Algerian Rechta Pasta Dish

The Libyan Battan Traditional Dish
A Traditional Dish Popular in Algeria

Algerian Rechta is a traditional dish popular in Algeria. It is a simple yet delicious meal made with pasta, chicken, chickpeas, and a tomato-based sauce. The pasta used for Rechta is similar to lasagne noodles, but thinner and shorter. To make the dish, the pasta is boiled until it is al dente, and then it is mixed with the cooked chicken and chickpeas.

Tomato-Based Sauce for Garnish

The tomato-based sauce is made with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and a blend of spices. The sauce is simmered until it thickens, and then it is poured over the pasta and chicken mixture. The dish is then garnished with parsley and served hot.

Algerians Enjoy Rechta as a Family Meal

Many Algerians enjoy Rechta as a family meal, 

Algerian Rechta

and it is often served during special occasions such as weddings and religious holidays. The dish is also popular in other North African countries such as Tunisia and Libya.

Algerian Rechta is a Hearty and Delicious dish

Algerian Rechta is a comforting and hearty dish that is easy to prepare. Its combination of tender pasta, flavourful chicken, and savoury sauce makes it a favourite among Algerians and anyone who tries it.

How to Make the Algerian Rechta
For The Rechta (Noodles)

500g plain flour                                                                                                                                              1⁄2 teaspoon salt                                                                                                                                            water                                                                                                                                                                  cornflour, to aid rolling out                                                                                                                              1 tablespoon ghee (smen)

For The Marga (Sauce)

1 1⁄2kg chicken pieces                                                                                                                                      2 onions, finely chopped                                                                                                                                  1 garlic clove, minced                                                                                                                                      1 tablespoon sunflower oil or                                                                                                                        1 tablespoon vegetable oil                                                                                                                              1 cup of tinned chickpeas                                                                                                                                1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper                                                                                                                               2 1⁄4 teaspoons ras el hanout spice mix                                                                                                       1 liter water                                                                                                                                                       1 teaspoon cinnamon                                                                                                                                    500g long turnips, cut into 6ths                                                                                                             250g potatoes, quartered                                                                                                                               250g courgettes, cut into 6ths (zucchini)                                                                                                      1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt

For The Rechta (Noodles):
  1. 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.
  2. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each quarter out to an approximately thickness of 1-2mm on a surface dusted lightly with corn flour.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 corn flour- this really helps the noodles not to stick together.
  5. 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.
  6. Once the steam rises from the rechta, cook for 5 minutes. Remove from cousier and sprinkle a little water over it and separate any noodles. Return to steaming for a further 5 minutes or until noodles are visibly cooked.
  7. 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):
  1. 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.
  2. 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 but you can even add carrots – you can use what you like!

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