What does an Algerian Ramadan look like? You can find out by trying these dishes.
Ramadan is a month-long observance in which devout Muslims abstain from food, drink, and anything else that might matter to them. It’s a time when Muslims go without worldly pleasures for their spiritual well-being. Most people know that fasting doesn’t just have to do with food; some also abstain from smoking or sexual activity as well. Ramadan lasts 29 or 30 days, depending on the lunar calendar.
Making a plan for the month ahead, Algerians usually prepare their Ramadan menu well before the first day of fasting. No one knows why this tradition began, but there are some popular theories.
The cuisine of Algeria is influenced by its history. With the country’s long coastline, fish is an important part of the diet, especially on Fridays. Over the years, Algerian cuisine has absorbed influences from its neighbors: Morocco to the west and Tunisia and Libya to the east. Because of its location between three seas – Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Sahara Desert – Algeria has also become a melting pot for diverse cultures.
If you’re an adventurous eating enthusiast who’s up for sampling one of the many flavors of food in Algeria, then this must-try spice is for you! Join us as we take a closer look at how to prepare and eat Tajin Zitoun. So, what is Tajin Zitoun?
Tajin Zitoun is a condiment made from sun-dried green (bell) peppers that have been ground into a powder. It is prepared by mixing the powder with water and then straining it. The resulting liquid is called “zitoun” and the dried pepper powder that settles on the bottom of the bowl and doesn’t dissolve in water is called “tajin”. To maximize the flavor of this delicious paste, it is best to cook it on the stove before using.
Algerian Bourak is a North African dish that’s typically served with soup. This recipe doesn’t require time and skill to prepare, and the end result is worth it!
Algerian Bourak can be made with either puff pastry or phyllo dough depending on your preference. The filling usually consists of cheese, eggs, and either olives or tuna.
During Ramadan in Algeria, Lham Lahlou is a common Iftar “breakfast” dish. Often served at the close of a meal in small portions. My sweet tooth won’t let me do it, so I always enjoy it first.
This tagine is beautifully aromatic thanks to the trademark flavors of cinnamon and orange blossom. It’s made of prunes, raisins, and apricots. You should adjust the ratios to your preference. If you don’t like prunes, for example, raise the apricots/raisins.
A classic North African dish that can be found in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, CHORBA is a stew made of vegetables (french fries and carrots typically), lamb or beef (or chicken for a less intense flavor) and a red sauce. Similar to ceviche, the ingredients are all boiled together so that everything becomes tender. The end result is hearty Mediterranean comfort food with a kick.
The queen of Algerian sweets is Qalb El Louz. The Algerian sweet Qalb El Louz, which means “heart of almond,” is made with semolina and a coating of ground almonds. The use of orange blossom water in both the ‘cake’ and the honey sugar syrup gives it its key and lingering sweet bitter flavor.
Needless to say, this recipe is common in the Middle East, and many cultures, especially Algerian culture, enjoy it! Zlabia is made by drizzling a thin batter into a pan of hot oil and deep-frying them until golden brown. After that, the fritters are dipped in a delectable rose water-flavored sauce. As a consequence, you’ll get a moist, gooey treat that’s difficult to resist!
These sweets are very similar to Moroccan confectionery’s traditional chebakia sweets. The only distinction between the two is that the latter contains ground almonds as well as seasoning and gum arabic. It is common in Morocco to make them for special events such as weddings, feasts, and, most importantly, during Ramadan.
To Sum It Up…
One might think that Muslim dietary laws are only about what can be consumed during Ramadan; however, there is much more to it than that. What can be consumed can also include where one consumes it and with who. In hopes that this article gave you a general idea about the culture of cuisine in Algeria, and some recipes to try out!