Algerian Berkoukes Soup

Algerian Berkoukes
A Traditional Algerian Dish

Berkoukes is a traditional Algerian dish that has been enjoyed by many generations. It is a hearty and flavourful dish that can be made in many different ways depending on the region and the cook. The dish is typically made with small balls of pasta that are boiled and then combined with a rich tomato-based sauce, vegetables, and meat.

Making the Algerian Berkoukes

To start the dish, the pasta is made by mixing semolina flour with water and shaping it into small balls. The balls are then left to dry in the sun before being boiled in salted water until they are tender. Meanwhile, the sauce is made by sautéing onions, garlic, and spices in olive oil before adding diced tomatoes and tomato 

Algerian Berkoukes

paste. The sauce is then simmered for several hours to develop its rich and complex flavour.

Once the pasta and sauce are ready, they are combined in a large pot along with vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and chickpeas. Meat such as lamb or beef can also be added for extra flavour and protein. The dish is then simmered until all the ingredients are tender and the flavours have melded together.

Served Hot and Garnished With Fresh Herbs

Berkoukes is typically served hot and garnished with fresh herbs such as cilantro or parsley. It is a filling and satisfying dish that is perfect for cold winter evenings or as a comforting meal for family and friends. Many Algerians have fond memories of enjoying this dish with loved ones and it continues to be a beloved part of the country’s culinary heritage.

How to Make the Algerian Berkoukes

2 or more chicken pieces (any)                                                                                                                    1 cup Berkoukes pasta ( petits plombs)                                                                                                      2 tbsp olive oil                                                                                                                                                  1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight, washed and rinsed                                                                            1 medium tomato, grated                                                                                                                              1 medium onion, minced                                                                                                                                1 medium zucchini, diced                                                                                                                                1 medium potato, diced                                                                                                                                  3 cloves garlic, minced                                                                                                                                    1 pumpkin piece, diced(about 1 cup)                                                                                                          2 medium carrots, diced                                                                                                                                  2 hot peppers (any type), optional                                                                                                                1/4 bunch cilantro                                                                                                                                        1/4 bunch parsley                                                                                                                                            1 tbsp tomato paste                                                                                                                                        1 tbsp paprika                                                                                                                                                  1 tsp Ras Al Hanout                                                                                                                                        1/2 tsp black pepper                                                                                                                                        1 tsp ginger powder                                                                                                                                              Salt to taste

For the end of cooking (optional)

2 cloves garlic, minced                                                                                                                                1/2 tsp coriander powder                                                                                                                              1 tbsp chopped cilantro

  1. Put olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, garlic, chicken pieces, cilantro, parsley, tomato paste, salt, pepper, paprika, ginger and Ras Al Hanout
  3. Add chickpeas and let cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the grated tomato and all the vegetables (potato, carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, hot peppers (optional) and let cook for a good 10 minutes.
  5. Pour hot water (or boiled water) to cover the chicken and vegetables.
  6. Cover and let cook for about 30 minutes or until everything is cooked.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked, take it out of the sauce. Take out the cilantro and parsley and discard them.
  8. Debon the chicken and shred it. Set aside.
  9. Soak the Berkoukes pasta in hot water for 5 minutes.
  10. Rinse the pasta and drain it.
  11. Add the pasta to the sauce and add the shredded chicken.
  12. Mix and let cook covered for 10 to 15 minutes.
  13. Adjust the seasoning, add salt if needed.
  14. Add coriander powder, minced garlic and cilantro, let boil for 2 minutes then turn off the heat and serve.
Recipe Notes:

You can use any vegetable that you like in this soup.

You can make the dish vegetarian without adding any meat.

You can also use your favourite spices in this dish.

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