Amlou – sometimes spelled amalou – is a delicious Moroccan dip made from toasted almonds, argan oil and honey. Argan oil is native to Morocco and might be found in specialty food shops or online. Be sure to buy argan oil for culinary and not cosmetic use.
Amlou is very easy to make and usually served for breakfast or tea time. A stone mill is the traditional method for crushing the almonds to a silky smooth paste-like consistency, but I find that a meat grinder works quite well. Delicious results can be obtained with a food processor, but the appearance of the amlou won't be the same unless you manage to keep the almonds in constant contact with the blade.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: Approx. 2 cups
- 1 1/2 cups (6 oz. or 200 g) almonds
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) argan oil
- 3 to 4 tablespoons warm honey
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat an oven to 375° F (190° C). Spread the almonds on a baking pan and roast for about 15 minutes, longer if necessary, until the almonds are crunchy and darkened but not burnt.
Allow the almonds to cool a bit, and then pass them through a meat grinder several times to make a smooth paste. Or, grind the toasted almonds into a paste in a food processor on high speed. (When using the food processor, I literally pick up the machine and shake it while it's running in order to keep the almonds from sticking to the sides of the bowl as the paste forms. The almonds must maintain contact with the blades to yield the desirable smooth paste.)
Next, gradually stir the argan oil into the almonds, a spoonful at a time or in a very slow trickle. You can do this by hand, stirring vigorously, or with the food processor on the lowest speed. (Note that the amount of oil in the recipe yields amlou with a traditionally thin consistency. Adjust the amount of oil to your own preference.)
Next, gradually add the warm honey, sugar and salt in the same manner. Taste the amlou and adjust the sweetness if desired.
Serve amlou on a small plate or dish with bread for dipping.
Amlou will keep for two months in cool, dark cupboard. Store amlou tightly covered in a jar, and shake or stir before serving.