Chorba Frik (Algerian Soup with Cracked Wheat)

Chorba Frik (Algerian Soup with Cracked Wheat)

Chorba Frik or Jari as it is known in the western part of the country is the most requested soup during Ramadan. Chorba Frik is just one of those recipes that you MUST know if you are married to an Algerian or wanting to. It’s right up there next to Couscous, lol. No pressure though. This recipe is easy to follow and just as wonderful. From the smokiness from the frik to the tanginess of the cilantro, this recipe will be sure to tantalize your tastebuds. Pair this soup with bourek, bread and harissa.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lamb cubed (beef and or chicken can be substituted)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 zucchinis cut into demi circles
  • 2 potatoes quartered
  • 2 carrots cut into 3 sections
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2/3 cup frik (cracked wheat)
  • 1/2 cup chick peas (soaked overnight)
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 cups hot water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • beef/chicken bouillon (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sprinkle with salt to sweat.
  2. Add meat and brown quickly. Season with spices and add chickpeas.
  3. Add 1/2 of cilantro.
  4. Continue browning the meat and add the carrots and potatoes. Seer the vegetables slightly.
  5. Add the 8 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute.
  6. Lower heat to a simmer and continue for 15 minutes then add zucchini. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
  7. Remove vegetables into a separate bowl with 1 cup of broth.
  8. Emulsify vegetables until smooth with hand blender or crush with potato masher/fork.
  9. Place vegetable puree back into pot and add frik.
  10. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes and add lemon juice. Adjust taste with salt.

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Algerian Green Mint Tea

image teapot

Mint tea can be referred to by many names; Saharan, Maghrebi, and most commonly as Moroccan Tea. All the same, they are served in most North African countries in the Maghreb region. The serving of tea is a sort of ceremony especially when prepared for a guest. Typically three glasses are served and each glass will vary in taste because of how long the tea has steeped. It is also considered impolite to refuse which is hard since the first glass will always be the most bitter. Both dried and fresh mint can be used to infuse the tea. The tea to be used is a special Chinese green tea called gunpowder which refers to the leaves that are rolled tightly into pearls and explode like gunpowder in the water. Watching the tea being poured is truly a delight. How they grasp a piping hot copper tea pot and able to pour it into a glass two feet away is beyond me. Pouring it from that height aerates the tea, improving its flavor. Using my recipe your tea will be just as good as being prepared like the natives. With more practice you’ll be pouring like them too!

image-gunpowder tea

Special Tools Needed:

  • Tea Pot
  • Small Strainer (most teapots have one in the spout)
  • Oven Mitt (I can’t grasp my handle without one)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons gunpowder green tea
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar
  • handful of mint leaves (fresh or dried)
  • 10 cups water

Directions:

  1. Place tea pearls inside teapot.
  2. Bring water to a boil, then immediately pour half of it into teapot, subsequently pouring the water from the teapot out. (this washes the tea, let the water sit for more than a few seconds and it will cause the tea to become weak)
  3. Put mint leaves into the teapot, the heat from the pot will sweat the oils from the leaves.
  4. Bring the remaining water back to a boil and add in sugar.
  5. Pour the sugared water into the teapot.
  6. Let sit for a few minutes.
  7. Serve with cookies.

*The tea and mint should be left in the teapot and at times it does get into the tea glasses but it adds a different flavor with each glass. Most times candles are lit as well to create an ambience.