Guide to make Moroccan chicken and almond bastilla or savoury pie recipe

Guide to make Moroccan chicken and almond bastilla or savoury pie recipe

Made with chicken, spices and saffron, this dish comes with a sweet twist

Guide to making Moroccan chicken bastilla Video Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/Gulf News

Also known as bsteeya or b’stillah, this savoury chicken pie or Moroccan bastilla is served during festive occassions and is often made with chicken or pigeon. The meat is marinated at least two days before cooking it and the pie can be baked or deep-fried, depending on your preference. The thin pastry leaves called warqa in Morocco, make the pie’s flaky layers, however, this recipe uses readymade rice wrappers or spring roll sheets. Try out Bab Al Mansour's recipe for making chicken bastilla at home:

Preparation time: 48 hours

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves: 10 to 12 pies


Here's what you will need: Marinated boneless chicken pieces, cinnamon sticks, preserved butter or smen, white sugar, honey, ground almonds, Moroccan spices, olive oil, four eggs, chopped parsley and coriander leaves, saffron, and crepe or spring roll sheets Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

300 gms marinated boneless chicken pieces

5 cinnamon sticks

3 tbsp preserved butter or smen

3 tbsp white sugar

2 tbsp honey

100 gms ground almonds

100 gms Moroccan spices (a blend made using equal proportions of brown sugar, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper) 

50 ml olive oil

4 eggs

100 gms parsley, chopped

100 gms coriander leaves, chopped 

1 tsp saffron

2 crepe or spring roll sheets


Step 1: Heat a pan on a medium-high flame. Pour olive oil into the pan.

Add olive oil to a pan Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

Step 2: Once the oil is hot, add freshly chopped white onions. Stir well.

Step 3: Time to add marinated boneless chicken pieces. The marinade is made using cayenne pepper, cumin, turmeric powder and saffron. Add the pieces one by one, making sure that you do not overcrowd the pan. Once added, mix well with the chopped onions.

Step 4: Add the cinnamon sticks to the pan, but break them with your hands before doing so.

Step 4: Add a spoonful of smen or Moroccan preserved butter. Mix well.

Step 5: Add the chopped parsley and coriander leaves and mix well.

Step 6: Add in a few strands of saffron and give it a gentle stir once again.

Step 7: Once the chicken pieces are well cooked, slowly take them out of the pan one by one. Leave the spiced onion mix and stir well.

Step 8: Add a few teaspoons of honey to the spiced onions.

Step 9: Once the mix starts to simmer, add the cracked eggs into it. Mix well.

Step 9: While the gravy gets cooked, add ground almonds in a bowl, followed by cinnamon, sugar, and melted, preserved butter or Moroccan ghee.

Step 10: Once the chicken has cooled down to room temperature, shred it using your hands.

Step 11: Spread a thin sheet of flour paper or spring roll sheet. Next, add the sweetened ground almond mix in a bowl, and press it to the base of the bowl using a spoon. Then, add a layer of the spiced onions and then press the chicken patty (rolled into a ball) as another layer.

Step 12: Deep fry the pie for at least 7 to 8 minutes until golden brown.

Deep-fry the pie for 7 minutes Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

Step 13: Once fried, leave it to cool and top it off with icing sugar and cinnamon.

Step 14: Serve and enjoy!

Serve and enjoy! Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

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