Better than couscous

Angel hair pasta, steamed for two four hours.  Chicken, onions, cinamon sticks, saffron, ginger powder.  Roasted almonds.

This is my mouth watering favorite Moroccan food.  It’s called Sha’ria medfouna, or buried angel hair pasta  (it’s the chicken that’s buried under that big mound of fluffy pasta).  I like mine with a little powdered sugar sprinkled on top.  I like mine in a big clay platter, as in this picture, shared with family and friends.  I like mine cold out of a tupperware, standing in front of the open fridge.  Did I mention that I like this dish???

I’m not going to give you the recipe though.  Do you know why?  Because I don’t want to push you to the teetering edge of sanity.  No, neither you nor I need to be tending delicate noodle dishes for hours on end.  However, better than a recipe, I will give you a better way of getting to eat this dish.  And here is my 5 part plan:

1.  Get to Morocco on the double, if you’re not here already.

2.  Good.  Now you will make a Moroccan friend.

3.  We’re close now.  Next, you will say this line, try to sound like you haven’t rehearsed it too much “You know, I’ve had couscous and tajine, and boy are they delish, but I’ve heard that the best Moroccan dish is sha’ria medfouna.  Is that true?”

4.  Our plan has worked, because your Moroccan friend will reply “my mom makes an awesome sha’ria, why don’t you come over for lunch tomorrow and see for yourself”.  You, sheepishly grin and say “if you’re sure it’s no trouble”.

5.  Finally, you get to taste the noodles that melt in your mouth.  It’s such an addictive dish that you will eat long after you’re full.

Or, you could do it the hard way, and actually make the dish yourself.

Whichever plan you follow, I highly recommend you find a way to taste this sublime Moroccan dish.


12 thoughts on “Better than couscous

  1. Sounds wonderful but the VERY BEST Moroccan dish I ever had was at your mother’s house in the country.
    The name escapes me, but it was chicken and veggies over little bits of bread which soaked in the juices of the cooking…….Please supply a recipe for that!
    ps I have a photo of it too but can’t put a photo in the comments.

    • AR says:

      Maybe you’re referring to “treed” (threed in classical Arabic) which I agree is also a wonderful dish. It is also quite ancient, mentioned in a saying of the Prophet Mohammed (S).

  2. Anicca says:

    oh lucky for me, I happen to know a Moroccan who is coming to visit…;) Can we be friends? Does it count as the best dish if it is outside Morocco?

  3. sumayya says:


    you’re killing me Nora. Another thing to add to my “to eat list” for my trip next month insha’Allah.

    Thanks for jogging my food memory.

  4. Meriem says:

    Oh no, why why why?
    I have about 4 packets of vermicelli in my kitchen from all the times I’ve craved it over the past year or two but never had the courage to make it.
    I have to say though, that recipe you linked to? It calls for boiled vermicelli. Humph!
    Here’s a link to the real deal :p With pix.
    It says you have to steam the vermicelli 5 times. That’s why I’ve only made it once. For my father in law!!! It passed the test 🙂

  5. Uh oh, I’ve hit a nerve here. I should’ve seen this coming.
    Laura, this is an official invitation to my house for a meal of sha’ria.
    Elizabeth, I agree, treed is quite amazing too, I suppose one could make it with tortillas, as it’s the bread that’s the most time consuming.
    Nicci, we’ll see what we can do.
    Sumayya, what! You’re coming next month and that’s how you break it to me? Way to drop the bomb all casual. We need to talk.
    Meriem, so so sorry, I feel your pain, believe me. But you’ve made it, so you’re in the hallowed Seffa hall of fame. Thanks for the link, I guess I didn’t read my link closely enough, boiled noodles? Whaa? I’ll replace it with this one right away.

  6. Oh yes! Steamed pasta one of my absolute favs! My husband is more of a rice lover but from time to time I slip noodles steamed with the cooking broth, instead of the rice. My kids go almost as crazy for it as I do! I’ve never had this dish though! I’m so making it, even if I have to make it up myself 😉

  7. “Uh oh, I’ve hit a nerve here. I should’ve seen this coming.”

    That is right Nora! I am going to Marrakech next week and will be sniffing around for a sha’ria medfouna! Now, I just need to learn how to pronounce it ..

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