Let’s have a batbout party!! Batbout is a type of flatbread Moroccans fill with pretty much everything yummy! Batbout is like an improved version of the pitta bread; it’s fluffier and richer but it is also very airy and tasty!
Batbouts comes in different sizes, but the most common ones are the small ones (aka my favourite ones). Moroccans usually fill their batbout with anything savoury or sweet and serve them as a snack or an appetizer. That said, keep in mind that batbout is like any type of bread: you can enjoy it anytime; breakfast, lunch or dinner. Also, batbout is very easy to prepare and a lot of fun to bake! It cooks and puffs in seconds in a simple pan.
Today we’ve got two recipes, one for batbout and one for the filling. I chose to make a “filling” version’ of one of the most iconic Moroccan tagines: chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemons. I made a quicker version that is just as tasty and appealing as the tagine itself! It’s got plenty of spring onions and it is topped it with a delicous minty-yoghurt sauce that perfectly brings out all the flavours of the chicken tagine.
Seriously, these two recipes are the perfect combinations of flavours! So this weekend, make some batbouts and get yourself a Moroccan partay!
Makes 14 7 cm (3 inch) small batbouts
- 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- 100 gr plain flour and more for dusting
- 100 gr semolina flour and more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and more for cooking the batbouts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup to 3/4 lukewarm water
• Activate the dry yeast by adding ½ teaspoon of sugar and one tablespoon of lukewarm water in a small bowl. Stir with a fork and leave for 5 minutes until foamy.
• In a large bowl, transfer all the ingredients (including the yeast) except the lukewarm water. Combine all the ingredients and add the lukewarm water progressively until you obtain a soft dough. I recommend adding ½ cup and then adding tablespoons of water progressively to make sure your the dough doesn’t get too moist and sticky. If it happens, add a bit of flour.
• Flour a worktop and knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes until smooth and elastic.
• Divide the dough into 14 small balls. Cover with cling film and let the dough rest for 20 minutes in a warm place.
• Using your hands, flatten every circle of dough to make them about 0.5 cm thick and dust both sides with semolina flour. Place the discs on a tray and cover with a cloth or cling film and let the dough rest for 1 hour until the discs double in size. (Leave some room between the discs when placing them because they will become larger.)
• Lightly oil and preheat a non-stick pan over medium high heat. Place a batbout on the pan and cook on each side turning several times until golden brown, a couple of minutes on each side.
The batbouts are supposed to lightly puff up during the cooking process, don’t be tempted to flatten them up during the cooking process because they won’t be puffy anymore and it will be harder for you to open them and fill them once cooked.
• Enjoy warm or cold, fill with anything tasty, savoury, sweet or with this quick chicken tagine filling you will find below!
Quick Chicken Tagine Filling with Dried Mint Yoghurt Sauce
Makes enough filling to fill 14 small batbouts (above)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 300 gr boneless chicken breast, finely chopped (< 1 cm)
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 tablespoons chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small preserved lemon
- 1/4 cup green olives drained and chopped
- 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- 5 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons greek yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic (about 1 small clove)
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes, if desired
- Salt and pepper to taste
• In a large casserole or deep skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onions over medium heat. Cover with a lid and leave the onions until they are soft and translucent, about 10 min. This will allow to sweat the onions.
• Add the chicken, the spices, garlic, chicken stock, salt and pepper. Combine the ingredients together and cover with a lid. Lower the heat to medium low and leave to gently cook, about 10 minutes.
• Uncover and cook for 5 more minutes to allow all the liquids to evaporate. When the chicken is fully cooked and the liquids have evaporated transfer the filling in a bowl and leave to cool down.
• Meanwhile, remove the flesh from the preserved lemon and finely chop the lemon (discard the flesh).
• Add the chopped preserved lemon, olives, coriander and spring onions to the chicken and mix all the ingredients together.
• To prepare the sauce, transfer all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix until smooth.
• Your filling is now ready, fill the batbout with about 2 tablespoons of filling (warm or cold) and top up with the sauce.