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Dersa (Algerian chilli paste) recipe

Dersa (Algerian chilli paste) recipe

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  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Sauce
  • Chilli sauce

Algerian dersa is a spicy garlic and chilli paste, similar to harissa, made by blending garlic, chilli, cumin and paprika together using a mortar and pestle. In short, there are as many variations as there are tastes, but the basic ingredients are almost always the same: garlic, cumin, chilli or cayenne pepper and olive oil.

3 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 small red chilli, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

MethodPrep:15min ›Ready in:15min

  1. Peel and halve the garlic cloves. Remove the germ (the green sprout) from the center of each.
  2. Add the garlic, chilli and spices to a mortar.
  3. Grind with a pestle until it forms a paste. Add olive oil and mix well.


Dersa (Algerian chilli paste)

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)

Reviews in English (1)

by Soup Loving Nicole

This was delicious! The 1/2 of a small red chile pepper is vague. I didn't know what kind of red chile but it turns out all I could find fresh that was red was a jalapeno. Because jalapeno's are typically mild in the heat department for us, I used the entire pepper and also left the seeds in. So while I'm not sure I made this as intended, it still came out excellent!-04 Nov 2017

Three UAE chefs share their Eid Al Adha recipes

Forget Eid brunches and other shenanigans. Eid Al Adha, chefs across the nation say, is all about family.

Often called the Big Eid, this holiday is described as more spiritual than Eid Al Fitr, which ends the month of fasting that is Ramadan. As my Lebanese neighbour Claude Al Hachache tells me: “It’s like Christmas and Easter. The former is more of a party, the latter more spiritual.” Another friend says it’s a feast of gratitude, which is why the faithful head to mosques for congregational prayers on the morning of the feast — in many cases as early as 6am.

Eid Al Adha commemorates Ebrahim’s (Abraham to Christians) willingness to sacrifice his son as a sign of his devotion. Before he was able to do so, however, the angel Jibra’il (Gabriel) intervened, placing a sheep (lamb in some versions) on the altar instead. That explains the centrality of lamb —or beef, mutton or camel meat depending on the region at the Eid table — but it also indicates the importance of Eid Al Adha as a family gathering.

We asked UAE residents from four different countries for their favourite family recipes, so you can try something different this Eid Al Adha. Instagram us on @gulfnewtabloid to let us know how they turned out.


Musabbeh Al Kaabi, an Emirati chef at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, loves his harees, a celebratory wheat and meat porridge. He says it was one of three special dishes his family ate, besides whole baby lamb mashwi, which was slow-roasted in a sandpit for hours, and chicken machboos, a one-pot dish of chicken, rice, tomatoes, onion, garlic and lemon.

Al Kaabi grew up on a farm, where he learned to cook from his mother. “I’ve got endless memories of Eid. One of them was when we were all together one Eid, and we prayed together as a family early morning. The best [Eid] feeling is when the families get together and wish each other, and enjoy the best home-cooked cuisines by our Michelin chefs — our mothers!” he exclaims. “Each Eid, we cook the same dish as our signature dining choice — that’s what we do as a custom.”

A new tradition is a response to health scares. “We started incorporating healthy options as part of our Eid meals. For example, preparing dessert that is sugar-free, and simple yet delicious.”

• 1kg Lamb, bone-in
• 800g pearl barley or wheatberries
• 1tsp ground cardamom
• 20ml local ghee
• 2l water

1. Wash the barley and soak it overnight in water.

2. In a pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the barley and cook for 45 minutes. Add the lamb and continue cooking for two hours on a slow flame.

3. Add the cardamom and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for another 20 minutes.

4. Remove it from the heat and debone the meat. Blitz the mixture to a porridge-like consistency. Top with ghee before serving.


Algerian chef Boumaza Mohammad Mehdi returned to the UAE in February to join the Dusit Thani Dubai from the Maldives. The sous chef, 29, has a sweet boyhood memory of Eid Al Adha.

“I remember we would usually wake up early to go to the mosque for prayer. But before that, we would visit the lamb in the garden. We treated it as pet, so we would say goodbye before they sent it to the butcher,” he says. Across the world, many Muslim families acquire young goats or sheep months before the feast of sacrifice, feeding and raising the animal in their homes. Now, Mehdi, says wistfully, nobody keeps animals at home.

