If you’re looking for an interesting and delicious culinary experience, you should try Algerian food. Algerian cuisine is a mix of Berber, Arab, Turkish, and French influences, so it’s sure to tantalize your taste buds!
In this blog post, we’ll discuss 30 of the most popular Algerian dishes. We’ll give you a little bit of information about each dish and tell you where you can find it in Algeria.
Not heading to Algeria anytime soon? Then pick up our favorite Algerian cookbook and indulge in the flavors of Algerian food from the comfort of your own home.
So get ready to explore the amazing world of Algerian cuisine!
Algerian Food: Popular Mains
Algerian main dishes are often hearty and filling, and they make use of a variety of meats, vegetables, and spices. Some of the most popular Algerian main dishes include:
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1. Algerian Couscous with vegetables
One Algerian dish that you absolutely must try is couscous. Algerian couscous is made with semolina wheat topped with vegetables, meat, or fish.
Couscous is not only the national dish of Algeria but also of Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya. And usually consumed on Fridays.
Couscous is a filling dish that will leave you satisfied and wanting more.
2. Algerian Chicken Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemons
The name of this dish comes from the Algerian word for “pot”, which is “tajine”. Algerian Chicken Tagine is a dish that is typically made with chicken, but it can also be made with lamb or beef.
The chicken is cooked in a sauce that is made with olives, preserved lemons, and spices. This dish is served with Algerian bread, which is a type of flatbread.
A Tagine (Tajine) is a cone-shaped earthenware pot with a conical lid that is used for cooking food. Tajine cookware is used in the North African countries including Morocco and Tunisia.
3. Chakhchoukha (Flatbread Pieces Topped With Stew)
One of Algeria’s most popular foods is chakhchoukha, a dish made of flatbread pieces that are topped with stew.
The stew can be made with chicken, lamb, or beef, and is usually spiced with cumin and chili pepper. Chakhchoukha is often served as a main course.
4. Biskwejina (Algerian Pizza)
Biskwejina is an Algerian pizza that is made with thin, crispy dough and topped with a variety of toppings. Common toppings include cheese, sausage, vegetables, and olives.
5. Algerian Merguez sausage
The Algerian Merguez Sausage is a must-try for any food lover. The sausage is made of lamb and beef spiced with a lot of cumin and Harissa which gives it a special red color.
Merguez sausages are usually grilled and made into a sandwich or served on a plate with a salad and French fries.
6. Algerian Shakshuka (eggs in tomato sauce)
Algerian Shakshuka is a dish that’s hearty, filling, and perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Similar to the Lebanese Shakshuka, the Algerian Shakshuka is made with eggs, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and local spices. It’s a simple dish to make, but the flavors are complex and delicious.
7. Dolma (Various Vegetables Stuffed with Meat)
Dolma is not native to Algeria. It was introduced to Algerian cuisine by the Ottoman empire.
Dolma is a dish that can be made using various vegetables (such as cabbage, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes) stuffed with meat (usually beef or lamb).
The vegetables are first hollowed, then stuffed with the meat mixture, and finally baked in the oven.
8. Kefta (Algerian Meatball)
Algerian Kefta or meatballs is a traditional Algerian dish made of seasoned ground beef or lamb formed into small meatballs and cooked in a tomato sauce with local seasonings.
It is often served with Algerian bread.
9. Rechta (Algerian Noodles)
Rechta, Algerian noodles, is a perfect example of Algerian cuisine’s ability to combine bold flavors with simple ingredients.
The dough for the noodles is made with flour, salt, and water, and the sauce is usually a combination of chicken, vegetables, garlic, paprika, and cumin.
Once cooked, the noodles are served on a large plate topped with sauce.
10. El-Kadi w Jmaatou (The Judge and His Group)
El-Kadi w Jmaatou (In English “the judge and its group”) is a traditional Algerian chicken and egg dish.
Dating back hundreds of years ago, this is a royal dish is made by cooking the chicken pieces in a white sauce. At a later stage of cooking, raw eggs are added to the chicken to cook as well.
11. Chtitha Batata – Potato and Tomatoes Stew
This Algerian dish is usually served as a side, but can also be enjoyed on its own. It’s made with potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, and cumin, and is a delicious way to enjoy Algerian cuisine.
12. Mechoui (Algerian Grilled Lamb)
If you’re looking for an Algerian dish that’s sure to impress, look no further than Mechoui. This grilled lamb dish is traditionally cooked in an underground pit, but can also be made on a grill or in an oven.
It’s served with Algerian bread and is sure to satisfy your hunger.
