Every cuisine in the world has a signature dessert to write home about. Moroccan cuisine has always impressed us with its juicy kebabs and piquant gravies. This time they have caught our attention with the sweetmeat named Chebakia, also known by other names such as, mkharka, griwech or rose des sables. It is one of the Moroccan cuisine’s most delightful cookies, which is adored by everyone for its scrumptious taste. Traditional Chebakia is a crispy, chewy, and aromatic Moroccan pastry prepared by piecing together long strips of dough in floral arrangement . It is generally folded into a rose shape, and that’s why it got its name ‘la rose des sable’ in French, meaning ‘rose of the sands’. These flower-strips are then deep-fried and later served with oodles of honey, topped with nutty sesame seeds. This delicacy is mostly prepared in the auspicious month of Ramadan and is often paired with velvety harira to break the prolonged fast. 

The history of this dish is believed to be linked with ancient Romans. Though there isn't any solid documentation about when and where this special sweet dish came into being, there are some visible similarities with ancient Roman honey cookies. The pastry also bears a little-bit of resemblance to wheat-based Yakgwa, hailing from South-Korea.

However, the overall look of Chebakia has a modern touch compared to the sweet treat of Korea, and also the preparation of the Moroccan’s dessert requires more time and precision. It is believed that before Ramadan, Moroccan women often ask for assistance from their sisters, mothers, or friends to help them in making massive batches of these delectable cookies, that could last for a month. Chebakia takes a lot of time and making them is a sedulous work. One batch consisting of 10-15 pieces of Chebakia takes upto 2-3 hours to prepare. Making of Chebakia also holds a deep cultural significance that runs through the fabric of the Moroccan families. The significance of coming together to make this sweetmeat strengthens the bonds and love that the family and peers have for each other.