Cooking the lamb fell to his mother, but each person had a role to play, he says — whether cutting vegetables, preparing the ingredients or washing the dishes. “I will always remember three dishes: pan-fried lamb liver with extra virgin olive oil, char-grilled lamb cutlets prepared by my dad and the holy grail of it all, my mum’s specialty, couscous with douara, which is a mix of lamb intestines marinated overnight.” He couldn’t source the offal in time for our feature, so he gave us his recipe for cutlets instead.

• 4 lamb cutlets
• Sliced onions, for garnish

For the dersa (garlic paste)
• 6 garlic cloves
• 1/2 red chilli pepper (deseeded)
• 2tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
• 1tsp cumin powder
• 1tsp paprika
• 4tbs olive oil

1. In a large bowl, mix together two tablespoons of oil, one crushed garlic clove and salt and pepper as desired. Add the cutlets and allow to marinate for 15 minutes.

2. Make the Dersa by pounding together the garlic and red chilli in a mortar. Add the cilantro, cumin powder, paprika, some salt and pepper, and two tablespoons of olive oil, grind together, adjust the seasoning and set aside.

3. Grill the cutlets over hot charcoal for 30 seconds on each side or until done to your liking. You can cook them in a non-stick pan if you like. Garnish with sliced fresh onions. Serve with the dersa on the side.


New Delhi native Dirham Haque understands the ennui of eating the same dish every Eid. His contribution to the festive table is Murgh Mussalam, which is often taken to be chicken masala, but the chef at Ananta restaurant at the Oberoi Dubai says otherwise.

“The term Mussalam is very peculiar to royal Awadhi cuisine and denotes a dish which has something whole cooked together in a rich gravy,” he says. In this case, he stuffs and trusses a whole baby chicken before baking it with saffron, rose, nuts and onions.

“As children, we began Eid by getting ready in new clothes, followed by the morning Eid prayers, and friends and relarives coming over. We were given Eidi or spending money, and a sinful lunch and dinner followed. There would be three or four types of seviyan, lamb liver masala, lamb biryani, gosht korma, boti kebabs and shammi kebabs, all especially prepared from the fresh slaughter of that day,” he says.

As a Dubai resident he says he cannot always get away to India for Eid, so if he’s here, he starts the day with prayer, and then joins friends for lunch and dinner.

For the whole chicken

• 1 whole chicken (450g)
• 20ml malt vinegar
• 30g ground Kashmiri red chillies
• 3tsp ginger paste
• 2tsp garlic paste

For the Gravy
• 20g desi ghee
• 2tsp green cardamom
• 1tsp cloves
• 2 bay leaves
• ½tsp mace
• 2tsp ginger paste
• 1tsp garlic paste, fried
• 25g curd
• 1 medium onion, sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, sliced
• 4tsp almonds
• 4tsp cashews
• 2tsp freshly grated coconut
• 25g tomato puree

For the stuffing
• 75g chicken mince
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 medium tomato, chopped
• 20g granular khoya
• 2tsp rosewater
• Pinch of saffron
• 2tsp almond flakes
• 1 egg, boiled
• 2tsp almonds, fried
• 2 tsp cashews, fried
• 2tsp raisins, fried
• Ghee, for frying

1. Clean the whole chicken thoroughly. Remove the wings, cut the passing snoar, remove the gizzard.

2. Rub the whole chicken with a mixture of 3 teaspoons of salt, ground red chillies, malt vinegar and ginger and garlic pastes. Allow to marinate for six hours in the fridge.

3. In a pan, separately fry the onions and garlic cloves until golden brown and grind to a paste. Set aside. Repeat with the almonds, cashews and grated coconut, frying each separately before grinding.

4. To make the gravy, in a pan, add the ghee, green cardamom, cloves, mace, bay leaf and allow to crackle. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and curd and saute for a few minutes. Add the pastes of fried onion and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, then add the tomato puree, nut and coconut paste and cook until the oil separates.

6. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

7. Infuse the saffron in 50ml warm water for about 20 minutes. Divide into half, and soak the almond flakes in one portion.

8. To make the stuffing, in a pan, add some ghee. Add the chopped onions and tomatoes, and khoya and saute well. Add fried almonds, cashews and raisins, rose water, saffron water (without almond flakes) and chicken mince. Cook until done.

