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Beghrir Express | North African Honeycomb Pancakes

  Beghrir are a North African tender, spongy, melt-in-your-mouth pancakes made from semolina. These yeast leavened pancakes are only cooked on one side,giving them a honeycomb look. 

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
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Edit: This is an updated post. Contains some older photos.

Every culture seems to have it's own pancake. But the North African Beghrir in my opinion is something special. It's a North African honeycomb pancake that's nicknamed "the pancake with  a thousand holes". Homey, comforting and light, these crepes of 1000 holes make a delicious start to any breakfast or Ramadan suhour meal. 

Many Algerians and Morrocan claim it orginates from the Beghrir. I'm not sure. The recipe varys slightly region to region but the memories of grandmothers preparing this delicate pancakes. They have a light spongy texture. They are fluffy and chewy with slightly sour taste that reminds one of freshly baked bread.

Beghrir are only cooked on one side, that develops little holes like a crumpet -  which allows honey and melted butter to permeate throughout, not only flavor the top. The ingredients needed are standard pantry items you'd find any Algerian home. And my recipe and actually FAST! Tasty, inexpensive and easy – just right for right now. 

They're traditionally cooked on an Algerian clay griddle called a tadjine. This ingredients and preparation of Beghrir not only gives the pancake an attractive appearance but adds a timeless traditional taste that brings every Algerian right back to their childhood. 

Beghrir is also known as Tirrifyn or Thighrifines by the Kabyle or Berber people in Algeria.

Beghrir have made since the time of the kingdoms of Numedia. (202 BC – 46 BC). And interesting enough this humble pancake traveled East towards Egypt, Somalia and landed in the Middle East. Many of you may be familiar with the Syrian/Lebanese stuffed small pancakes called Ataïf

The traditional recipe for Beghrir involves a sponge then having to wait about 2 hours for the batter to bubble up. I'm a busy person ... just  too time-consuming so I'm sharing an up-to-date no-fail, no stress, modern express version for  my dears readers Magda, Roula, Gabi and Erzsi.

 The recipe in Hungarian for Erzsi - a recette magyarul Erzsi-nek! CLICK

An older photo just for fun!

Here is a step by step pictorial + some useful tricks that ensure you have beautifully tender Beghrir with many small holes:

๑۞๑ The batter shouldn't  be too thick or too thin; between a Crêpe and an American pancake batter.Heat your frying pan for only about one or two minutes. And you must make sure the fire is on the lowest setting possible for your stove, since you do not want to brown the bottom of the Beghrir if possible. Brown bottom Beghrir will taste bitter! 

๑۞๑ Traditionally,  a flat tadjine like this one above is used, but I prefer to use a crêpe pan. I keep a seperate frying pan that I use only for making Beghrir, crêpes and other pancakes in. 

๑۞๑ You can use a small ladle as I do, or optional use a smaller pan to cook them in. Just ladle in enough batter to make a pancake the size of the pan. This way there is no fuss on making them prefect!

๑۞๑ Preparing Beghrir requires some patience. The holes will appear, don't worry and don't be tempted to  flip over the pancake.

๑۞๑ You can also optionally use a large griddle, preparing several at a time.

๑۞๑ Patience! Don't leave your Beghrir unattended ... to answer the phone, play with your children or prepare the rest of your meal! They burn easily!

๑۞๑ Don't be tempted to poke the holes. They will pop naturally.

๑۞๑ Use only non-metal utensils to remove the Beghrir, so your pan is not scratch. This ensures your pancakes never stick. And you never have to use oil or butter.

๑۞๑ Like with crepes, the first few ones usually do not look so attractive. But do not worry; keep on since they will get better! As a child, my grandmother when she made palacsinta (Hungarian crêpes) used to give the imprefect ones to the guard dog. Well, now I don't have any dogs, but the first few usually go to the cook or LOL little kitchen helpers!

๑۞๑ The Beghrir should have many holes. Maybe not quite 1000 but many.

๑۞๑ The prefect ideal Beghrir is pale on the cooked side, never brown or burnt.  Brown Beghrir = bad bitter taste. Not sweet or fragant at all!

↠↠↠ Other recipes of traditional Algerian sweet dishes

๑۞๑ Beghrir contains gluten but you can find a gluten-free version of the recipe by clicking HERE.  See Kitchen Tips for more tips.


So let's get started with the recipe...

KITCHEN TIME 🕓 ACTIVE PREP TIME : 5  min |   INACTIVE PREP TIME : 15 min   |  COOK TIME : 15-20 min 

sweet recipes | serves about 4

Beghrir Express 
North African Honeycomb Pancakes  
Beghrir are a North African tender, spongy, melt-in-your-mouth pancakes made from semolina. These yeast leavened pancakes are only cooked on one side,giving them a honeycomb look.

