How to Make Moroccan Pastillas at Home
Pastilla is a typical Moroccan dish, which we learned to make on our last culinary adventure to Marrakesh. Layers of pastry similar to phyllo wrap around a savoury filling of shredded chicken, spicy seafood or a vegetarian mixture. The traditional pastilla (bastilla or b’stilla) found in Marrakech is a sweet and savoury combination with squab or chicken. Often served as a starter course, pastilla is hearty enough to serve as a main course with a side salad. When you are making pastilla at home, have fun experimenting with fillings that suit your tastes. Or, in this case, what I found in my pantry, to create two pastilla variations, one with vegetarian and the other with shrimp.
Enjoy my video of the process, with the recipe details below.
Moroccan Pastillas - Vegetable and Shrimp
- 1/4 lb (114g) raw shrimp cleaned, (defrosted if frozen)
- 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil to marinate the shrimp
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 medium Carrots
- 2 medium Zucchinis
- 1 Yellow Onion sliced thin
- 1 package Phyllo sheets found at most supermarkets
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 lb (114g) Unsalted Butter melted
Dry Ingredients for the Filling:
- 1 tsp Dried Ginger
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- 1 tsp Coriander
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 pinch Saffron
- 2 tsp Cumin
- 2 tsp Dried Parsley or 1 tbsp fresh, chopped
- 1/2 Lemon for juice
- 6 oz (170g) Toasted Almond Slices
- 2 tbsp Cinnamon
- 2 tbsp Powdered Sugar
- Marinate the ½ pound of shrimp with olive oil and red pepper flakes for one hour.
- Mix all dry ingredients for the filling in a bowl and whisk together, set aside.
- Sautee the onion slices until translucent, set aside.
- Grate zucchini and carrots and cook on medium/low heat and add the onions to the pan.
- Sprinkle the dry spice mixture over the grated, cooking vegetables, add the lemon juice and allow to cook for about 10 minutes (until some of the moisture from the zucchini and carrots is cooked off).
- Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes.
- Whip 2 eggs with a fork for 30 seconds and add to the cooled mixture. Mix well.
- Place a mound (3 oz) of the filling on a ½ sheet of phyllo dough. Brush the inside dough sheet with butter and fold over the top of the filling. Flip this on to a new sheet of phyllo, paint the sheet with butter and fold towards the center. Repeat this process 4 more times and place in ramekins.
- For the shrimp version, add 2 medium uncooked shrimp (cut in half lengthwise) to each pastilla.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200.
- Sprinkle each pastilla with powdered sugar, cinnamon and top with toasted almonds!
Getting to Marrakech from Provence is an easy two and a half (2.5) hour flight. The Riad selected by Pitcher & Powell is an oasis in the Medina. Beautifully renovated and decorated by an Italian-Swiss couple who have lived on the African continent for 35+ years, the hotel has only eight (8) rooms. Ideally suited for Pitcher and Powell, the group enjoys the Riad in its entirety, providing guests with a “home away from home” experience. Keep reading here to learn about our culinary adventure in Morocco.