Quick Moroccan Harcha | Pan-fried Semolina Bread recipe

This Moroccan Harcha is a thin bread with semolina flour and it’s fast to make for it is fried in the pan. In this recipe for semolina bread, Harcha (Harsha), I have added some spelt full-grain semolina to increase fibers to get your morning beautifully started with these flatbreads.

Flat coarse semolina bread on the silver tray, in front on the white and green fabric opened bread with a knife spreading cream cheese.

When I want a bit of diversity for breakfast, I do Harcha in the morning. It is easy and fast, and I would dare to say that you can’t go wrong with it – ever. Most Moroccan mamas do one huge flatbread over the whole skillet as they serve as well in the small booths on the street. To make it easier, I do always mini Harchas, tiny cup-sized breads.

Some compare Harcha to English Muffins. They do have similarities. English Muffin is soft and fluffy because of the plain wheat flour, whereas the texture of Harcha is more like cornbread for it is baked with semolina.

Tips for making

  • Use semolina to get the texture right (not plain flour!)
  • After patting the bread flat sprinkle some semolina on the surfaces before frying. That gives a nice and crispy outer layer and a fluffy and soft inside.
  • Be patient and use medium-low heat to cook the Harcha through.
  • This dough is very flexible, you can increase or decrease the amounts evenly, to make less or more.

FAQ

What is semolina? 

Semolina is a product of grain. In the milling process, the most nourishing core parts of the wheat grain are separated from the grain and made into semolina. That’s why semolina is considered very beneficial for your health. Semolina is coarser than normal flour and usually has a bit yellowish color. Do not mix up with polenta that has a bit similar look, but is made with corn.

With semolina, you can make some Nordic style Whipped Lingonberry Porridge for breakfast as well.

Close-up of two different semolinas, left wheat semolina and right spelt full-grain semolina.

Above is a close-up of the wheat semolina and the full-grain spelt semolina, that we are using in today’s recipe.

Is Harcha vegan?

In this recipe, I have used cow milk, but you can easily substitute it with plant-based milk or even water as many Moroccan families do. Try almond milk for extra nuttiness or why not vamp more and get a bit of yummy coconut flavor from the coconut milk?

When do you eat Harcha?

Harcha is served in Morocco as a breakfast or at tea time later on the day. It is very common as well during Ramadan time for it is very filling.

| RELATED: Halal Meal Prep 1 | How we plan meals for a healthy Ramadan

What do you serve with Harcha?

Harcha, the flat semolina bread, is typically served with cream cheese, honey, or even chocolate pastes like Nutella. You can put some jam on the top and my favorite spread is sesame paste Tahini. Moroccans drink always some Mint Tea, which is a perfect companion with the steaming hot Harcha.

| RELATED: How to make Moroccan Mint Tea: recipe, serving, and culture.

Ingredients you need for Harcha

  • Wheat semolina, in the recipe, I use medium-grain semolina which is coarser semolina. You can use as well fine semolina
  • Spelt full-grain semolina, you can do the Harcha with all plain semolina or all Spelt full-grain semolina. With full grain texture gets more sandy and dry, If you use only full grain make sure you decrease the amount a bit or add a bit more milk to the dough
  • Sugar, I use organic cane sugar, but you can substitute with other sugars or honey if you like
  • Salt, I use sea salt.
  • Baking powder
  • Olive oil, use quality olive oil. If you prefer, you can easily substitute with 100g melted butter
  • Milk, I use cow milk, but you can substitute with plant-based milk or water

Tools you may need

  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon to mix
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Scale
  • Rolling pin (optional)
  • Cup or cookie cutter (optional)
  • Skillet, or frying pan
  • Wooden spatula
  • Tray for serving

How to make Harcha

First measure all the dry ingredients, semolinas, sugar, salt, and baking powder, in the bowl and mix. Then add the olive oil and mix with your hand to obtain a crumbly sand-like texture. Lastly, pour the milk in and mix rapidly with the spoon to incorporate it all well. The dough should feel thick and wet. Leave it on the side for only a few minutes.

The dough should be fairly soft. If you can make easily a ball with the dough you can pour the dough on the clean kitchen table or on baking paper to ease the cleanup.

Put the skillet on the stove to heat it on a fairly low, medium-low heat.

Form the galettes of Harcha

If you are a chill Moroccan mama in your heart and soul you can just pat with your hands to flatten the dough as thick as a shy less than your index finger.

Hands pressing the dough to flatten it out.

If you have a strict Nordic mind and you like things straight, you can even use a flowered rolling pin. I am a mix so I flatten it out with my hand and then just roll on it to get the surface nice and even. Then go ahead and sprinkle some semolina on the top and pat slightly to get the semolina attached to the dough.

With a tea cup or a cookie cutter cut the dough into thick discs. If you want perfect-looking neat Harcha galettes use the sharp cookie cutter. Gather the extra dough and repeat until you have used all the dough.

Fry the Harcha galettes

When the skillet is warmed up place in the galettes on the dry skillet surface. Do not use any oil in frying. Use medium heat, turn after 4-5 minutes, and fry the other side.

Top side raw Harcha breads on a skillet.

