Seffa is a traditional Moroccan dish that is typically reserved for celebrations and festivities. It consists of either broken vermicelli or couscous combined with a savory-sweet onion sauce and a topping of icing sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and ground almonds.
Seffa medfouna contains pieces of chicken or any kind of meat in the dish.
- 2.2 lbs dry broken vermicelli ..(chaaria)
- 3 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 teaspoons unsalted butter, – room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, – or to taste
- 1 teaspoon butter – (optional; for caramelizing)
- 1 teaspoon sugar – or honey (optional; for caramelizing)
- 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces and skin removed
- 2 large onions, – chopped medium
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt,
- 2 small pieces of cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon saffron – crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 4 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- first fill the base of a couscousier or a large steaming pot with salted water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, and proceed with steaming the broken vermicelli four to five times then add the raisins for the fourth steaming.
- while you are steaming the broken vermicelli , prepare the chicken.
- Mix the chicken, with the onions, spices, butter, oil and cilantro in a heavy-bottomed pot. Gently brown the chicken over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- If cooking chicken, don’t add water as the chicken will braise in its own juices.
- Cover the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is very tender. This will take about 1 hour for the chicken
- When the chicken t has been cooked, reduce the liquids until a thick sauce has formed. Discard the cinnamon stick, and taste for seasoning. If desired, remove the chicken from the bones.
- Gently toss the steamed broken vermicelli with the butter and powdered sugar. Place about 1/3 of this mixture on a very large serving dish.
- Arrange the chicken in the center, and cover with the sauce. Pile the rest of the vermicelli on top of the chicken, using your hands to shape a dome.
- Decorate the mound of seffa in a vertical pattern with the cinnamon, ground almonds and powdered sugar. Serve immediately, with small bowls of powdered sugar, ground almonds, and cinnamon on the side.