Recipe by Um Safia
This is the recipe for the bread which Algerians use to make Chakhchoukha with. You eat it with a red sauce - please see my recipe for Traditional Cous Cous as the recipe for Marga Hamra is in it. It is a big help if you are lucky enough to have your own m'ri but if you don't then you can manage with a large flat pan/skillet (try to find one for chappattis etc). A good tip: you can freeze this once it is torn up...
Directions See How It's Made
- Put the semolina and flour in a very large but shallow bowl - a gas'a if you have one is best. Make a well in the centre and add 1/2 a glass of water. Mix enough water to create a workable dough then begin kneeding. Do this (until your hands hurt! ) until the dough becomes very smooth and elastic - you can put this dough in the bread maker on dough setting to make things easier if you like. Once the dough has reached elastic stage leave it to stand for 5 minutes
- Take sunflower/vegetable oil etc and lightly coat work surfaces then pull off pieces of dough and form balls slightly larger than a golf ball.
- Gently stretch these balls over the m'ri or pan and cook (approx 30 seconds). Keep the cooked bread covered with cloth or towel so it doesn't dry up and finish cooking the rest.
- You can start tearing the bread straight away or leave it until you are finished if you are alone (I say this because it is best done with 2 people - one cooking one tearing!) Depending on your personal preference/which side of Algeria you come from, you'll decide whether to tear it into smaller or larger pieces --
- I only make this when I can rope someone in to help. It is one of my favourite dishes (without the apricots though) and I like to get the kids involved tearing the bread if I can't get an adult in time!