Almond Ghoriba for Indian Simmer

I stumbled across Indian Simmer a few months back and have been totally mesmerized by her mind blowing photographs and crisp and friendly writing and recipes. The exact date and time went unmarked, but we had started conversing beyond our blogs and the social medium.

Prerna is sweet lady, a very talented photographer and is a busy mom, with a tiny toddler at hand. And yet she finds time to blog most beautifully. She says she is  “Trying to blend my two passions Food & Photography into one and simmering it all together at Indian Simmer.”  Well, I have to say, her work does not just “simmer“, it also sizzles and it is gorgeous!

I was beyond surprised when Prerna generously invited me do a guest post for her blog. I am indeed delighted to contribute to her space. Prerna, thank you very much for this opportunity and honor. I love your space, and photographs and am so glad that I got connected to you.

We are celebrating the Indian festival of Holi !  Prerna asked me if I do a Holi special post. Today I have the pleasure to share a bit about this exuberant Indian festival at Prerna’s space.

Holi colors

Holi is the Festival of Colors and is undoubtedly the most fun filled of all the festivals in India. As the winter trails off, we move ahead to celebrate the advent of spring, on the last full moon day of the lunar month. This incredibly beautiful festival paints the soul, and spreads the love; colored powders called Gulaal (pronounced: Goolaal),  create a rainbow of joy and promises against the bright blue sky and the crisp air, binding together friends and family with love and warmth, as the weather warms up and the nature takes on its own color.

As we all see it, Holi is to welcome the season of spring and of love, brimming with a palate of lovely hues.

I am presenting the recipe of the Moroccan Ghoriba at Indian Simmer. Ghoriba is not a traditional recipe for Holi, but these little hand moulded cookies are made with very familiar Indian flavors and ingredients.

Please do come join me at Indian Simmer to celebrate the festival of colors with a  sweet bite from Morocco.

Almond Ghoriba

(adapted from Fresh Moroccan by Nadeh Sala)



  1. 3.5 tablespoons clarified butter/ghee (may be substituted with melted butter)
  2. 3 tablespoons  peanut or vegetable oil
  3. 1 cup all purpose flour
  4. 1/2 cup ground almond or almond flour
  5. 5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  6. zest of 1 medium orange
  7. 1 tablespoon orange flower/blossom water
  8. 1 tablespoon water
  9. 2 cardamom pods, seeds finely crushed in 1/4 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar (or use your favorite spice instead of cardamom)
  10. 1/3 cup coarsely chopped almonds
  11. almond flakes and confectioners’ sugar for garnish/to top the cookies



Pour the ghee/melted butter and oil into a bowl, sift in the all purpose flour and stir in the confectioners’ sugar; add the orange zest and rub the zest in to the flour. Tip in the ground almonds/almond flour. Combine the flour, the oil and ghee together, it will start to form crumbs.

Add the orange flower water, water and ground cardamom.

Knead the above mixture for a few minutes in the bowl to form a dough, turn it out onto a clean surface. At first it may be crumbly, but keep kneading, shape it into a ball and place back in the bowl. (if it gets too difficult to form the dough, add water in fractions of teaspoon till the dough just comes together. It should be very firm, non spongy dough). Cover and let it stand for about 30 minutes.

Remove the dough and knead again, then add the coarsely chopped almonds and form into a ball. Pinch off a little dough the size of a walnut and roll and press between the palms to form a round shape. As you press it will naturally crack around its edges. This is how it is supposed to be. The finished cookies will have cracks all over them.

Repeat with the same with the remaining dough.

Place a couple almond flakes on the top of each cookie and gently press down for them to stick.

Place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake in a pre heated oven, 350 degree F for about 10-15 minutes or until the base starts to turn golden. The base will be golden brown and the surface will have white cream color.

Remove from the oven, cool on a wire rack and serve with sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar.

ghoriba 1

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26 comments to Almond Ghoriba for Indian Simmer

  • I love this blog! A lovely guest post.



