Elegance on a Plate: The Allure of Moroccan Lamb Cigars

These fantastic Moroccan Lamb Cigars are quite popular in Morocco. You can easily purchase them from food vendors at most markets. Traditionally, these appetizers are deep fried. The following recipe is a baked version that uses pre-made puff pastry or you can use filo pastry dough.

Moroccan lamb cigars

Moroccan Lamb Cigars

Moroccan Lamb Cigars are a culinary treasure that captures the essence of Morocco's vibrant flavors and traditions. These delicate and flavorful appetizers, also known as "Cigares au Mouton," feature tender spiced lamb encased in crisp layers of filo pastry. With each bite, a burst of aromatic spices, savory lamb, and the satisfying crunch of the pastry unfold, creating an experience that's both delightful and unforgettable.
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 350 kcal


  • 1 pan
  • 1 parchment paper
  • 1 oven
  • 1 baking tray


  • ½  Tbsp  Butter
  • Cup  Ground Lamb
  • Tbsp   Onions, finely chopped
  • Cloves  Garlic, minced
  • Tbsp  Ras EI Hanout spice
  • Tbsp  Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
  • ½  Tsp  Salt and Pepper
  • Egg, separated
  • Tbsp   Milk (optional)
  • Batch   Pastry Dough


  • In saucepan, brown meat on medium heat.
  • Add onions, garlic and spices. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  • Divide your pastry dough into 8-10 pieces. 
  • Roll out your pastry dough thin into circles.
  • Place the filling on the end closest to you. 
  • Fold over once, then fold in the left and right sides.
  • Continue rolling until you have about one inch remaining.
  • Brush lightly with egg whites, then complete the roll. 
  • Press the sealed end to ensure it seals.
  • Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, then place in the refrigerator.
  • Repeat step before . with remaining dough and filing.
  • Add egg yolk and milk to remaining egg white to make an egg wash.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush the pastries lightly with the egg wash.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown in color.
  • Let cool slightly before serving.
  • To keep warm, place in a 200°F oven.



There are several ways to enjoy these appetizers. One way is to serve them with a sweet dipping sauce. Another option is to serve them with a fresh green salad of your choice or try our Moroccan Cucumber Salad for a light meal.

Nutritional ingredients of Moroccan Lamb Cigars


The nutritional content of Moroccan Lamb Cigars can vary based on the specific recipe, ingredients used, and portion size. Here’s a general overview of the nutritional components you might find in a typical serving of Moroccan Lamb Cigars:

Nutritional Information (approximate values per serving of Moroccan Lamb Cigars):

  • Calories: Around 150-250 kcal (depending on portion size and ingredients)
  • Protein: Roughly 8-15 grams
  • Total Fat: Around 8-15 grams
    • Saturated Fat: Varies based on the amount of fat in the lamb and pastry
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 10-20 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: Roughly 1-3 grams
  • Sodium: Approximately 200-400 mg (varies based on added salt and ingredients)
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Moroccan Lamb Cigars may provide various vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins and iron.

The nutritional profile of Moroccan Lamb Cigars is influenced by the ingredients used, including ground lamb, filo pastry, and spices. The use of filo pastry contributes to the carbohydrate content, while the lamb adds protein and fat.

Things to pay attention to when cooking Moroccan Lamb Cigars

Savoury Cigars from The Complete Guide to Traditional Jewish Cooking by Marlena Spieler

Cooking Moroccan Lamb Cigars is a delightful endeavor that requires attention to detail to achieve the perfect balance of flavors and textures. Here are some important things to consider when preparing these savory treats:

  • Lamb Quality: Choose fresh, high-quality ground lamb that’s relatively lean for a flavorful and tender filling.
  • Spice Blending: Create a balanced spice blend that includes traditional Moroccan spices like cumin, coriander, paprika, and cinnamon. These spices contribute to the distinct flavor profile.
  • Seasoning Lamb: Properly season the ground lamb with spices, herbs, and a touch of salt. Allow the flavors to meld by letting the seasoned lamb rest for a short while.
  • Filo Pastry Handling: Handle filo pastry gently, as it’s delicate and can tear easily. Keep it covered with a damp cloth while working to prevent it from drying out.
  • Pastry Layering: Layer multiple sheets of filo pastry to create a sturdy casing for the lamb filling. Brush each layer with butter or oil to enhance crispiness.
  • Rolling Technique: Roll the lamb filling tightly in the filo pastry, creating cigar-like shapes. Ensure that the filling is evenly distributed and not too thick.
  • Sealing Ends: Seal the ends of the filo pastry well to prevent the filling from spilling during frying. You can use a mixture of flour and water to create a paste for sealing.
  • Frying Temperature: Heat the oil to the right temperature (around 350-375°F or 175-190°C) for frying. Too low a temperature can result in greasy cigars, while too high can burn the pastry.
  • Even Frying: Fry the cigars in small batches to maintain the oil’s temperature and ensure even browning. Turn them gently with tongs to cook all sides evenly.
  • Draining Excess Oil: Place the fried cigars on paper towels to absorb excess oil. This keeps them crispy and prevents them from becoming overly greasy.

Serving Suggestion

Lamb, mint and fetta filo cigars

Serving Moroccan Lamb Cigars involves presenting these flavorful appetizers in a way that complements their textures and flavors. Here are some serving suggestions to enhance your Moroccan Lamb Cigars experience:

  • Mint Yogurt Dip: Serve Moroccan Lamb Cigars with a refreshing mint yogurt dip. The coolness of the yogurt complements the savory flavors of the cigars.
  • Harissa Aioli: Offer a spicy harissa-infused aioli for dipping. The smoky and spicy notes of harissa enhance the taste of the lamb.
  • Lemon Wedges: Provide lemon wedges on the side for a burst of citrusy flavor. Squeezing lemon over the cigars adds brightness.
  • Crisp Greens: Arrange a small bed of fresh greens like arugula, baby spinach, or watercress as a base for the cigars.
  • Toasted Nuts: Sprinkle toasted pine nuts, chopped almonds, or pistachios over the cigars. Their crunchiness adds a delightful contrast.
  • Pomegranate Seeds: Scatter a few pomegranate seeds over the plate for a burst of juicy sweetness that complements the savory flavors.
  • Fresh Herbs: Garnish the plate with sprigs of fresh mint, cilantro, or parsley. Their vibrant colors and aromatic qualities elevate the presentation.
  • Dipping Trio: Present a trio of dipping sauces, including a mild yogurt sauce, a spicy harissa dip, and a tangy tomato chutney.
  • Small Plates: Serve Moroccan Lamb Cigars on small plates or platters to encourage sharing and socializing.
  • Accompaniments: Offer additional small bites like olives, roasted red peppers, or marinated feta cheese as complementary side dishes.
As the last bite of the Moroccan Lamb Cigars is savored, a symphony of flavors and textures comes to a harmonious close. The delicate crunch of filo pastry gives way to the aromatic embrace of spiced lamb, leaving a lingering memory of North African cuisine’s exquisite essence.

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