9. Stuff the whole chicken with the mince mixture, truss properly and fry in hot oil until brown. Pour the gravy on top of the chicken and roast in the oven for 15 minutes at 180 degree Celsius. Garnish with boiled egg, and saffron-soaked almond flakes.


These traditional Moroccan cookies are an Eid Al Adha classic, says Ali Zaroual, Pastry Chef at Ramada Hotel and Suites Ajman. The Casablanca native learned how to cook them from his mother, who also made kaab el ghazal, a dessert from almond powder and Arabic gum.

He says, “The first thing that comes to my mind for the Eid celebration is the family get together We had an early breakfast, then, we all visit my grandfather. The day’s menu revolved around lamb, he says, starting with boulfaf or charcoal-grilled lamb liver and fat.

“We also have qlaiah, which is stir-fried lamb kidney cooked with onion and garlic and topped with coriander. For lunch, we have the traditional lamb tagine, a slow-cooked lamb stew, and we partner it with couscous.

“My mother would cook, with his father occasionally helping out, and each member of the family had a task. We make special sweets, where all my family helps my mother to prepare. Sometimes, we share the cooking tasks with our neighbours. We will have a big table set up on our rooftop, so all of us — our family and neighbours share the meals together.”

• 1 cup corn flakes
• 50g whipping cream
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 1/2 cup flour
• 1tsp baking powder
• 1/2 cup raisins or dried fruit

1. Preheat the oven to 175° C.

2. Combine the cream, butter, and sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Add the egg and combine.

3. Add the flour, baking powder and the raisins or dried fruits. Mix until all ingredients are well-combined.

4. Shape the dough into balls and roll the balls in cornflakes. Place on ungreased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 175° C.

— Keith J Fernandez loves to eat but his gluten intolerance and ongoing battle with the bulge have forced him to take a closer look at what he puts into his mouth.

Mderbel Badendjel

Badendjel means Aubergine but the word Mderbel I don’t really know what that means, at least they rhyme!

The stew is flavoured with a spice and garlic mixture called Dersa made in a pestle and mortar. A tool I don’t use that often in my kitchen and when I do, I feel connected with simpler times gone by.

Caraway is the spice that sets this Tagine apart from the many I’ve cooked and eaten before. It’s earthy anise flavour pairs well with the subtle tasting Aubergine.

I served my Mderbel Badendjel with Panko bread-crumbed, baked rather than fried, Makouda – North African Potato Cakes. Bread or rice would be lovely here too.

Tried this or any of my other recipes? I’d love to see! @ me or #halalhomecooking on Instagram

How to prepare the Chermoula

Rinse the herbs (parsley and coriander) and remove the leaves, keeping the tender part of the stems. Remove the cloves of garlic.

Rinse the herbs (parsley and coriander)

Finely chop fresh herbs and cloves of garlic.

Season with salt and pepper, add the remaining spices (cumin and paprika, and Espelette pepper) and mix well.

Season with salt and pepper

Pour the lemon juice and the olive oil (3 to 4 ca-soup for me), mix again.

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Red chillies --- 12 finely chopped
Cumin seeds -- 1 tea sp
Garlic -- 6 cloves
Coriander seeds -- 1 tab sp (dry roasted)
caraway seeds -- 1/4 tea sp (dry roasted)
Salt -- 1/2 tea sp
Olive oil to cover the paste
If you like can add 1 tab sp of tomato paste to make harissa less hot

In a pan add chopped chilli s, garlic cloves, spices and tomato paste (if using) cook in a low flame till chillies are cooked.
Add salt and bleand in to a smooth paste.
Store Harissa in a clean glass jar top with a thin layer of olive oil.
This will stay for a month in fridge.
You can make Harissa with dry red chillies also in that case ..
Soak the dry red chillies in warm water for 15 minutes or untill chillies became soft then chop and bleand with other spices and little water (which we soaked the dry chillies) and pour olive oil on top to cover the paste.
If you are using dry chillies then no need to cook them, just soak the chillies till soft and grind .

Cheap Recipes South Africa

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Monday, 29 January 2007

Recipe carousel #31 - noodles

It’s interesting how in the Australian vocabulary noodles always signify an Asian dish whereas pasta signifies an Italian or European style meal.

Well, I've already done pasta, so now it's time for noodles.

