Moshe M.
A Moroccan Shabbat stew, filtered through London tastes.
Origin England, Morocco
Servings 8


  • 2-3 Onions chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 head garlic kept whole
  • turmeric
  • paprika
  • cumin
  • sugar or honey
  • 1 ½ lbs beef (preferably well-marbled)
  • 4-5 potatoes and/or sweet potatoes
  • 2-4 dates
  • 6 eggs optional, but highly recommended
  • 1 tin chickpeas optional
  • 2-3 marrow bones optional, but highly recommended
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup barley


  • Fry the onions in a frying pan large enough to accommodate the meat (I use a wok for this) in a bit of oil until soft, then add the crushed 3 garlic cloves and generous amounts of the spices to the onions, together with the sugar/honey.
  • When the sugar has melted, add the meat and braise it, as this seals the meat for the long cooking time.
  • Prepare the pot (a crock pot also works for this) with the potatoes/sweet potatoes, the head of garlic, the dates, the bones and the chickpeas. Over this put the meat and spices.
  • Rinse the barley and place in a soup bag. The rice should be rinsed and cooked until "al dente", when you bite into it, there should be a small circle of white in the rice. Once it is at this stage, place it in a second soup bag. Add the two soup bags and the eggs to the pot and cover with water.
  • On Shabbat, the rice and barley are served separately, as are the eggs, and the meat, chickpeas, potatoes, etc are all brought out on one plate.


  • When the skhena is brought out, the potatoes and the rice should be brown. If they are still white, then there was too much water in the pot.
  • The rice must be cooked to al dente if you are putting it in a bag, otherwise it becomes a soccer ball.
  • Alternatively, you can just throw the barley and rice into the pot, but many Moroccans will judge you for this.
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