Sellou, is for sure a unique unbaked top feel-home Moroccan sweet food that is made by using an amazing mixture of toasted unhulled sesame seeds, fried blanched almonds and flour that has been browned in the oven all along with some other spices and flavorings.
Sellou is also called Tquawt, Zmitta, Sfouf and/or Slilo, is not only impressive to look at, it is taste bud pleaser too! At the same time traditionally it is considered as a natural dietary remedy that is referred and recommended for nursing mothers, because of its ability to increase the milk supply.
It is a proven fact that the consumption of this nutritious and fortifying paste for over 30 days continuously after childbirth, can help any nursing mother considerably to increase the milk secretion.
But it does not mean that it is only useful for the nursing mothers, if fact it is traditionally served during Ramadan, as it is packed with calories and nutrients for the same purpose of restoring energy and maintaining sound health. Sellou might be preferred to be served at Eid, weddings and other special occasions.
Generally the ratio of the ingredients as well as the spices, sweetener, something like honey versus powdered sugar involved in the recipe for the preparation of Sellou varies by region and even from family to family at times. Another important factor linked to the recipe for Sellou is, the preparation time.
The preparation time for the actual mixing and blending, which is the actual preparation time required for the recipe for the preparation of Sellou.
But, it has to be kept in mind that the preparation of Sellou is involved with different amount of time required for pre preparation work something like getting the sesame seeds, flour and almonds ready etc and this work is normally done in the days or weeks before blending ingredients together.
When it comes to the number of serves that the recipe for the preparation of Sellou depends upon the gathering that the host expects and it is obvious that the host can reduce the measures by half if don’t want to host a traditionally large batch.
If at all, one would like to prepare some innovative version of sellou, which is still packed with calories as well as healthier than the traditional version of sellou, then here are some tips to follow and they are as below:
Use wheat flour instead of white flour.
Avoid the use of butter, processed oil.
Use specifically roasted almonds rather than fried ones.
Get Flax seeds as an additional inclusion to the list of the ingredients of the recipe required for the innovated of version of sellou.
Using honey instead of refined sugar as the sweetener.
You might need to mix those spices in gradually and more sparingly to taste, as the quantity of cinnamon and anise is more robust than other sellou recipes.
So, let us move on to get into the detailed process of preparation of an innovated version of ‘Sellou’ – the Unique Moroccan Sweet.
Preparation Time: 60 Minutes (Note: Preparation time is for the actual blending of the sellou and does not include the pre preparation time required for getting the ingredients arranged).
Bake Time: 30 minutes.
Flour: 200 grams.
Honey: 125 grams.
Powdered Sugar: 75 grams.
Butter: 1 stick (113 grams).
Sesame Seeds: 100 grams.
Roasted Almonds: 125 grams.
Anise Powder: 1 ½ teaspoons.
Cinnamon Powder: 2 teaspoon.
Ground Mastic Gum: ¼ teaspoon.
Salt: According to taste (a pinch).
Roasted Peanuts: 125 grams (as a secret ingredient).
Cardamom Powder: ½ teaspoon (as a secret ingredient).
A) Browning the flour:
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 2: Take a baking pan to place and spread evenly the flour.
Step 3: Get the flour cooked in the oven for around 30 minutes.
Step 4: The flour has to be stirred up throughout the cooking process at a regular interval of 5 minutes, so that it can be cooked evenly and not burnt until it is done.
Step 5: You can decide that the flour is done, when you notice that the color of the flour will keep changing and finally turns to a deep golden brown color.
Step 6: Take out the flour and see are there any lumps in the flour, if so, break the lumps with the help of a spoon.
Step 7: Use the so done flour only after it gets cooled.
B) Process of preparation of the other ingredients:
Step 1: During the time of cooking, take a skillet and start roasting the sesame seeds, on medium-low heat for about 20-30 minutes, but do not forget to stir frequently, so that they do not burn.
Step 2: Keep noticing that the sesame seeds get darken and become fragrant, so that they should have a nutty flavor and you can test the flavor, simply by tasting them.
Step 3: The next thing is mixing of roasted almonds together with roasted peanuts and now it is the time for the final stage of this process of preparation of the other ingredients and it is none other than the texture of your sellou, but the texture factor totally depends on one’s preference.
Mix the nuts until you get a powder, if you want your sellou to have a fine texture, but if you want coarse texture by maintaining some solid parts and then just half mix the nuts, so as to make your sellou crunchy.
C) Process of blending of all the dry ingredients:
Step 1: So, get ready for the process of blending together of all the dry ingredients like flour, sugar, spices, sesame seeds, almonds, and peanuts, so as to get a perfect and evenly formed mixture.
Step 2: The last step of this process of blending together of all the dry ingredients as well as the last step of this whole process of preparation of sellou is adding melted butter and honey to the dry mixture and then mix well using both hands until all the butter and honey are incorporated into the powder mixture.
Note: You can preserve both, the dry mixture as well as the moist sellou and use for further 2-3 months, but to do so, you need to follow some precautionary tips and procedure and they are as follows:
1. Keep the dry mixture of all the dry ingredients (without being mixed with butter and honey) in an airtight canister and preserve until you would like to use it again before 2-3 months and whenever you want to have some sellou, just add melted butter and honey to the preserved dry mixture to one’s taste.
2. You can preserve the moist sellou too (blend of dry mixture perfectly incorporated with melted butter and honey) and to do so, simply put it in an airtight container and place in the fridge for up to 1 month and do not forget to bring it to room temperature before whenever you would like to have well before the stipulated time of preservation.
All in all, an amazing treat in the form of an ‘innovative version of sellou’, which is still packed with calories as well as healthier than the traditional is all set to serve. So, serve it by covering it with powdered sugar and garnishing with roasted almonds, so as to enjoy the amazing taste.