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Shared by Ilanit Israeli Nagar

Ma’amra (Beef and Peanut ‘Cake’ for Hamin)

Yield: 8 servingsTime: 15 minutes + overnight cook time

Shared by Ilanit Israeli Nagar

3 slices of ma'amra on oval silver platter atop white tablecloth.
Photographer: Armando Rafael. Food Stylist: Judy Haubert. Prop Stylist: Vanessa Vazquez.

Ma’amra (Beef and Peanut ‘Cake’ for Hamin)

Yield: 8 servingsTime: 15 minutes + overnight cook time

Family Journey

Atlas Mountains, MoroccoCasablanca, MoroccoRehovot, Israel
BostonSan Diego

According to author and food historian Claudia Roden, there are endless versions of “kora,” a rich and savory mixture of beef and ground nuts which is formed into a meatloaf and cooked on top of s’china. In Ilanit Israeli Nagar’s family, they make this dish with ground almonds and peanuts, flavor it with cinnamon and honey, and call it “ma’amra” — although Ilanit notes that it also goes by different names, such as “srah” and “elamra d’s’china,” depending on the family's precise origins in Morocco. 

This recipe was shared by Ilanit Israeli Nagar. Read more about her family in “A Moroccan Grandmother’s Hamin Finds Its Way to San Diego.”


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup peeled, roasted and ground almonds 
  • ½ cup peeled, roasted and ground peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons honey or date syrup
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ½  teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin


  • Step 1

    In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Mix all ingredients together for an even blend.

  • Step 2

    Shape the mixture into a large rectangle on a sheet of baking paper. Roll the mixture in the baking paper, creating a large, log-like shape, ensuring it is compact and well-formed.

  • Step 3

    Secure the ends by twisting them like candy wrappers. Wrap the beef log with aluminum foil, making sure it is tightly sealed.

  • Step 4

    Stick the wrapped beef log with two or three toothpicks, ensuring they penetrate through the baking paper, to help it absorb liquid during cooking. Place the wrapped beef log on top of the s’china, ensuring only the bottom touches the liquid.

  • Step 5

    Cook overnight with the s’china. The slow cooking process will allow the flavors to meld. In the morning, remove the foil wrapped log from the s’china, carefully unwrap the beef cake roll, remove the toothpicks, and slice it into servings.