‣ 300g - 1 1/2 cup fine semolina (also called farina flour, durum flour, semouline,smid qarqiq)
‣ 100g - 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
‣ 1 TBS - 10g instant yeast
‣ 1 package (10g - 2tsp) baking powder
‣ few capfuls of orange blossom water (mazhar), or to taste (optional)
‣ OR generous 1 tsp vanilla essence
‣ 1 pinch of saffron or turmeric if you want nice color (optional)
‣ 700mL -3 cups warm water
‣ pinch of salt
‣ 1-2 TBS sugar (optional but recommended)


‣ Honey mixed with
‣  2 TBS of orange blossom water (optional)
‣ Butter

1 - Add the orange blossom water, milk and water into a blender. Sprinkle in the yeast and the sugar, then slowly add in the flour, semolina, baking soda and baking powder. 
 Optionally use a stick blender.

2 - Blend the mixture for a few minutes until the batter is homogenous. Set the batter aside for about 15 minutes to proof. After the 15 minutes, you should see little bubbles forming from the help of the yeast. This is when you know the batter is ready to use. If there are no bubbles, then your yeast may be old.

3 -  Preheat your tadjine, skillet or pan on the stove. The heat should be on the low setting.
4 - Ladle in the batter into the  ungreased pan. I use a small ladle that is about ¼ cup. After a few seconds, you'll start to see the little holes appear. Continue to cook until all the surface is cooked. DON'T FLIP!
5 - Remove the Beghrir from the pan and place on a clean kitchen towel or parchment. Do not stack them - they will stick together!

6 - Repeat until you have used all the batter.
Once you have cooked off all the Beghrir, mix honey and butter along with a few capfuls of orange blossom water (mazhar) over the Beghrir. Allow to soak in before serving. 

    Make Ahead
    ⇝ This stew is easily made ahead up to 2 days before you would like to serve it.

    ⇝ I urge you to wrap them very well in plastic and store them in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up a 3 weeks. We never have leftovers so I have yet to have the chance to freeze the Beghrir. When you want eat your leftover saved Beghrir, simply heat them up on the same pan you cooked them in. Never in a microwave since it will only make tough.   

    ⇝ Optionally you can serve Beghrir with Moroccan Amlou, a peanut butter like dip made from argan nuts - this is a very machallah Moroccan thing to do! Or serve Madjoun (perserves), date molasses or Nutella with your Beghrir!

    ⇝ Another nice variation on Beghrir is to dot chocolate chips or raisins on the batter as you cook them. 
    ⇝ My children LOVE chocolate, so I came up a variation to this Beghrir recipe .... Beghrir Choco ... Beghrir pancakes with chocolate! You can find it here! 

    Vegan & Vegetarian
    ⇝ To make this dish veg-friendly use a vegetable-based milk such as coconut milk.

    ⇝ You can find a gluten-free version of these pancakes HERE.


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     ➤ This stew  would be delicious served  with this homemade bread
    ➤ Or even try this zataar fan-tans.
    ➤ Or get inspired at the Recipe Index.

    do you like lentils? let us know which ones in the comments below. 


    1. ive had these at my Moroccan friends house and they're DELICIOUS!! thank u so much for the recipe :)

    2. Salam ma soeur!
      Merci pour le clin d'oeil, c'est bien gentil de ta part.
      Look at those little holes, they are so cute, your beghrir look absolutely delicious! I would love to have some for my breakfast right now with some Amlou!
      Allah bless you, Macha allah 3lik sister,
      Hugs to you

    3. Mes crêpes préférées avec beaucoup de beurre et du sucre à gogo.
      Mauvaises pour le tour de taille mais tellement bonnes à manger.
      A très bientôt.

    4. Just came back to your blog and discovered the recipe :-)
      Can't wait for the weekend to try this, hope it will turn out right in my crepe-pan!
      Thank you so much for this!

    5. I`ve eaten such breakfast during holiday. It was delicious.I`ve tried to copy it, but it wasn`t the same:).

    6. Soooooo excited to try this recipe! They are my son's favorite and the recipe I have has not worked for some time now. Will try them this weekend and let you know! As another serving suggestion, my Berber in-laws love them with olive oil and sugar! Enjoy!

    7. Soooo excited to try this recipe! They are my son's favorite and the recipe I have has not worked for some time now. Will try them this weekend and let you know isA. As a serving suggestion, my Berber in-laws like them with olive oil and sugar. Enjoy!


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