Maltese Imqaret

This is a traditional Maltese sweet street-food of Arabic origins. It is a deep-fried pastry bundle filled with spiced date paste. The characteristic of this delicious sweet is the intense scent of aniseed it releases when it is deep-fried. The name refers to the Maltese word for diamond (maqrut), because of its shape.

In Malta it is usual served aside a scoop of vanilla ice cream or with salted caramel.

They are really delicious. A must try! 😉

Maltese Imqaret
  • DifficultyMedium
  • CostCheap
  • Preparation time20 Minutes
  • Rest time1 Hour
  • Cooking time5 Minutes
  • Servingmakes around 12 imqaret
  • Cooking methodFrying


For the pastry

  • 200 gwhite flour type 0
  • 100 mltable water (about half a glass)
  • 50 gorganic lard (or pure butter)
  • 1 spoonaniseed whole
  • 1 spoonicing sugar
  • 1 teaspoonbaking soda

For the filling

  • 200 gnatural unsweetened date
  • 5 spoonstable water
  • 1 spoonaniseed liquor
  • 1 spoonorange blossom water
  • 1 teaspoonground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoonground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoonground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoonground ginger
  • 1orange (zest only)
  • 1lemon (zest only)
  • 1tangerine (zest only)


For the pastry

  1. – put the icing sugar and the aniseed whole into a blender and reduce them to dust, then transfer them onto a large bowl;

    – pour the sifted flour and baking soda onto it, add the lard and mix well with your hands;

    – add the water and knead well till you get a smooth dough;

    – cover the dough with cling film or a kitchen towel, and keep it away from air draft for at least 60 minutes;

For the filling

  1. – chop the dates and put them into a sauce pan;

    – add the grated citrus zests, the spices and the liquids;

    – put the saucepan onto the stove on a medium heat;

    – stir till all ingredients amalgamate and you get a smooth spreadable paste;

    – remove the saucepan from the stove and allow to cool down;

To assemble the imqaret

  1. – roll out the pastry into a shape of a rectangle by using a rolling pin, and till it reaches a thickness of about 2 mm;

    – spread the date paste on the bottom end of the rectangle;

    – flip the other edge to cover the filling and seal the ends;

    – use a sharp knife to cut 5cm long diamonds from the pastry log;

    – each diamond will be sealed but open on the sides to show the filling;

    – deep fry the imqaret 1 minute per side;

    – serve warm and aside a scoop of vanilla ice cream or with salted caramel;

    P.S. Alternatively, you can bake the imqaret at 180 degrees for about 15/20 minutes (just brush them with some butter before baking them). However, texture and flavour will change a bit from the traditional deep-fried ones.

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