Gauthier is to Casablanca what le Marais is to Paris. Jewish families used to live in this area of Casablanca and my grandparents’ house was one of the fewest non-jewish houses of Gauthier. My mom was born in this beautiful and chic district so technically, I spent my entire childhood eating yiddish food. My grandparents’ villa was extremely beautiful and warm. It brings tears to my heart everytime I pass by and see that a tall building replaced the garden of Basidi and mama hbiba.
Dafina, or cholent, or skhina, is a Jewish Moroccan slow-cooked stew. It is usually prepared on friday night in order to serve it for lunch on saturday.
According to the tradition, each house has its own recipe of Dafina. And this is very true. Mama hbiba’s dafina is different from my mother’s, which is different from mine.
Today I am sharing with you mama hbiba’s recipe, because hers is a legend:
1- Place the potatoes in a large slow-cooker (or marmitte, à la Marocaine) then sprinkle the chopped onions on top of the potatoes.
2-Furthermore, place the beef over the onions because the onions need to be on top.
3- Add spices listed above to the the barley, the rice and the ground beef and roll each ingredient in an aluminium or tulle purse. Because the purpose is to keep each ingredient neat and put-together.
4- Eggs are the ingredients that require the least attention, so you can add them at the end of the cooking process.
5- Drizzle honey, olive oil, the garlic cloves and a lot of water, then let cook overnight.
6- Before serving, unwrap the barley, the rice and all the other ingredients, hence feel free to serve your stew in a large plate or in a bowl, so you will make it look a bit contemporary.