I have always adored noodles soups but noodle salads and noodle stir fries are equally delightful. I’m a particularly big fan of rice noodles of any shape or size as well as chasoba and ramen.

Last week I made a delicious chasoba salad with miso dressing and this inspired me to seek out other noodle recipes from the blogosphere. So, here are seven noodle nibbles for your own enjoyment.

Crab Vermicelli w Garlic, Ginger & Coriander is a quick treat for Mae in the Channel Islands (Rice and Noodles). Not everyone is lucky enough to have a hunter close at hand, but Ian’s diving expedition produced a spider crab that turned into this gorgeous noodle meal. While vermicelli were soaking in hot water, Mae wok fried garlic and ginger, then added the crab meat, soy sauce, chillies and spring onions. She then combined these with the noodles and more soy sauce, removed it from the heat and added fresh coriander. Quick, easy and amazingly delicious. Photo courtesy of Mae.

Udon w Edamamme Pesto comes from Santos in Guam (The Scent of Green Bananas). Santos’ fondness for chewy udon noodles was indulged with an inspiring idea from Eric Gower's The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen. Santos used edamame (soy bean), smoked almonds, garlic, olive oil and fresh mint, coriander and flat leafed parsley to make an Asian style pesto. According to Santos, the smoky nuts and fruity olive oil seemed to blend well with the meatiness of the edamame. Photo courtesy of Santos.

Kerabu Bee Hoon holds special memories for Irvine in the USA (Rasa Malaysia). This was a dish her talented Nyonya grandmother would cook for family feasts. Belcan (shrimp paste) is blended with dried prawns, red chillies, lime juice, fish sauce and a sprinkling of sugar to make a sauce. This is then tossed with bee hoon (rice vermicelli) and fresh lemongrass, shallots, prawns, toasted coconut and kaffir leaves, producing a richly coloured, spicy, cold salad. Photo courtesy of Irvine.

Ho'io Fern Shoots w Shitake & Buckwheat Soba is an inventive recipe from Rowena in Italy (Rubber Slippers in Italy). During a visit to her home on Hawaii’s Kauai, Rowena gathered ho’io shoots (pohole) from the forest. Rowena describes the delicate flavour as similar to asparagus. She lightly cooks the fern shoots in boiling water with the soba noodles then sautés shitake mushrooms in sesame oil with minced garlic. The drained noodles and ho’io are added to the stir-fry along with soy sauce, lime juice and salt. The final product is sprinkled with sesame seeds before serving. Photo courtesy of Rowena.

Lemongrass Beef Noodle Salad is a Vietnamese dish cooked by Renz in the USA (Little Bouffe). Renz is not a huge fan of lemongrass, but on this occasion the risk was worth it. Rice vermicelli is dressed with basil, coriander and nuoc cham (lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, chilli) before being laid as the bed for slices of cucumber and beef marinated in lemongrass, fish sauce, chilli and soy sauce. Chopped peanuts add some crunchy texture. Photo courtesy of Renz.

Khao Soi Gai is a rich northern Thai soup recreated here by Aun in Singapore (Chubby Hubby). Trailing his food writer wife on assignment around Chiang Mai, this photographer and gastronome had sampled some of the best khao soi the city had to offer. Boiled noodles are topped with sawtooth coriander then smothered with a chicken yellow curry using coconut milk. And just in case you didn’t get your noodle fix, the dish is then garnished with noodles that have been deep fried until crispy. Photo courtesy of Aun.

Sesame Ginger Soba Noodles is a versatile recipe from Archana in the USA (Spicyana). This dish can be made as hot comfort food or served as a cold salad in summer. Using soba noodles, which Archana describes as having a “unique earthy and nutty taste”, the simple dressing consists of minced garlic, grated fresh ginger, chopped scallions, sesame paste, peanut sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and chilli paste. You can top this with your own choice of meat, seafood, eggs or vegetables. Photo courtesy of Archana.

Add your own recipe!
If you want to link in your own noodle recipe and share the love around, just leave the link in the comments section. You didn’t have to invent the recipe yourself, just make it and post it on your site. The whole idea of Recipe Carousel is that good recipes are shared with people who love to cook.
Note: Usual comments are more than welcome but all html links must be recipe related (yours or others).

