Top 25 Most Popular Foods in Algeria – Top Algerian Dishes
Algeria is a North-African country with a diverse culture and different historical foods. The country was a part of the Ottoman Empire for over 300 years; was colonized by France for 132 years and has two other different cuisines including Arab and Berber historic foods.
What’s special about the Algerian cuisine is its mix of Saharan food, seafood and very tasty desserts, as well as dry cakes.
The North-African country is famous for having many occasional cuisines that are only prepared when it’s a special day. For instance, if someone is getting married, then “Chourba”, “Chekhchoukha” and Baklawa will definitely be on the table.
Let’s explore the top 25 foods in Algeria that you’ll fall in love with.
As hard as the name seems, Chekhchoukha is one of the tastiest foods in Algeria. Famous in eastern cities of the country — such as Constantine and Biskra — Chekhchoukha is prepared differently; depending on the city you’re visiting. For instance, some cities in the country prepare Chekhchoukha on a clay casserole, whereas other cities prepare it on iron casserole. The difference between the two lies in both the taste and thickness of Chekhchoukha.
2. Baklawa (Baklava)
Baklawa is an Ottoman patrimony that Algerians prepare for festive occasions. The tasty pastry is made up of almonds, filled with chopped walnuts and natural honey. Now although Baklawa is a very tasty pastry that foreigners fall in love with; try not to each too much since each Baklawa has 230 calories, and you might end up eating 10 if you try the first one.
You probably heard of this one; Couscous is the most popular food in Algeria and is prepared each Friday and at funerals. Couscous is also called “Taam”, “Seksou”, “Berboucha” and “Naama”, depending on the city you’re visiting in the country. The tasty dish is cooked from durum wheat semolina, or barley, or white corn. It is then prepared in a perforated bowel and then placing it on a boiling pot till it is cooked using the water vapor.
Famous in Msila and other regions, Zviti is a very spicy food prepared using green pepper that is cooked with the dough and then cut with a wooden masher and serve in a wooden bowl. Some cities add sliced tomatoes as well as coriander, green olives, and sometimes garlic.
When it’s winter, Algerian tables turn in the Biskra-based tasty dish to fill up their stomachs. Dobara has three different preparations including Dobara with beans, Dobara with chickpeas, and Dobara with a mixture of both. To make it tasty, Dobara’s chickpeas and beans shall be soaked in water a full night ahead of preparation. One day later, it should be left to boil in water without adding any salt.
Every year, Algerians like all Muslims celebrate Eid al Adha where they sacrifice sheep; goats, or cows as an offering. With that, Algerians prepare an Usban, which is made up of intestines of cows, lambs, or camels and it is then stuffed with vegetables such potatoes, eggplant, or even fish and sometimes couscous.
Ramadan is a month when Algerians like Muslims fast for a month. In the evening after almost half a day without eating; Algerian tables are adorned with Zlabia. The oriental sweet is famous in the Arab community as a whole, but Algerians prepare it differently. It consists of sugar, starch, and flour which is then fried in abundant oil.
Mhajab is a bakery that Algerians eat almost every day. It consists of a thin loaf that is made from flour and water and filled with onions and tomatoes. Mhajab is then prepared in layers of square dough and finally folded several times before it’s fried in oil.
Al-Shetitha One of the most famous dishes in Algeria. It consists of several materials, but meat is a fixed component. It may use lamb or beef. Alternatively, some cities add beans to the Shetitha.
Berkoukes is made from several types of meats. Additionally, the dish consists of cubes of vegetables such as carrots, natural tomato sauce, paste, and turnip.
Rachta is made of dough that is similar to pasta. It also has zucchini, chicken sauce, and chickpeas. The dish is a bit similar to Chekhchoukha but a lot lighter when it comes to thickness.
Makroud is one of the tastiest Algerian sweets. It consists of a mixture of semolina and flour that is later kneaded and fried in abundant oil before being watered with syrup. The syrup is made of lemon sugar, vanilla, water, and a fragrant aroma that gives it a memorable taste.
13. Almonds Triangles
Almonds triangles are an Algerian dessert. Apart from the obvious almonds that fill the dessert, Almond’s triangles are thick dough filled with flour, yeast, and butter. It is then stuffed with chopped boiled almonds that are then watered with blossom water. It’s famous for appearing on every wedding’s table.
14. Swabaa Zainab
Swabaa Zainab is a delicious oriental sweets. It consists of a mixture of semolina, flour, sugar, and butter that is then baked in an oven. Alternatively, it can be fried in oil and then watered with sweets syrup.
Djouzia is the tastiest sweet in Algeria for sure. It’s popular for being prepared by the chief of cuisine of the Ottoman ruler of Constantine, Ahmed Salah Bey. All Algerians and international travelers visit Constantine to get a taste of the “secret ingredient” Djouzia sweet. Also, the tasty sweet is one of the most expensive in the country since it’s made up of honey and nuts.
16. El-Jari (Chorba)
El-Jari or Chorba freek is a soup that is widely prepared in Ramadan in the country. It is made from chopped meat, chopped tomatoes, garlic, hot pepper and water. It’s a very popular food in Northern Maghreb and is also diet-friendly.
Tamina also known as “Bsisa” is famous is a popular dessert in the country that is prepared with morning breakfast which consists of milk and bread. Algerians prepare Temina by roasting semolina which is then added to couscous and some flour. The Tamina is then left to boil for 10 minutes.
Mesfouf is another popular dish similar to couscous and Chekhchoukha that is widely prepared in Weddings and also funerals. It consists of finely rolled semolina, olive oil, and butter.
Tcharek is an occasional pastry that is prepared in Algeria in weddings. It is popular in Algiers, the capital of the country. It consists of white flour, icing sugar (powdered sugar), and a pinch of salt; Tcharek is one of the tastiest pastries.
20. El- Makhtouma
El-Makhtouma is a Saharan popular food in the south of the country. It’s a kind of bread that originated in Ouargla, Tamenrast, Bechar, and Gherdaia and is prepared on Fridays (Jumaa) in the country. It’s prepared from dough on one hand, and minced carrots, onions, sheep’s fat, and spices on the other hand. It takes a form of a pie and is prepared on fire.
21. Brik (Bourak)
Brik or Bourak is a dish prepared mainly in Ramadan. It’s made from thin dough that is then filled with meat, vegetables, and other spices. Then, Bourak is fried in oil and giving with Chourba on the Ramadan table.
Famous in the Big Northern-Arab Maghreb, Tagine consists of meat, vegetables, and dry fruits and is given mostly in Algerian weddings.
Mthawem meaning garlic is a delicious dish made from a large amount of garlic. The dish is also used to add flavor to the meat and cut into medium-sized pieces alongside some salad scented with spices.
24. Algerian Thwart
Yes, it has the weird name of Thwart; the dish has a weird name but is a popular one in Algeria, Palestine, Morocco, and Syria. The Algerian thwart consists of eggplant, onion, garlic cloves, and tomatoes.
25. El-Kadi w Jmaatou (The Judge and His Group)
El-Kadi w Jmaatou is a historical dish that means “the judge and his group” in English. It’s a popular dish only in Algiers, the capital of the country, and its story goes back to hundreds of years ago. The dish is prepared to glorify something or someone, and it symbolizes noble professions and is given to dear people as a sign of welcoming.
The metropolitan dish is also prepared during large gatherings of nobles of the regions.