Moroccan Cigars

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This summer has been filled with various activities including making some international cuisine. This week I browsed through recipes from Africa and came across one for Moroccan meat cigars. It reminded me of a simple dish my older sister often made. She was married to a man from Morocco and had learned to make some authentic dishes. One of my favorites was little 'sausages' that had ground meat and lots of cumin. She would bake them in the oven till they were crisp and serve them with fresh crusty bread. The bread was used to sop up some of the juices from the meat. It was wonderful.

This dish seemed similar but it has its own special treat ~ phyllo dough. The meat is rolled in the dough and brushed with butter. The result is a flaky and savory treat you don't have everyday. After looking over a few different recipes, this is what I came up with.

Moroccan Cigars
1 small onion, diced
2 tbsp butter
1 lb ground beef or ground lamb
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 c olives, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 16 oz package phyllo dough
1/4 c butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a cookie sheet by oil it.
Cook onions in butter till lightly browned and soft. Add ground meat, cook until done {about 10-12 minutes}. Drain meat; I like to run a bit of hot water over to wash away excess grease.  Add spices, olives and cheese. Mix well. Roll out phyllo dough and cover with a damp cloth to keep soft and pliable.  Pick up one sheet and brush with melted butter. Fold in half lengthwise and brush with butter again.

Add a big spoonful of filling on narrow end of phyllo strip. Fold in sides as you roll the meat in the dough. Work carefully as the dough tears easily.  Place seem side down on prepared baking sheet. Brush again with butter. Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes.  Makes approximately 20 cigars. Unless you get frustrated and throw the phyllo dough across the room.

This was my first time working with phyllo dough. It wasn't a cake walk but not as difficult as I had expected it to be. I did get flustered a couple of times and ended up wadding up a few sheets of the dough and tossing it across the room {I was aiming for the trash}. They were not that difficult to make, honestly.

These would be quite tasty with a tzatziki sauce, but I served it with a corn salad I made earlier and was craving. I am not a lover of lamb meat but I used ground lamb and ground beef to appeal to my children; they can't get enough lamb it seems. The phyllo dough really makes this treat, so play around with the recipe. Use different herbs and meats. Have fun with it.


  1. I thought these were really good!Especially the lamb part.

  2. I've had these at a Moroccan restaurant but they sprinkled powdered sugar on them. I thought that was really weird so i like your version much better. This seems like a great appetizer for a dinner party!

  3. After reading Michele's comment, I do remember eating these with powdered sugar on them too in a restaurnat called Marikesh, I think, up in Philly. Belly dancers and all! These sound like a great treat to make.

  4. I have always wanted to make these. I love this kind of "appetizer" food. Pick up and eat. Not to mention the flavors sound incredible.

    Wow and what a shock about your kids liking lamb. My husband I like it- they do not.

  5. As always an excellent posting.The
    way you write is awesome.Thanks. Adding more information will be more useful.


  6. I am drooling on my keyboard. Those look smokin' tasty. I will try and make this for my next dinner party.

    Alexander from
    electronic cigarette


Catching my breath. Be back ASAP.