Seffa Medfouna

Seffa Medfouna is a famous Moroccan dish which features saffron chicken, lamb or beef hidden within a dome of steamed couscous or broken vermicelli.  The couscous or vermicelli is sweetened with raisins, butter, and powdered sugar and decorated with fried almonds, cinnamon, and additional powdered sugar.  Seffa may be prepared without the meat and served as a follow-up course to the entree.  Both versions are popular on holidays or when entertaining.

What You'll Need

For the Seffa:
  • 2 lbs. dry broken vermicelli or couscous

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 cup golden raisins, soaked in water for 20 minutes

  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, or to taste

For the Seffa Topping:
  • 1/2 to 1 cup almonds (blanched and fried)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the Saffron Chicken or Meat:
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (or 2 lbs. cubed lamb or beef)

  • 2 large sweet onions, chopped medium

  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 small pieces (2 to 3") of cinnamon stick

  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled