> Algerian Recipes

Algerian Recipes

Algerian Chakchouka (North African eggs poached in a pepper ragout)

Image source: Flickr

This dish, with many variations, is a popular breakfast in North Africa, especially in Algeria and Tunisia. Most recipes include the eggs, but they can actually be left out if you like. Jewish immigrants from the Maghreb have made this a popular breakfast dish in Israel.


3          Tbsp 0live oil

1-2       Tbsp paprika

1          Onion, thinly sliced

2-3       Clove Garlic, minced

3          Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

2-3       Green and red bell peppers, diced

1          Cup water

            Salt and pepper

4          Eggs (optional) 


Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Stir in the paprika and cook slighly to color the oil, about 10 to 15 seconds. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent and wilted but not browned, about 5 minutes.


Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to reduce down a little bit. Add the peppers, water and salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add more water as needed to keep it from drying out.


Using a spoon, form four small indentations in the simmering peppers to hold the eggs. One by one, crack the eggs into a small bowl and slip each from the bowl into an indentation. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes or so until eggs are cooked through.


Serve with crusty bread, pita or rice.



Add 1 teaspoon of cumin seed to the hot oil for about 15 seconds before you add the paprika. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of ground coriander along with the onions.


For a little spice, sauté 1 tablespoon of harissa paste or a minced chili pepper with the onions.


Sometimes fresh shrimp or a spicy lamb sausage called Merguez is added to the simmering peppers along with the eggs.


Add 1 small, diced eggplant along with the peppers.


Add 1 potato, cut in a small dice, along with the peppers.


Sprinkle the top of the cooked dish with chopped parsley or cilantro.


Add a few olives and capers instead of the eggs.


Chill and serve garnished with hard-boiled eggs or tuna.



            From Tunisia, this fiery-hot sauce is usually made with hot chiles,

            garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway and olive oil. It is the traditional

            accompaniment for couscous but is also used to flavour soups, stews

            and other dishes. Harissa can be found in cans and jars in Middle

            Eastern markets.


Makroud el Louse (Algerian almond cookies)


These easy-to-make, flour less cookies are excellent served with tea or coffee. They will keep for over a month stored in a well sealed container.


lb      Almonds, whole, blanched

1 cup      Sugar

2             Eggs, beaten lightly

cups     Water

1/2 cup   Sugar

1tbsp      Orange flower water

3 cups     Powdered (confectioner's) sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F.


Place the almonds and sugar in a food processor and process until the almonds are finely pulverized. Remove to a bowl.


Make a well in the centre of the almonds and stir in the eggs with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to come together. Then knead the dough with clean hands until smooth.


Cut the dough into 4 equal portions and move to a floured work surface. Roll one portion out into a rope about 3/4 inch in diameter. Press down with your palm to flatten the rope to about 1/2-inch thickness. Cut the rope on a diagonal into 1-inch pieces and remove to an ungreased cookie sheet.

Repeat with the remaining dough.


Bake cookies 12-15 minutes or until they are lightly browned on top. Remove to racks and cool completely.


While the cookies bake, bring the water and ½ cup sugar to a rapid boil in a saucepan over high heat. Stir to dissolve sugar and  boil for 10-15 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature. Add the orange flower water.


Put powdered sugar in a large bowl. To finish, paint each cookie with the sugar syrup to wet. Then toss each cookie in the confectioner's sugar to coat well. Place on a rack to dry. Repeat with the rest of the cookies.




Add 1 tablespoon lemon zest to the almond dough if you like.


If you are unable to find orange flower water to flavor the syrup, try using 1 teaspoon of lemon essence instead.


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