, you can make a batch up the night before and warm them up, adding the honey butter just before serving.
My version of this recipe amps up the traditional but simple honey/butter mix with Algerian spices and flavorings: nutmeg, cardamom and roses. I also like a small kick from ground grains of paradise to offset the sweetness, but this is an optional addition.
I hope you will give this delicious Algerian treat due and proper consideration, Citizens! 🙂
Battle on, The Generalissimo
For the Baghrir
½ kg semolina (finely ground)
½ liter warm water
¼ liter of warm skim milk
1 large egg
1 pinch salt
18 -20 g dried yeast
1 teaspoon baking powder
For the Hirshon Spiced Honey Butter
½ cup honey
½ cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon rosewater (I prefer Cortas Brand)
1 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon freshly-ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon freshly-ground grains of paradise (optional but recommended) – buy it on Amazon here
Place the yeast in a small bowl & add a few tablespoons of the warm water. Whisk the two together well & set aside.
Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
Add the wet ingredients – including the yeast – to the dry, and whisk really well, making sure you break down any lumps. If you are concerned about lumps, try pouring the batter into a blender & whizzing it several times.
Once thoroughly combined, set aside for 30 minutes at minimum (60 is better) to allow the yeast to get to work.
Lightly oil a heavy-bottomed frying pan (cast iron works realy well). Heat the pan on a high heat. You won’t get the ‘million’ holes unless your pan is scorching hot! You can also try covering the baghrir with a large glass lid, which seems to help.
Ladle a small amount of batter into the pan (I like them about 4″) & cook until the baghrir is dried out – any patches of wet batter have solidified – this means it is fully cooked – this will only take a few minutes, don’t be tempted to flip them!
Remove from the pan & place on a plate, then cover with foil to keep warm.
Repeat with the rest of the batter until you have run out. Blend the batter for 10 seconds or so after cooking 3 or 4 pancakes, to keep the batter fluffy.
Melt the butter & mix in the honey, spices and rosewater.
Dip each baghrir quickly into the spiced honey butter and serve. Alternatively, you could just spoon a little bit onto each baghrir.