Sfouf – Traditional Ramadhan Sweet (Sellou)

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Sfouf is a traditional Moroccan sweet that doesn’t need baking. It can also be called Sellou or Zumita and is made from toasted sesame seeds, roasted almonds and flour that has to be previously oven-roasted until brown.

Sfouf is traditionally served during Ramadhan because it is full of nutrients and very filling, having said that though, it is also commonly served on Eids, weddings and other special occasions in a variety of different ways.

Sfouf is usually made in very large batches so I have never really made a small version but it stores really well for at least 2-3 months if kept in a sealed air-tight container, or even longer if you freeze it. We often give portions away to neighbours, family and friends and it’s always on the table at suhur and iftar time. But if you don’t want a huge batch then you can easily half the ingredients for a smaller quantity 😉

I have shared my mother’s recipe below, but I know that it varies in different parts of Morocco.

I have noted where I have adjusted it to my personal taste. We were fortunate enough to visit Morocco every year while growing up in the UK because it’s not too far and expensive. On one occasion we were able to be there for Ramadhan and I remember seeing the prep work for this dish done by the family together with friends and neighbours during the last weeks of Shaaban. I still remember the scent that filled the air of groundnuts and nutmeg as they all got it ready before needing to mix the ingredients together.

Sfouf - Moroccan Ramadan Sweet Recipe

The good thing about this recipe is that with things like nuts that are dry and not prone to spoil, you can do a little something every day such as roast the ingredients one day, blend it all another day etc. Otherwise, it can be a bit overwhelming without extra help.
If you have a big family or older kids it's fun to make it a family thing you can do all together while maybe listening to some Ramadhan reminders or nasheeds. Enjoy 😉
Servings 4 litres
Prep Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 kg Flour
  • 1 kg Almonds
  • 1 kg Peanuts
  • 1 kg Golden brown sesame seeds - save some whole for garnish or mixing in after
  • 1/4 kg Powdered sugar or Honey (to taste) - (I only use the honey though as I feel this is more than enough sweetness)
  • 1-2 tblsp Ground Anise seeds -
  • 1/4 tsp Gum Arabic, powdered - (this is optional, I don't use it)
  • 3 to 4 tblsp Ground cinnamon & nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 kg Clarified Butter or a little oil for mixing

Instructions

  • Boil, peel, roast and then grind the fresh almonds
  • Roast, peel and grind the peanuts
  • Roast and grind the sesame seeds
  • Roast the flour till brown then sift
  • Roast & grind the Anise seeds
  • Place all the above dry ingredients together in a suitable sized mixing bowl
  • Melt the butter with the honey into a liquid but not to boiling point (add the sugar and salt if using it)
  • Mix the liquid mix into the dry ingredients and blend thoroughly into moist crumble
  • (If you ant your mixture to be of a mouldable consistency just add more butter and honey mix or oil if preferred)
  • Some people prefer to fry the almonds rather than roast as it makes them slightly more moist and flavorsome but I prefer the healthier option and have also used fine brown sugar on occasions instead of icing sugar, and can confirm it as just as tasty 😉
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Moroccan
Keyword: Ramadan, sweet

Join the Conversation

  1. Hi! Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I’ve been looking for it for a while, as I couldn’t remember the name of it. I had worked with a family from Morocco many years ago that had offered it to me, and it was so delicious. I’ve never forgotten its taste. I can no longer eat wheat and will have to research what flour I can use instead. Perhaps almond flour. Anyway, thank you again!!

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