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Algerian Chakhchouka

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Chakhchouka is one of my favourite dishes which I happened to encounter when I traveled to Algeria. This is a very fine flat bread cut into pieces with some sauce over it.

It is very helpful if you have your own m,ri, to use but in the event you don’t then you can use a large flat pan or skillet. I will not say much about how much I like chakhchouka  so let us go into what it takes to make this bread.

Total Preparation time: 3 hrs 35 mins

Preparation time: 1 hr 35 mins

Cooking  time: 2 hrs
Chakhchouka


INGREDIENTS FOR THE BREAD (KHOBZ)


  • 500 grams fine semolina

  • 500 grams flour

  • One teaspoon of salt

  • Some water


INGREDIENTS FOR THE MARGA (SAUCE)


  • Eight skinless chicken pieces, with bones but preferably skin & fat free if possible.

  • One large onion

  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • 2 carrots medium sized

  • 2 medium zucchini (courgettes)

  • Two large potatoes

  • Quarter turnip or quarter swede

  • One parsnip

  • One cup of drained chickpeas

  • Two teaspoons of ras el hanout spice mixture

  • Some pepper and salt

  • One pinch of dried mint

  • One tablespoon of vegetable oil or one tablespoon of sunflower oil

  • One cup liquidized tomato puree

  • One and a half liters of water

  • One large green chili (This is optional)


DIRECTIONS

METHOD FOR THE BREAD (KHOBZ)

Chakhchouka preparation

  1. Put some flour and semolina in a very large but shallow bowl. Make a kind of well in the middle and add half a glass of water. Mix with enough water to create a thick enough workable dough then start to knead it.
  2. Do this until your dough gets very smooth & elastic ( or until your hands hurt just kidding). You can put the dough in a bread maker on the dough setting to make things a little easier if you prefer but once your dough has got to the elastic stage leave it to stand for some five minutes. 
    Chakhchouka biskria
  3. Now take some vegeatable or sunflower oil & lightly spread on work surfaces then pull off some pieces of dough & form some balls a little bit larger than golf balls.
  4. Now gently spread these balls over the pan or your mri and cook them for approximately 30 seconds. Make sure to keep your cooked bread covered with a towel or cloth so that it doesn’t dry up then finish cooking the rest of your dough balls.

You can at this point start to tear your bread straight away or leave it till you finish with the rest. But I would recommend having a second person to do the tearing while you do the cooking. Depending on your preferences you can either tear the Khobz into small or large pieces.

METHOD FOR THE SAUCE (MARGA)


  1. Chop your onions and garlic finely & place them in a large bottomed pan with your chicken or meat plus the ras el hanout. Fry this gently so it mixes well with your meat and chicken. A pressure cooker is the best to use here.
  2. Now chop your carrots parsnips and courgette into small pieces like 6ths. Cut your potato into quarters and chop the swede roughly. You have to peel the swede, parsnips and carrots.
  3. Add in the vegetables to your meat with 1 litre of water & turn up the heat so your mixture begins to simmer. If you are using the chili then add it now along with some pepper and salt. If you are using a pressure cooker like I do 20 minutes cook time will do but if you are using a regular pan then cook for about 40 minutes.
  4. Now add in your chick peas tomatoes and dried mint and half a liter of more water or just enough to create a stew consistency.
  5. Return to heating and cook for a further 30 minutesbut if using a pressure cooker cook for 25 minutes on medium to high heat.
  6. Then finally place your Khobz in a large dish or gasa & pour over the marga making sure to arrange the meat so that everyone has a piece.

Now you are ready to serve your chakhchouka enjoy.


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