Traditional Algerian Rechta (Noodles) - Family Recipe!

"Rechta (pronunced rish-ta) is a dish comprising of flat noodles and a chicken sauce (Marga bil djedj). Many people buy rechta noodles from the market already made - as many women add to their income by selling them. Rechta noodles keep very well in the freezer. You'll need a pasta machine for this recipe..."
photo by Um Safia photo by Um Safia
photo by Um Safia
photo by Um Safia photo by Um Safia
photo by Um Safia photo by Um Safia
Ready In:
1hr 45mins




  • For the Rechta (noodles):

  • On a large work surface or in a large bowl, sift the flour. Add the salt and make a well in the centre. Add a little water and mix to form a firm but slightly soft dough.
  • Divide the dough into quarters and roll each quarter out to an approximately thickness of 1-2mm on a surface dusted lightly with cornflour.
  • Dust dough sheets very lightly and put through the pasta machine on the lowest setting (to create thinnest pasta sheet). When all pieces have been put through the machine, put on the side to dry out a little - for 20-30 minutes.
  • Change the setting or add the attachment on the pasta machine to the one that cuts fine ribbons. Pass the sheets through the machine. Dust each sheet with cornflour- this really helps the noodles not to stick together.
  • Allow to rest for 10 minutes before steaming in a cousier or regular steamer. Take a tiny amount of oil on your hands and gently rub a little through the rechta to prevent it from sticking together whilst cooking.
  • Once the steam rises from the rechta, cook for 5 minutes. Remove from couscousier and sprinkle a little water over it and seperate any noodles. Return to steaming for a further 5 minutes or until noodles are visibly cooked.
  • Tip rechta into a gas'a or other large dish and gently mix the ghee (smen) through it. Taste and add extra salt if required.
  • For the Marga (sauce):

  • In a pressure cooker, fry the onion, garlic and chicken in the oil with the spices, cook for further 10 minutes on medium heat. Add the vegetables and chick peas and pour on the water. Season and cook for 30 minutes or until chicken and vegetables are tender.
  • Serve the rechta by placing the rechta noodles in gas'a or large dish (or individually if preferred) and pouring about 1/2 the marga (sauce) over the top. Arrange the vegetables and chicken so everyone gets a good selection.
  • Note: (If you're not using a pressure cooker, please cook for approximately 1hr and add the chickpeas during the last 20 minutes of cooking time) Traditionally rechta usually only has turnip in it. My family prefers the above mix of vegetables and sometimes I even add carrots - you can use what you like!

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  1. bobinthebul
    Nice! A friend recently visited me from Algeria and made this; it was good but I like your version a little better (because anything that gives me the excuse to use ras el-hanout is good in my book!). One thing I wonder about: the "long turnips." Are they what they call "luft" in Algerian Arabic? Before my friend came, he asked if we had "luft" in Turkey. What he described sounded like a turnip or even a parsnip, but when I didn't really understand, he decided to bring it himself, and what he brought was long white radishes! I'd never had radishes cooked, but it was very nice. So now I make this dish with that, or even daikon radishes sliced longways into 4ths and then cut in half. <br/><br/>He brought a lot of ready-made rechta and I put the rest in the freezer, but I do have a pasta machine and can't wait to try making the rechta by hand! (It must have been an incredible amount of work before pasta machines...)


ABOVE: My eldest, Talha with his 'Zaar Star! I'm 29 years old and have been cooking since I was old enough to wield a wooden spoon! My Mum is a fantastic cook and both my Grandmas were great cooks too. I've also had the pleasure of working in two commercial kitchens - one which I ran and the other I was second chef of. You can find me lurking in the NA*ME (North Africa / Middle East) Forum where I am a host: and also in the Cooking for Kids Forum where I am co-host: <style>body { background: url(;background-repeat: repeat; }</style> I am fortunate enough to have 2 children of my own now and enjoy cooking with my eldest who is almost 8 years old. My daughter is almost 3 & has now started joining me in the kitchen & 'helping'. She likes to stand on a chair next to me, give instructions & stir. We eat food from all over the world but my husband prefers it like 'mama used to make' or in his case ''like yemma makes it'' as he is Algerian! We are currently living in the UK after living in Algeria for a while. You will notice that I have posted quite a few Algerian classics. If I had the time and the money, I would spend all day every day trying new recipes! My husband has a 'recipe score' which is this: 1: "Add it to your recipe book - I loved it and wanna eat this again soon!" 2: "Interesting....I will enjoy eating this again." 3: "I cleared my plate but don't expect me to eat this again...ever." However, I rate 'Zaar recipes the by the 'Zaar standard, so don't worry. Oh and fyi, I have a problem being negative so will probably NEVER give a rating less that 4*!!! Other than cooking, I love anything arty-crafty and enjoy painting when I get the chance, which is rarely these days. I used to sell a lot of my creations and do things to order but just don't have the time at the moment. I have a passion for gardening almost as strong as that for cooking. I tend to have 90% of it in pots though as I can't bear to leave it behind when we move - therefore we don't have a lot of stuff that we'd like to have as it wouldn't like being confined to a pot! I take great pride in my garden and love the summer months (the few that we get in the UK) when we can eat outside... and being a typical man, my husband likes any excuse to get the BBQ going - enough said! By the way; I'm on a mission to re-educate people about soaking cous cous for use in North African recipes.,,just so you all is traditionally STEAMED & not soaked! Most of the North African recipes I have have been taught to me by my mother in law, sisters in law etc. A few have come from very old cookbooks. It has taken me a long time to get the dishes into some kind of recipe form as basically we "eyeball" the majority of the ingredients. Bear with me whilst I try to get the rest of the recipes in order!... On a personal note, I abhor the mistreatment of animals and have taken care of many abandoned or injured animals over the years. Similarily, I love to help children and that is why my husband and I are in the process of becoming foster carers. I have a thing about being polite and having good manners - they don't cost anything after all. Something that bugs me is when you hold a door open for someone and they don't even acknowledge you or if you need to go through a door and they won't hold it for you but let it slap you in the face! I think we should all smile more - myself included.... <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a> 2007 Events: <a href="¤t=SassyBanner.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <img src=""> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"> 2008 - Events: <a href="¤t=newtaginethbanner.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <a href="¤t=Swap14.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <a href="¤t=thetassiedevilsbanner.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <a href="¤t=kumquats3.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <a href="¤t=ZWT4ChallengeHostBanner.gif" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <a href="¤t=ZWTPlayerBanner.gif" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <a href="¤t=ramadanrecipetagbanner-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <a href="¤t=CookingSchoolHost1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> 2009- Events: <img src=""> <a href="¤t=rrtplayersbanner09-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
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