Svenj, Morroccan donuts

Prepared fresh each morning Svenj sometimes written  Sfenj or Svenge is a Moroccan donut or Beignet.  A delicious everyday food enjoyed by rich and poor alike it is often eaten with sweet mint tea for breakfast.

Marrakech Svenj specialist Mohammed has been cooking this traditional dish for 23 years. Below is his ‘secret recipe’ and method:


warm water:   about a pint

flour   :   2 lb and 4 ozs

salt     : a good pinch

Yeast  : bread yeast 5 ozs OR beer yeast 1 oz


Mix the flour, salt,yeast and water. Knead well adding enough water to give the mixture a slightly more solid consistency then that used for making fritters. Put aside for several hours to rise.  Heat the oil and when the dough has risen well take a piece and squeeze a quantity about the size of the egg through between the thumb and forfinger of the right hand.which  must first be oiled. Pierce in the centre and turn round rapidly with the fingers of the left hand and thumb and  forefinger of the right throw this disc into boiling oil.

The donut will swell and turn brown. Turn when one side is cooked.  The traditional tool for this is an iron hook.

Finally make a string of hot donuts by threading them on strips of palm leaves. Fast food to go!