Mlewi (also referred to as Mlawi or Mlaoui) is very common and usually consumed as street food in Tunisia in a sandwich form. Harissa, Cheese, Eggs, Tuna, and other ingredients are added then the Mlewi is folded like a burrito. Some consume it for breakfast with Butter, Chamia, Ricotta, or Jam. Try eating it with olive oil and honey in the morning… If that isn’t pure bliss, I don’t know what is.
Tunisian’s are known for their high consumption of bread. Bread is consumed almost in every meal, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. We have baguettes, Tabouna, Khobiz Ch3ir, and my favorite… Mlewi!
Mlewi consists of a flat bread made with fine semolina. It is mixed with water and olive oil and kneaded for a long time. What’s unique about this bread is not the ingredients, but the technique of flattening the dough.
As you can see in the recipe video, the dough is spread very thin and folded like you would fold clothes. This gives it thin layers that are so airy, buttery, and light when you eat it.
Mlewi is usually consumed as street food in a sandwich form. Harissa, cheese, eggs, tuna, and other ingredients are added then the Mlaoui is folded like a burrito. Some consume it for breakfast with butter, Chamia, ricotta, or jam.
Try eating it with olive oil and honey in the morning… If that isn’t pure bliss, I don’t know what is.
I recommend you make a big batch of the bread and freeze it. Stack the Mlaoui’s on top of one another and wrap them in a kitchen towel then in a plastic bag. When you are ready to eat some bread, grab a few and let defrost on a pan on low heat.
INGREDIENTS: (Serves 12-15)
- 1 kg fine semolina
- 1 cup of flour (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- Variety of seeds – sesame, fennel, black sesame, flax (optional)
- Olive oil
How to make Mlawi:
- In a large mixing bowl, or an electric stand mixer, add the fine semolina, the flour, salt, and the seeds if you are using them. Add the water and start mixing until you get a sticky dough. Once the dough is formed, start kneading for 10-15 min either by hand or by electric stand mixer.
- Divide the dough into 12-15 small balls and lay them out on the counter, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 15 min.
- Prepare a small bowl filled with olive oil. Oil the surface you’ll be working on and grab one ball. Oil your hands and massage the oil on top of the ball and start rolling it out with a rolling pin. Once the dough is very thin, fold the sides, and then fold again until you obtain a small square. Set aside. Repeat these steps with all of the small dough balls.
- Let a large pan heat on the stove top on medium heat. Grab one of the squares and roll it out gently with the rolling pin. You should get a big square. Make sure the surface is covered with olive oil and place it on the pan. Once brown marks show on the bottom, flip to the other side. Once done, remove and place on the side. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Enjoy with some olive oil, honey, and ricotta.
This Tunisian Flatbread Mlewi recipe is part of the #TasteTunisia initiative. In search of Tunisian cuisine, through a series of articles/videos, Carthage Magazine offers a window to the Tunisian food and recipes.
The Taste Tunisia initiative is supported by Carthage Magazine and led by international registered dietitians-nutritionists from Tunisia, making it the ultimate initiative that celebrates and promotes Tunisian cuisine.
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