Ma'amoul

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Ma'amoul
Mamoul biscotti libanesi.jpg
TypeDessert
Region or stateArab world
Main ingredientsSemolina, dates, pistachios or walnuts
Ma'amoul at Vienna Naschmarkt

Ma'amoul (Arabic: معمول[mɑʕmuːl], also spelled m'aamoul, m'amul, m'aamul) is a filled butter cookie made with semolina flour. The filling can be made with dried fruits like figs or dates or nuts such as pistachios or walnuts and occasionally almonds.[1]

Ma'amoul are usually made during the Easter holiday, and a few days before Eid (then stored to be served with Arabic coffee and chocolate to guests who come during the holiday).[1][2] It is popular throughout the Arab world,[3] especially in the Arabian peninsula.[4]

They may be in the shape of balls, domed or flattened cookies. They can either be decorated by hand or be made in special wooden moulds called tabe.[5]

Variations[edit]

The cookies can be filled with nuts (commonly used nuts are pistachios, almonds or walnuts) or dried fruits, most commonly orange-scented date paste.[6]

The Mizrahi Jewish version of ma'amoul differs from the Levantine or Turkish versions by being made with pure white flour and no semolina, today this variation is eaten in Syrian and Egyptian Jewish communities in Israel and the Diaspora.[citation needed]

Etymology[edit]

The Arabic word Ma'amoul (Arabic: معمول‎) is derived from the Arabic verb Arabic: 'amala‎, meaning to “to do”.[7]

Customs[edit]

The cookies are associated with Eid Al-Fitr or iftar meals during Ramadan for Muslims.[8] For Christians, ma'amoul is part of the Easter celebrations.[5]

They are also popular among Syrian, Lebanese and Egyptian Jewish communities, where ma'amouls with nut fillings are eaten on Purim, and ma'amouls with date fillings are eaten on Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah.

Sephardic Jews call the pastries menenas.[6]

Karabij[edit]

A more elaborate version known as Karabij (Kerebiç in Turkish) is used on special occasions. For this, nut-filled ma'amoul balls are stacked in a pyramid and served with a white cream called Naatiffe made from egg whites, sugar syrup and soapwort (Saponaria officinalis). It is popular in Syria, Lebanon, and other Levantine countries.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Maamoul: An Ancient Cookie That Ushers In Easter And Eid In The Middle East". NPR.org. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  2. ^ "Maamoul: The Sweet Tradition of Eid". The Irresistible Magazine by Al Rifai. 7 September 2016.
  3. ^ Obayda, Gloria. Sweets And Desserts Of The Middle East. 101 Middle Eastern Delights.
  4. ^ "At the Immigrant's Table: Jewish ma'amoul pie". At the Immigrant's Table. 3 February 2014.
  5. ^ a b Helou, Anissa (2015). Sweet Middle East: Classic Recipes, from Baklava to Fig Ice Cream.
  6. ^ a b Goldstein, Joyce (2002). Saffron Shores: Jewish Cooking of the Southern Mediterranean. Chronicle Books. p. 169. ISBN 9780811830522.
  7. ^ Team, Almaany. "Definition and meaning of the verb in Arabic language - Arabic dictionary - Page 1". www.almaany.com.
  8. ^ Holidays of the World Cookbook for Students, 2nd Edition. ABC-CLIO. 2011. p. 383. ISBN 9780313383946.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]