  • Deepa

    Excellent Holi based post . Your pics are equally mesmerizing dear. Dekhte khub bhalo hoyeche.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  • Soma, this is a wonderful post!! Your photography, writing and recipes are stunning!! I second Deeba!

  • Happy Holi Soma (is that something you say?)
    I happened to be in India in 2005 during the Holi festival in the city of Delhi and unfortunately we were told that it would not be safe to go out on the streets during Holi. (we were two girls alone) We took a taxi who drove us around the city but also the taxi driver told us to not go outside as it would be dangerous. We did see mostly drunk man painted all over, so I was a bit disappointed as I think the festival itself can be so much more then what I have seen of it! Love your almond cookies!

    Simone, I am so sorry to hear about your “experience’ 🙁 Yes some parts of the city do act unruly and the unfortunately the “drunker celebration” on the streets are usually by the lower socio economic class. i hate to say this but it is true. For us, the celebration never went to the streets; it always had and is at home with friends and family. In fact, we too stay out of streets,unless we are in a car. When you meet drunken strangers on the street on this day – you should stay away and good that you did. The best way to have experienced this would have been with a family. And i do understand, that you did not get that opportunity.

    BTW those pictures of my family at Indian Simmer are from our Trip to India during Holi in 2005!! We were there too, but in Jaipur Rajasthan. Wish I knew you then to invite you home and celebrate with us.


  • Soma you have no idea how excited I am to be sharing my space with you and your wonderful writing and photos! The Ghoriba looks amazing and thanks so very much for doing it for me! Wishing you, A, P & T a very Happy Holi 🙂

  • Happy Holiday to you soma! Almond Ghoriba is very exquisite!

  • Happy Holi to you soma!
    This is a wonderful and lovely post and your pics, writing and recipes are always AMAZING.

  • A wonderful post! Great photography! Thanks for sharing.

  • wish u nd ur family happy holi,.will sure check ur post there,,,,;-)

  • I got introduced to your blog by Indian Simmer. Love your blog and your style of photography too. Nice to see your holi photos too!!

  • The colors are so bright and cheerful! Holi must be so much fun. Your Moroccan cookies look delicious too!

  • Ivy

    Happy Holiday Soma. The cookies sound delicious and your photographs are always stunning.

  • Soma, you have a lovely blog! I was so happy to find you on IndianSimmer this morning!

  • anh

    just saw your post! Lovely!

    And I really like these photos!

  • Happy Holi to u and ur famil soma.. absolutely mind blowing pictures.. love each elements in the pictures.. outof the world. OFfcourse cookies are scrumptious…..

  • Wow, clicks are supreb.stunning and the recipe too. new to me..

  • I love the look of those deliciously different cookies. I can’t imagine what the cardamom adds to the flavor. That’s one I am def. going to try.

  • Lakshmi

    Just saw the pics at indian simmer…very very colorful and nice. lovely post.
    the dessert looks delicious..i love your addition of almond flour to many of your desserts…I became a fan of almond flour from your blog.

  • Congrats, Soma! A very well deserved win. I just read Simone’s experience of Holi in India. Holi tends to get out of hand especially when alcohol is taken! I don’t play Holi but the children do and they enjoy it a lot. Like you said it is safe when played amongst friends and family.

  • Hey, excellent job on writing this Almond Ghoriba for Indian Simmer | eCurry – The Recipe Blog up, I am going to link this from my personal blog!

  • LauH

    GET OUT! Is that a “mate” accompanying these cookies?!?!?! Cannot but love the combo!

  • […] flavor. Paired with two cups of freshly-picked mint tea they were perfect. I found the recipe here and only had to modify it a bit to fit what I had in my […]

  • […] out an adorable bakery that sold THE BEST cookies to have with the aforementioned crack tea. The Moroccan cookie is perfectly sweet, subtly flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth flaky, and the ideal complement to tea. Or […]

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