These small packages of sweet pastry filled with a date mixture and served blisteringly hot are often sold dripping in paper bags from roadside stalls. You’ll nearly always find mqaret hawkers at Valletta’s city gate near the bus terminus. (Valletta is Malta's capital city)
As you step off the bus, you’ll be greeted by the sickly, sweet smell of mqaret mingling with diesel fumes from the buses (last I checked they were still not eco-friendly!)Ingredients:
1 tablespoon lard
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon sugar
1.2 kg pitted dates
1 orange peel grated
1 tablespoon anisette
1 tablespoon orange flower water
A pinch of ground cloves
To make the dough, rub the lard into the flour.
Add the sugar and mix.
Moisten with anisette and orange flower water until you can form a soft dough.
Next prepare the filling.
Mash the dates and mix with the cloves, orange peel, anisette and orange flower water.
Note: If the dates are hard, soak in water for about thirty minutes to soften. Drain before using. Roll the dough out into a long wide strip and spread the prepared filling on the top half of the dough to form a layer about a quarter of an inch thick
Wet the edge of the pastry and fold over to cover the filling.
Press all edges well together to seal.
Cut into diamond or rectangular shapes (about 3.5 x 2.5 inches.)
Fry in deep hot oil till golden in colour.
Let drain and eat while still hot.