20 Feb 2015

Fkas Mal7 or 9at3a ( قطعة / فقاس مالح ) Moroccan Colourful Crackers /Moroccan Version of Indian Punjabi Mathri!!

It's time to nominate a better name for these Moroccan savoury cookies, I'm happy to call them “Moroccan colourful crackers" or "Moroccan version of Indian Punjabi Pathri".  The word FKAS pronouced as /FKKAːSS/ and here the letter "K" stands for the Arabic letter "ق" which is non-existent in English alphabet . The word “FKAS“ means, in Moroccan darija, “annoying or irritating", and my mum told me "FKAS" got its name due to the fact that it's notoriously time-consuming, difficult to make, to be baked twice, to be allowed to rest for over 24 hours, then cut thinly into diagonal slices with high precision to get the right thickness of fkas biscuit, and this has always been the old technique used to make either sweet or savoury version of fkas.

There are two sizes of fkas, and the one you can see on the picture is the mini-savoury version, known in Morocco as fkas mal7 فقاس مالح. They are little tiny dry, hard and twice-baked crackers, delicious and truly addictive. Fkas is largely appreciated in Morocco that every city developed its own flavored version, and no need to mention there are hundreds of ways and ingredients used to make these bites. I have already shared the pictures of Fkas Mlawaz, the popular sweet version (almond version), but this one is different, since it's made with spices, herbs and vegetables.  The orange one, you see on the picture, is made of carrots, lemon and tomato juice, garlic, onion, tomato paste, red chilli, dried tomatoes, black olives, curcuma, cumin seeds and other spices.  As for the green one, it is made of mallow, green olives, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, onion, green chilli, parsley, coriander, fresh thyme, cumin seeds and spices.

In general, Moroccans like to have these tiny crackers with tea, coffee or simply as a snack, while non-muslim Moroccans like to have them with wine, calling them "9at3a" = قطعة  (the number 9 stands for letter ق and number 3 stands for letter ع).  Either way you choose, these tiny crackers still taste hearty delicious, having that Moroccan wildly unique flavour, and just to make our diet worse, they are so crispy, and have the perfect size for a quick snack, inviting you to eat the entire batch by yourself.

Once made in bulk, you can store them in an air tight container and enjoy them for the next few weeks, if only they last! You can make your life easier by cutting them after the first baking step, then freeze them.  When needed, just bake them to finish the second baking step, and enjoy.
Mamatkamal



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