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


  1. 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.
  2. while you are steaming the broken vermicelli , prepare the chicken.
  3. 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.
  4. If cooking chicken, don’t add water as the chicken will braise in its own juices.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

bessaha 😊