Chińska Restauracja Shangai w Centrum Plaza ul Drużbickiego 2,2 piętro w food Court -Rewelacja

Jeśli lubicie autentyczną słodką kwaśno pikantną zupę chińską za 4 zł,proszę koniecznie poprosić jeszcze o sos sojowy z chilli do wymieszania z zupą i będzie jedli najlepszą taką zupę w Poznaniu.Ostatnio w Lipcu będąc w Singapurskim Chinatown jadłem podobną zupę.

Jest tam czterech chińskich właścicieli,jeden z nich pracował w najlepszej chińskiej restauracji w Poznaniu „Bambus” która w zeszłym roku została zamknięta.Ryż który tam serwują jest sypki i wysokiej jakości,nie to co spotyka się w chińskich restauracjach w Poznaniu,które przeważnie serwują rozgotowany ryż.Polecam również kurczaka curry i wołowinę po szeczuańsku,zresztą wszystkie dania wyglądają apetycznie.Ostatnio wprowadzili tam Sushi ceny zaczynają się od 12 PLN za Maki z łososiem lub tuńczykiem podawane z chrzanem japońskim wasabe i marynowanym imbirem.Na przyjęcia można zamówić plater Maki mix za 66 zł lub sushi Tokio za 149 PLN.Niedługo będą te dania specjalnie opakowane na wynos

Arto der Haroutunian – Taste of Africa

Arto der Haroutunian’s name may not be familiar to many but for those with a penchant for North African food, it’s a name worth noting. Arto was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1940 and grew up in the Levant but came to the UK with his parents as a child and remained there for most of his life.

He studied architecture, painted, composed music and established a career designing restaurants, clubs and hotels. He opened the first Armenian restaurant in Manchester in 1970. He combined his love of food with his interest in culture and food history. He died in 1987 at the untimely age of 47.

Given his passion for food it was a natural progression that he should begin to write cookbooks that combined his love of food with his great interest in the history and culture of the Middle East.

It was his belief that the rich culinary tradition of that area is the main source of many of our Western Cuisines and his books were intended as an introduction to that tradition. Second hand copies of those early cooks now fetch hundreds of pounds and are hard to come by. So I was doubly delighted when Grub Street Press in the UK decided to re-publish North African Cookery – a gorgeous collection from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, over 300 recipes from traditional dishes, such as tagines, stews, soups and salads using classic ingredients, fiery spices, jewel like dried fruits, pickled lemons and armfuls of fresh herbs. Simplicity if at the heart of the Medina kitchen.

Indonesian cuisine is perhaps the hottest of the region – they love that fiery harissa which I also relish. Tunisian food has strong French influences and pasta is also a passion.

Morocco’s great forte is its exotic tajines of fish, meat and vegetables. Libya, although less gastronomically subtle, excels in soups and patisserie. Here are a few gems to whet your appetite for the book.

Arto der Haroutunian’s Tajine Lham Bil Djelbana

‘Don’t say I have beans until they are in the measure’

You can prepare this classic tajine in two ways – Moroccan or, as with the recipe below, Algerian. Moroccans would use saffron (of course!) – 1 whole teaspoonful at that – and also 1 teaspoon ginger, zest of a pickled lemon and a few preserved olives. Algerians on the other hand use tomato purée – a French-Italian habit, but nice!

900g (2lb) shoulder or leg of lamb cut into 5cm (2in) pieces

1 tablespoon smen or 15g (1/2oz) butter

2 medium onions, finely chopped

1 large tomato, blanched, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon tomato purée diluted in 4–5 tablespoons water

Place all the ingredients except the sugar and peas in a large saucepan and fry over a gentle heat, stirring frequently. Add enough water to cover by about 2.5cm (1in) and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Add the sugar and peas, stir well, recover and simmer for a further 15–20 minutes or until the meat and peas are cooked. If necessary uncover the pan and simmer for a few minutes or until the sauce thickens.

The traditional way of serving this tajine is to serve it in a large dish accompanied by flat bread such as pita or chappati. You break the bread into pieces, shape it like a spoon and scoop the meat and peas into it.

You could also reduce the pea content to 450g (1lb) and add 450g (1lb) peeled and thinly sliced carrots.

