Maakouda – Traditional Moroccan Potato Patties

A traditional North African potato recipe found on
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Maakouda - Traditional Moroccan Potato Patties

Pan-fried potato cakes (maakouda batata) are a much-loved street food in Morocco, but you’ll also find them prepared at home. This is a traditional version of the patties, made from a mixture of mashed potatoes, garlic, spices and herbs. Zesty seasoning makes all the difference, so don’t be afraid to taste as you go and add some cayenne pepper or notch up the garlic a bit.

Once the patties are shaped, they’re given a dip in egg and flour before heading for the oil. Some Moroccans will dip them in a fritter batter instead.

1 kg (2 lbs.) potatoes, about 5 medium
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 or 5 cloves garlic, pressed
2 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley and/or cilantro
1 tablespoon cumin, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
For the Coating:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 to 1 cup flour
For the Fritter Batter:
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup flour, approx.
1 teaspoon baking powder
salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric
For Frying:
olive oil or vegetable oil


[1] Peel the potatoes, cut them into quarters, then wash and drain. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with generously salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat slightly and cook until tender enough to mash, about 15 minutes. Drain.

[2] Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and mash. When cool enough to handle, mix in the beaten egg, garlic, herbs and spices. Be sure that the spices are blended evenly throughout.

[3] Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

[4] Take small portions of the mixture and shape them into patties about 3″ in diameter. (Note: Wearing kitchen gloves or dipping your hands in water will make the potato mixture easier to handle.)

[5] Set out eggs and flour in separate pans for coating the patties; or make a fritter batter by whisking together the eggs, flour, baking powder and additional seasoning as desired.

[6] In a large skillet, add enough olive oil or vegetable oil to generously coat the bottom of the pan, then add a splash or two more. Heat the oil for two minutes over medium heat, or until the oil is hot.

[7] Plan to cook the patties in batches. Dip some patties in the flour, then the eggs, then the flour again (or dip in the fritter batter), turning to coat both sides. Place the coated patties in the hot oil and cook for several minutes on each side, turning once, until golden brown.

[8] Drain the fried maakouda on paper towels and repeat with the remaining patties, adding more oil as needed to the pan.