Secrets from the Sahara; “The Tunisian traditional kitchen”
By : CoOL BuRn Hatem
Anyone’s hungry out there?
I was hungry on my way to visit a good friend of me, “Ameera”. I call her “Princess” that is the translation of her name from arabic to english. She lives in “Mednine”, the capital city of the touristic island “Djerba”, 3 hours driving from Kébili, with her mother. Her father passed away in 1998 because of a medical mistake, leaving them nothing, so her mother “Yasmina” or “Jasmin” in english, took all responsibilities. I know that “Yasmina” is a “warrior” but i didn’t know she’s a good cooker. She cooked some delicious foods and cookies, some i know and other foods i’ve never tasted before, so i decided to share with my readers around the world.
“Couscous”, the main meal and the most popular food in all Tunisia, but how it’s prepared differs from one city to another. Times of weddings, Couscous is the master meal.
There are two main types of Couscous ; the spicy Couscous and the Sweet-salty Couscous which is known as “Masfouf”.
The spicy Couscous is mainly made from vegetables, tomato paste, red pepper, black pepper, spices, garlic and salt. And you have the choice of meat between chicken, fish, octopus, sheep, calte..etc
In Nabeul, the capital city of the touristic place Hammamet, they have their special type of spicy Couscous in which they add chikpeas, beean, dates, raisin, saffron and poached eggs.
“Masfouf”, the sweet-salty Couscous, is mainly prepared from butter, sugar, nut, almond, raisin, pistachio and minced pine.
“Magfoul”, that’s the materiel used to cook Couscous, the upper part for couscous and the down part is for the broth.
*”Kaftaji” and “Tastira” : meals of ordinary hungry man, they are simple to prepare. The small difference between them is at the level of their ingredients. “Tastira” is made up from pepper, tomatos, chapped eggs. Same for “Kaftaji” with the addition of chicken liver, pumpkin and potatos.
*”Leblebi” : name has Turkish roots. This meal is considered as the man’s companion in his journey through the cold days of winter. It’s mainly made up from chickpeas and pieces of bread with the choice of adding half-boiled eggs, olive oil, tuna and olives. It’s also very known in Iraq.
*”Breek” : not bricks neither break. “Breek” is the second main meal served on the tables in “Ramadhan”, muslims’ holly month of worship, and it’s very demanded in Tunisian restaurants, made up from a thin roll of dough bread filled with egg, tuna, cheese, parsley and potatoes.
*”Mtabga” : one of Lyn’s favorites. A very famous meal in the South of Tunisia especially in Kébili. Looks like pizza but it has its own features. It consists mainly of traditional bread filled with a mixture of sheep grease, onion, tomatoes, salt and spices.
These are some of the most known traditional meals in Tunisia.
After enjoying these meals, let me know so i can serve you the cookies in the upcoming next article.