Another attractive variation, Lham bil Djelbana wel Bayd – from Tizi Ouzou in Algeria, or so I was given to believe by a native of that town, now happily married with 4 children and a buxom wife and living in Oldham – is to transfer the cooked dish to a large tajine or casserole, to break 6 eggs separately over the top and to place in an oven pre-heated to 400f, 200c, Gas Mark 6 for 5–7 minutes or until set. Serve in the tajine or casserole garnished with a little chopped parsley or mint.

Arto der Haroutunian’s Tbikha Selg Bi Roz

Spinach with Rice and Almonds

Rice is not widely used in North Africa – the exceptions being Libya and Egypt where the Arab grain, rice, predominates over couscous. This simple and filling dish from Algeria can be eaten on its own or as an accompaniment to meat or fish-based dishes.

1 dried chilli pepper, soaked in 5 tablespoons cold water

4 tablespoons long-grain rice, rinsed thoroughly under cold water

2 tablespoons blanched almonds, toasted until golden under a hot grill

Discard thick stems and discoloured leaves of spinach and rinse remainder thoroughly under cold running water. Drain and chop coarsely. Bring a large saucepan half filled with lightly salted water to the boil. Add the spinach and cook for 5 minutes. Drain into a colander.

Meanwhile in a mortar or blender crush the garlic, chilli pepper with its water, and the salt. Transfer this mixture to a large saucepan, add the oil, paprika and black pepper and fry gently for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

When cool enough to handle squeeze as much water as possible from the spinach and add to the pan. Stir in the rice and water and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender and the water absorbed. Transfer the spinach mixture to a large serving dish and sprinkle with the toasted almonds.

Arto der Haroutunian’s Batata Maglia Bil Dersa

Fried potatoes North African-style with a hot sauce. They are an excellent accompaniment to grilled meats and Mergues.

1.5 kg (about 3lb) potatoes, peeled and washed

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon harissa (see Darina Allen’s Food File Irish Examiner Saturday 8th August)

1 teaspoon ground caraway

Cut the potatoes into 1/2–1cm (1/4–1/2in) thick rounds and then into 1/2–1cm (1/4–1/2in) sticks. Soak in cold water for 20 minutes and then pat dry.

Meanwhile add sufficient oil to cover the base of a large saucepan by 1cm (1/2in) and heat. When hot add some of the potato sticks and fry until cooked and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Cook the remaining potato sticks in the same way. (You can deep fry them in a chip pan if you wish.)

When all the potatoes are cooked pour off most of the oil leaving only about 3–4 tablespoons in the pan. Add the garlic, harissa, salt and caraway and fry for 1 minute. Stir in 60ml (2fl oz) water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3–4 minutes. Add the fried potatoes and stir well to coat with the sauce. Simmer for a few minutes to evaporate excess liquid. Pile the potatoes into a dish, sprinkle with the vinegar and black pepper and serve.

Arto der Haroutunian’s Mergues

These are hot, spicy sausages popular throughout North Africa, but are best in Tunisia. They are very versatile, and can be grilled, baked, cooked in omelettes etc. In recent years they have appeared in France, brought when the pieds-noirs (French North Africans) returned from Algeria en masse. Although they are now sold by French butchers, the best are still to be found in the small Tunisian café-restaurants that have sprung up all over French cities.

Another sausage, saucisse de foie, is made with liver – usually calf but sometimes chicken. It is grey in colour and is less spicy than the classic Mergues.

900g (2lb) lean lamb or beef

1/2 teaspoon chilli pepper

2 teaspoons harissa (see Darina Allen’s Food File Irish Examiner Saturday 8th August)

1 tablespoon powdered fennel seeds

1 teaspoon ground coriander

About 1m (40in) sheep or beef intestines, cleaned

Mince the meat, fat and garlic together and transfer to a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients (except the intestines) and knead for several minutes until smooth and well blended.

Meanwhile soak the intestines in cold water for 3 hours, which makes them easier to handle. To put the mixture into the intestines you need a plastic funnel with a nozzle width of about 2.5cm (1in).

Fit one end of the intestine over the nozzle and gently work the whole of the intestine onto the nozzle. Force the meat down through the funnel into the intestine. As the intestine fills up it will slip off the nozzle. When the whole intestine is full run it lightly through one hand to distribute the meat evenly. Set aside. Continue until you have used up all the meat.

To make into sausages, fold one intestine in half and then tie or knot at 15cm (6in) intervals. Leave to hang over the sink for 4–5 hours before using. Store in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze until required.

