The word moghrabieh in Arabic means "from the country of Morocco" and refers to the actual dish as well. Long time ago they used to roll the cracked wheat with their hands for hours with flour, yeast, water and oil till they get satisfactory pearl.
Now these grains are cooked unevenly as they are rolled into inconsistently sized balls.
There are few dishes that are known of being difficult to cook, that is why many wait to go to their mom's place to eat them, this is one of them. Moghrabieh is an amazing and distinctive dish which has been one of my children's favorite dishes since they were young.
Cooking time: 45 mins
Prep. time: 15 mins
Serves: 6 to 7
1 kg dried moghrabieh
2 chicken breasts and 2 thighs or 3 breasts
2 cinnamon sticks
3 bay leaves
2 medium onions and 8 to 10 small onion
2 tsp salt
2 tsp caraway
1/4 tsp cumin if available
1 tsp allspice
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3 cups cooked chick peas
Put the chicken and water in a large pot over high heat, when it starts boiling remove all the froth that may float on top then change the water of the chicken if you desire using 8 to 9 cups of boiled water, I prefer changing it. Add one medium onion cut into pieces, the bay leaves, the cinnamon sticks and one heaped tsp of salt. Cover and let it cook for 25 to 30 mins mins. over medium heat.
In another pot boil 2 litres of water and a tsp of salt, add the moghrabieh balls and let it simmer for 15 minutes, then drain it. Now remove the chicken pieces and set aside. Strain the chicken broth and put aside too. Now stir fry the small onions with a bit of of oil until light golden, remove them, pour 5 cups of the broth in the same pot, half the spices, the flour, salt and the butter. Stir with a whisk over medium heat until it starts boiling then add the small onions, cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Once it is done add the chicken after breaking it into large pieces. In another pot put 2 tbsp of oil, add the last onion chopped wings, stir fry for 2 minutes., add the moghrabieh, the chick peas and the rest of the spices. Keep adding around 2 cups of the broth bit by bit stirring over low heat until it absorbs most of it. I have prepared it without cumin when I visited my son in Paris and it was just as good.
Once everything is ready, serve the moghrabieh balls on a serving platter and the sauce with the chicken and onions separately in another serving bowl. When you serve it add the chicken sauce on top of the moghrabieh mixture in each plate as you desire. you may eat it with pickles, I usually enjoy eating it with makdouss (pickled egg plant stuffed with walnuts and garlic).