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Shared by Ruth and Gabriel Stulman

Sharing Mimouna With Neighbors — in Morocco and Virginia

Sharing Mimouna With Neighbors — in Morocco and Virginia

Family Journey

Rabat, MoroccoAlexandria, VA
Fairfax, VA
6 recipes
Mufleta (Moroccan Crepes)

Mufleta (Moroccan Crepes)

One 12-14-inch mufleta stack (about 24 layers)1h plus rising time

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 packet (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1½ cups lukewarm water
  • About ½ cup neutral oil, such as canola, plus more for the bowl and work surface
  • Melted butter for drizzling
  • Honey for drizzling
Pistachio Cookies

Pistachio Cookies

30 cookies30min plus 25 min baking time

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups raw pistachios
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater

Boules Aux Noix (Walnut Balls)

40 cookies45min plus 25min baking time

Ingredients

  • 4 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of a large orange
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Scant ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, white only
Sweet Couscous with Nuts and Dried Fruit

Sweet Couscous with Nuts and Dried Fruit

6-8 servings30 min

Ingredients

  • 1 pound instant couscous
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter or margarine, melted
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ¾ cup pitted dates, chopped
  • ¾ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • ¾ cup blanched almonds, chopped
  • ¾ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ to 1 cup almond milk

*Traditionally, a larger sized couscous, similar to pearl, is used for this dish.

Moroccan Sfenj

Moroccan Sfenj

18 sfenj45min + rising time

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 32 oz. canola oil, for frying

Optional Toppings:

Sugar
Cinnamon
Honey

Marzipan-Stuffed Dates and Walnuts

about 24 pieces of each candy1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw unblanched almonds or blanched almonds
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 4 teaspoons orange blossom water
  • Red food coloring
  • Green food coloring
  • 24 Medjool dates
  • 48 whole walnut halves
  • ½ cup granulated sugar for dusting
Recipes
1
Mufleta (Moroccan Crepes)

Mufleta (Moroccan Crepes)

One 12-14-inch mufleta stack (about 24 layers)1h plus rising time

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 packet (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1½ cups lukewarm water
  • About ½ cup neutral oil, such as canola, plus more for the bowl and work surface
  • Melted butter for drizzling
  • Honey for drizzling
2
Pistachio Cookies

Pistachio Cookies

30 cookies30min plus 25 min baking time

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups raw pistachios
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater
3

Boules Aux Noix (Walnut Balls)

40 cookies45min plus 25min baking time

Ingredients

  • 4 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of a large orange
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Scant ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, white only
4
Sweet Couscous with Nuts and Dried Fruit

Sweet Couscous with Nuts and Dried Fruit

6-8 servings30 min

Ingredients

  • 1 pound instant couscous
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter or margarine, melted
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ¾ cup pitted dates, chopped
  • ¾ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • ¾ cup blanched almonds, chopped
  • ¾ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ to 1 cup almond milk

*Traditionally, a larger sized couscous, similar to pearl, is used for this dish.

5
Moroccan Sfenj

Moroccan Sfenj

18 sfenj45min + rising time

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 32 oz. canola oil, for frying

Optional Toppings:

Sugar
Cinnamon
Honey

6

Marzipan-Stuffed Dates and Walnuts

about 24 pieces of each candy1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw unblanched almonds or blanched almonds
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 4 teaspoons orange blossom water
  • Red food coloring
  • Green food coloring
  • 24 Medjool dates
  • 48 whole walnut halves
  • ½ cup granulated sugar for dusting

Listen to the Story

When Ruth Stulman was growing up in Rabat, along Morocco’s Atlantic coast, the end of Passover was celebrated with the entire neighborhood. Ruth would run from one house to the next greeting neighbors saying "terbah" (from terbah u’tissad), an Arabic felicitation to wish one luck and success. Tables were dressed with crepes called mufleta accompanied with honey and butter, cookies made with walnuts or pistachios perfumed with rosewater, dates with marzipan, and couscous infused with milk and cinnamon. “You have to take something at every house,” Ruth explains.

The celebration, called Mimouna, has Moroccan origins but is observed in other North African Jewish communities and in Israel. “Mimouna happens to be on the last day of Pesach, because that’s when the Jews crossed the sea,” Ruth adds. “It’s a moment of celebration and freedom.”

In Rabat, the Jewish population was half a million strong and everyone joined in the Mimouna celebration, but when Ruth’s family moved to the U.S. in the early 1970s they stood out in a community of mostly Ashkenazi Jews. Still, her mother Perla kept the tradition going, opening her doors, welcoming neighbors, members of their new synagogue, and friends to the party.

By the time Perla's grandson Gabriel was 12, Ruth had taken over the family’s Mimouna celebration, hosting it in their Fairfax, Virginia home. Gabriel, who owns and operates a collection of hip, neighborhood restaurants in Manhattan (including one named Fairfax) recalls: “We did our best to keep my mother’s traditions and customs alive without having the community around.”

This year they will bring them to a Mimouna party we’re co-hosting at Fairfax restaurant (if you can’t make it, you can still try Ruth’s recipes). As for Ruth’s friends in Virginia, she says: “I have to tell them, ‘Guess what? No Mimouna [this year]. I’m going to be in New York.” Thinking it through, she decides she’ll host a belated celebration in her home — making sure no one is left without mufleta.

Freha. Morocco, 1954.