Arto der Haroutunian’s Kab-El-Ghazel

Continuing on the theme of almonds this recipe, another classic of Berber origin popular in Morocco an Algeria, is dedicated to the horns of the favourite Arab animal – the gazelle, a symbol of grace, beauty and gentleness. It is also one of the few pastries that can be found in most pâtisseries.

2 tablespoons melted butter

3 tablespoons orange blossom water

175g (6oz) icing sugar, sifted

2-4 tablespoons orange blossom water

First prepare the filling by mixing the almonds, icing sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Add enough of the orange blossom water to bind the mixture together. Knead until smooth. Divide into 16 balls. Roll each ball into a sausage about 5cm (2in) long which is thicker in the middle and tapers at both ends. Set aside.

Sift the flour for the pastry into a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and add the melted butter and orange blossom water. Gradually fold the flour in and then, little by little, add just enough cold water to form a dough. Place on a work surface and knead for at least 20 minutes until the dough is very smooth and elastic. Divide into 2 balls. Take one ball of dough and roll it out into a strip about 10cm (4in) wide and at least 75cm (30in) long. You will find that you will be able to stretch the pastry by wrapping first one end of the pastry and then the other over the rolling pin and pulling gently.

Arrange 8 of the almond sausages on the pastry in a line about 3.5cm (11/2in) in from the long edge nearest you, leaving about 5cm (2in) between each sausage. Fold the pastry over the sausages to enclose them completely. Cut down between each sausage. Taking 1 pastry at a time press the edges together to seal in the filling. Trim the pastry edge to a semi-circle, but do not cut too close to the filling or the edges will be forced open during cooking and the filling will ooze out. Crimp the edges with the prongs of a fork. Now pinch the pastry up to form a steep ridge and gently curve the ends around to form a crescent-shape. Repeat with the remaining pastries. Repeat with remaining ball of dough and almond filling.

Place on greased baking sheets and cook in an oven preheated to 350f, 180c, Gas Mark 4 for 20-30 minutes or until a pale golden colour. Cool on wire racks and store in an airtight tin when cold.

Prepare the pastries as above and when they are cooked soak them in orange blossom water and then roll in icing sugar until they are completely coated and are snow-white in colour.

Catherine and Vincent O’Donovan’s bright yellow roadside stall on the main Cork to Innishannon Road sells juicy sweet corn. They are open every day and hope to have sweet corn for the next two months. Order sweet corn to freeze…telephone Vincent 087-2486031.The Slow Food West Cork

Annual Summer Picnic is on Sunday August 30th. A revival of the Somerville and Ross tradition of climbing up the hill overlooking Lough Hyne and enjoying a scrumptious picnic while gazing at the spectacular view! The packed picnics this year are being prepared by Susan Fehily of the River Lane Cafe in Ballineen (023) 47173. Full details and order form can be found at t of the SlowFoodIreland website. Orders MUST be in by Wednesday August 26 th.

Castlefarm Allotment

Our Ladies Hospital in Crumlin and St Brigid’s Hospice on the Curragh will benefit from the bountiful harvest of the Castlefarm organic allotments on 28th-30th of August. Allotment holders at Kildare’s Castlefarm will run a festival to celebrate the first year of the Castlefarm allotments, to give over 30 green fingered allotment holders a chance to show off their achievements. Information and tickets available from Jenny at Castlefarm Shop on 059-8636948 or

Majadra Means Lentils and Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil
⅓ cup finely chopped yellow onion
1½ cups Israeli couscous
2 cups chicken stock or top-quality chicken broth, or more if needed
1 cup frozen petite peas
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender and aromatic. Stir in the couscous and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, until evenly coated with oil and lightly toasty in aroma. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover, decrease the heat to low, and simmer for 12 to 14 minutes, until tender.
2. Stir the peas, mint, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, and extra-virgin olive oil into the couscous, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook the couscous, stirring, over medium-low heat until the mint and lemon are aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes longer. The couscous should be tender and the mixture fluffy, not soupy. If it is too dry, add a few tablespoons more stock or water.
Do-Ahead Tips: The couscous continues to absorb liquid after cooking, so will be at its best made not more than an hour in advance. You may need to add a little more stock or water to keep it from clumping together. Reheat gently over low heat before serving.

Watch the video: Dersa - Algerian chilli paste. Video recipe