A Food & Travel Blog

Tfaya – Yes, Onions Can Be Sexy!

18/09/2015 | By

A recipe for Tfaya – the divinely aromatic Moroccan garnish which makes the humble onion the star performer!

A recipe for Tfaya

Hands up those of you who think onions are sexy. Just as I thought – not too many of you out there at all. Well, what if I told you that there is an utterly divine way to sex them up, that it’s simple to prepare and that you can make a ton of it and freeze it for later? Yes, I thought that would get your attention.

The humble old onion is probably something we all take for granted. It’s absolutely necessary in the kitchen, the first ingredient called for in loads of savoury dishes, perfect when fried up on the barbecue, but not something we instinctively reach for when we want to feature a vegetable as a show stopper. Well the Moroccans know a thing or two about fragrant, exotic, show-stopping food and onions are the star of an utterly divine condiment called Tfaya.

Tfaya stars the humble onion

Made with the aromatic spices that this cuisine is so loved for, Tfaya is a classic Moroccan garnish sweetened with honey and used to top tagines, couscous, grilled meats, poultry and vegetable dishes. Mixed up with some sour cream, it would make an amazing dip too. In fact it’s so delicious there’s not much you won’t want to add it to. (Oh dear, I’ve just finished a sentence with a preposition. The grammar police will be all over me.)

Traditionally, Tfaya has raisins added to it, which might be a little too sweet for many – although don’t let me stop you. It is often also finished off with orange blossom water, but I added the citrus kick by using orange blossom honey and a tiny bit of orange zest.

Do yourself a favour - use a processor to slice onions for Tfaya.

Do yourself a favour – use a processor to slice this many onions for tfaya.

I’m a pussy and weep like a baby simply at the thought of peeling onions, so was happy to pull out my food processor to slice all these onions up and, being lazy, was equally chuffed to leave the cooking/stirring work to my KitchenAid Cook Processor, but have also included stovetop instructions in my recipe. Get into it!


Super-quick to prepare - especially if you use a food processor for the slicing - and freezes well.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Garnish/condiment
Cuisine: Moroccan
Author: Amanda McInerney of www.lambsearsandhoney.com


  • 1 kilo of brown onions sliced
  • 100 gms butter
  • 80 gms orange blossom honey
  • 2 tsp ras el hanout
  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 good pinch saffron crumbled
  • 2/3 cup water
  • zest of an orange


  • Place onion, butter, honey and spices in KitchenAid cook Processor with Stir Assist fitted, remove measuring cup, set temp at 140C, time at 12 minutes, Stir Assist speed 1.
  • When finished, add water, set temp at 100C, time 1 hour, Stir Assist speed 1, measuring cup removed.
  • Check occasionally to make sure it hasn't cooked dry, adding a little more water if necessary.
  • Is done when the onions are silky soft and the remaining liquid has thickened.
  • Stir through the orange zest before serving.

  • On Stove Top
  • Melt butter over medium heat, add onions, honey and spices and cook, stirring, until onion is translucent.
  • Add the water, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for one hour, stirring occasionally and checking moisture, until is as above.



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  1. Liz (Good Things)

    Nice one, Amanda. Nothing quite like fried onions! Love this!

  2. Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ)

    Sound divine Amanda – never done onions like this but am definitely going to give them a try – thanks.

  3. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    Onions are one of my favourite vegetables. I cry of course when cutting them (even in a processor) but they’re worth it.

  4. InTolerant Chef

    I’ve not heard of this before Amanda but it sounds delicious! I’ll definitely give it a try thanks 🙂

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