Recipe by Um Safia
This is a FABULOUS dish - one of my faves! Very fine flat bread in pieces with sauce over 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). I only make this when I can rope someone in to help. It is one of my favourite dishes and I like to get the kids involved tearing the bread if I can't get an adult in time! NB: Both the khobz and the marga freeze very well (separately!).
Ingredients for the Khobz (bread)
- 1.10 lb fine semolina
- 1.10 lb flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
Ingredients for the Marga (sauce)
- 8 lamb chops or 8 skinless chicken pieces, on bone but skin & fat free if possible
- 1 large onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 medium courgettes (zucchini)
- 2 large potatoes
- 1⁄4 swede or 1⁄4 turnip
- 1 parsnip
- 1 cup chickpeas, drained
- 2 teaspoons ras el hanout spice mix
- salt & pepper
- 1 pinch dried mint
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil or 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup of liquidised tomato puree
- 1 1⁄2 liters water
- 1 large green chili (optional)
Directions See How It's Made
- Method For the Khobz (bread):.
- 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 kneading. 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 --.
- Method for the Marga (sauce):.
- Finely chop the onion and garlic and place it in a large heavy bottomed pan with the meat or chicken and ras el hanout. Fry gently to seal the meat/chicken. I use my pressure cooker for this.
- Chop the carrot, parsnip & courgette into 6ths. Cut the potato into 1/4's and roughly chop the swede. (Peel the carrots, potatoes, parsnip & swede).
- Add the vegetables to the meat along with 1L of water and turn up heat so they begin simmering. If using the chilli add it now, along with salt & pepper. If cooking in a regular pan then cook for 40 minutes like this. If using the pressure cooker as I do then 20 minutes will be enough.
- Add the tomatoes, chick peas and dried mint and 1/2L more water or enough to create a 'stew' consistency.
- Return to heat and cook in pan for further 30 minutes and if using pressure cooker then cook on med to high for a further 25 minutes.
- Finally, place the Khobz in a a gas'a or very large dish (or individually if preferred) and pour over the Marga (sauce) arranging the meat so that everyone has a piece.