Gluten Free Traditional Moroccan Beghrir (Pancakes)
While traveling in Morocco one of the things we loved the most was how strong the food culture was throughout the country, and how easy it was to really immerse yourself into the local customs and flavors the make up Moroccan food.
We decided to stay entirely at riads while in Morocco, which are traditional guest homes and would be the equivalent to a really nice bed and breakfast in the USA or Europe, which meant that every morning we ate a traditional Moroccan breakfast at the riad we were staying at.
This breakfast usually would include an assortment of jams, honey, Moroccan pastries, fresh fruit, freshly squeezed orange juice, Moroccan coffee/mint tea, and beghrir, which is somewhat of a Moroccan mix between a crepe and pancake.
Luckily for me, celiac disease and "gluten free" has become more well-known due to the influx of international travelers to Morocco and so in two of the riads we stayed at during our trip I was able to ask for gluten-free beghrir, which is the recipe I will be sharing with you today.
Most mornings we would sit outside on the roof of our riad and drink coffee, have some fresh orange juice (it seriously doesn't get any fresher there are orange trees everywhere!), and would east some beghrir with fresh fruit before heading out into the chaos that is the medina in Marrakech.
Traditionally, beghrir is made using a mixture of semolina and all-purpose flour, but since I had to make this recipe gluten free I asked our hosts what they used when they made my gluten free beghrir and they said a mix of rice and buckwheat. It took me a few tries to come up with the right combination of ingredients but luckily I was able to recreate a gluten free version of this traditional Moroccan breakfast.
What I learned while traveling in Morocco from one of our Moroccan riad hosts is that most Moroccan people won't really comprehend the idea of a food allergy as they aren't nearly as common in the country, and even when they do exist they tend to be overlooked.
For instance, choosing to be vegetarian in Morocco would be considered a luxury that you have the abundance and capability to choose to limit the foods you eat. This mindset around food allergies and dietary preferences is something that I have experienced many times while traveling in many countries around the world, and is part of what has made me so fascinated by the food cultures of the this big beautiful world.
Now don't get me wrong, this still makes traveling in countries where food allergies aren't really understood somewhat difficult, but that hasn't kept me from traveling, it just has made me much more mindful and prepared It is also why I love to re-create traditional dishes when I get home (if possible gluten-free) so that I can share some of the food cultures I have experienced, and also make them more accessible to people like me with celiac disease.
Now back to this recipe. What I love so much about this simple breakfast is the honeycomb top that forms when you make beghrir giving it a sponge like texture. Beghrir is only cooked on one side, and then served with fruit and honey. It truly is such a simple recipe and a fun twist on our usually fluffy pancakes.
gluten free traditional moroccan beghrir
makes roughly 20 small pancakes
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/3 cup rice flour
1 tsp dry active yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cup warm water
Optional: Honey, fresh fruit of your choice for topping
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
Next, pour liquid into a medium size bowl and cover with a cloth for 20 minutes.
Remove the cloth after 20 minutes and whisk the mixture vigorously.
Next, in a medium size skillet over medium heat place about 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan.
You will immediately begin to see bubbles forming on top. Allow the beghrir to cook until the top is no longer raw, and then remove the beghrir from the pan.
DO NOT FLIP. Beghrir is only cooked on one side.
Serve stacked and drizzled with honey and fresh fruit.