The color should be golden brown when it is ready. Moroccan mamas use only their fingertips to turn the galettes of Harcha around but use a spatula if it feels safer.

Golden brown Harcha flatbreads on a frying pan.

Serving Harcha the semolina bread

Harcha is at best when served hot directly from the skillet. You can cut it in half spread some kefir cheese and drizzle some honey on the top. Leave it as a whole and spread some chocolate-nut paste or yummy jam. And as Moroccans do, enjoy it with steaming hot Moroccan Mint Tea.

Storage

It is best to eat Harcha right after making it, but it is still ok the same day or the following. Just pack it airtightly and before eating heat it well. Usually, I just drop it in a toaster to heat it up quickly. You can store the Harcha in a freezer for about 3 months.

Little Helper

When having a child with you in the kitchen measuring the ingredients is surely the best thing to start. With your little one, you can try to do the galettes also as follows: Make small balls, a bit smaller than a golf ball, and then flatten them with your hand, the bottom of a cup, or a rolling pin. Choose the method that feels the easiest for you both. Regardless of the possible mess, this is a fairly nice and easy recipe, with the measuring, mixing, and making the galettes, to do in the morning with your child.

Harcha flatbreads as a tower on a white plate.

Flat coarse semolina bread on the silver tray, in front on the white and green fabric opened bread with a knife spreading cream cheese.

Moroccan Harcha pan-fried semolina bread

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This Moroccan Harcha is a thin bread with semolina flour and it's fast to make for it is fried in the pan. In this recipe for semolina bread, Harcha (Harsha), I have added some spelt full-grain semolina to increase fibers to get your morning beautifully started with these flatbreads.

Ingredients

  • 200g wheat semolina
  • 150g spelt whole grain semolina
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 7 g baking powder
  • 1 dl olive oil (100g)
  • 1,5-2 dl milk (150g)

Instructions

  1. First measure all the dry ingredients, semolinas, sugar, salt, and baking powder, in the bowl and mix.
  2. Then add the olive oil and mix with your hand to obtain a crumbly sand-like texture.
  3. Lastly, pour the milk gradually in and mix rapidly with the spoon the get it all well incorporated. Pour 1,5dl first and add if the dough feels dry. The dough should feel thick and wet. Leave it on the side for only a few minutes.
  4. The dough should be still fairly soft. If you can make easily a ball with the dough you can pour the dough on the clean kitchen table or on baking paper that I sometimes use to ease the cleanup.
  5. Put the skillet on the stove to heat it on a fairly low, medium-low heat.
  6. If you are a chill Moroccan mama in your heart and soul you can just pat with your hands to flatten the dough as thick as a shy less than your index finger. If you have a strict Nordic mind and you like things straight and even you can use a flowered rolling pin. I am a mix so Iusually flatten it out with my hand and then just roll on it to get the surface nice and even. Sprinkle some semolina on the top.
  7. With a tea cup or a cookie cutter cut the dough into thick discs. If you want perfect-looking neat Harcha galettes use the sharp cookie cutter. Gather the extra dough and repeat until you have used all the dough.
  8. When the skillet is warmed up place in the galettes on the dry skillet surface. Do not use any oil in frying. Use medium heat, turn after 4-5 minutes, and fry the other side. The color should be golden brown when it is ready. Moroccan mamas use only their fingertips to turn the galettes of Harcha around but use a spatula if it feels safer.

Serving

Harcha is at best when served hot directly from the skillet. You can cut it in half spread some cream cheese and drizzle some honey on the top. Leave it as a whole and spread some chocolate-nut paste or yummy jam. And as Moroccans do, enjoy it with steaming hot Moroccan Mint Tea.

Storage

It is best to eat Harcha right after making it, but it is still ok the same day or the following. Just pack it airtightly and before eating heat it well on a skillet. It warms up nicly in a toaster too!! You can store the Harcha in a freezer for about 3 months.

Notes

  • Use semolina to get the texture right (not plain flour!)
  • After patting the bread flat sprinkle some semolina on the surfaces before frying. That gives a nice and crispy outer layer and a fluffy and soft inside.
  • Be patient and use medium-low heat to cook the Harcha through.
  • This dough is very flexible, you can increase or decrease the amounts evenly, to make less or more.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 80
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 143mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g

Did you make this recipe?

Share and tag me @blue.tea.tile - I would love to see how it turned out ♡

Harcha galettes on the table. On the blurry background hand with glass is cutting more against the wooden surface. Text on the top: Quick & Easy! Semolina Bread Recipe. Moroccan Harcha."

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What are your favourite toppings?

Have you tried it yet? Let me know in the comments what would you enjoy spreading on the top of a warm Moroccan Harcha!

What else to whip up for breakfast?

Something yummy Moroccan style…

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12 Comments

  1. Love this!! I had no idea what semolina was, so I loved that you went into that too. My eye also caught the “nordic lingonberry porridge” and I’m off to read that post next! I have some Norwegian heritage and one of my goals this year is to learn how to make more traditional recipes. SO glad I found your blog!

  2. What a delightful and delicious recipe. I’ve made a basic semolina loaf in the past but this recipe is really special.