Algerian Food: Popular Snacks & Salads
Algerian cuisine has a number of snacks that are popular among Algerians and Algerian food lovers alike. Some of these popular Algerian snacks include:
1. Brik (Algerian Fried Egg Rolls)
Brik is popular Algerian street food. It is a fried egg roll filled with tuna, potato, onion, and parsley. The eggroll is then dipped in harissa sauce and enjoyed with an Algerian cup of tea.
Brik can be found at most Algerian restaurants and is best eaten as a snack or appetizer.
2. Maaqouda (Algerian Potato Fritters)
Algerian potato fritters are popular street food. They are made with mashed potatoes, garlic, cumin, and chili pepper. The fritters are fried and served with a dipping sauce.
3. Briouats (Algerian Filled Pastries)
Briouats are Algerian cheese cigars or pastries that are crispy on the outside and filled with gooey, cheesy goodness on the inside. Briouats
They’re traditionally made with phyllo dough and filled with either meat or cheese.
Briouats are usually fried, but can also be baked.
4. Zviti (Algerian Spicy Mortar Salad)
This Algerian salad is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle. The base of the Zviti is a semolina bread that is crushed along a variety of Algerian spices, tomatoes, and herbs.
The salad is well embellished with fresh coriander and garlic but the main ingredient here is the chili pepper, a very hot pepper. If you are not a fan of spicy food, I suggest you avoid this Algerian dish.
You will often find Zviti served as an accompaniment to Algerian stews and tagines.
5. Cocas Algeriennes (Algerian Turnover)
Cocas Algeriennes are Algerian turnover pies that are traditionally made with a variety of fillings, including vegetables, meats, and cheeses. The pies are baked and served hot or cold.
Algerian Food: Popular Soups
Soup is a popular dish in many countries, and Algeria is no exception. There are many different types of Algerian soup, each with its own unique flavor. Here are some of the most popular soups in Algeria.
1. Chorba Frik (Algerian Tomato Soup)
Harira is an Algerian hearty soup that is commonly eaten during Ramadan. It is made with lamb or chicken, tomatoes, chickpeas, lentils, and spices.
Harira is best eaten with Algerian bread, known as Khobz.
2. Dobara (Algerian Spicy Bean Soup)
Dobara is an Algerian soup that is traditionally made with fava beans, but other types of beans can be used as well (Like chickpeas).
The soup is typically made with a variety of spices, including cumin, paprika, and a lot of chili powder Harissa. This means Dobara soup is not for the faint-hearted due to the level of spiciness.
This sumptuous Algerian dish is usually consumed during winter.
3. Algerian Bessara soup
Bessara is a traditional Algerian dish made of fava beans and served with cumin, paprika, and olive oil. It is hearty and filling, making it a perfect winter meal but it can be made all year-round.
Algerian Food: Popular Bread
Algerian cuisine is rich and varied, and one of the best ways to experience it is through its many delicious breads.
1. Khobz (Algerian Bread)
Khobz is a type of Algerian flatbread that is made with flour, water, and salt. It is usually round in shape and has a chewy texture. Khobz is often eaten with Algerian soup or stew.
2. Baghrir ( Algerian Pancakes)
Baghrir is an Algerian pancake that is made with flour, yeast, milk, and sugar. They are traditionally served with honey and butter.
Baghrir has a very spongy texture with many small holes. It’s often served at breakfast or as an afternoon snack with Algerian mint tea.
3. Algerian Msemen
Algerian Msemen is another type of Algerian flatbread that is very popular in North Africa. The Msemen bread in Algeria is made from simple ingredients, just baking flour, water, and salt, and maybe an optional drizzle of olive oil.
The dough is then flattened and folded several times into a square before being pan-fried.
Algerian Msemen is usually served with honey and accompanied by Algerian tea or coffee.
4. Makhtouma Bread
Algerians are well-known for their love for bread, and one of the most popular varieties is makhtouma bread. It’s around two feet in diameter and is often eaten with Algerian stews or used to make Algerian sandwiches.
5. Mahjouba – Stuffed Algerian Crepes
Algerian crepes, called Mahjouba, are made with a very thin and flaky semolina flatbread and are often stuffed with a spicy tomato and onion mixture. Algerians love to eat these for breakfast, but they are also popular as street food snacks.
6. Kesra (Algerian Semolina Flatbread )
Kesra, also called Algerian semolina flatbread, is a popular Algerian dish made from semolina flour, water, and salt. This type of bread is native to the Eastern part of Algeria and is often cooked in a cast iron pan.
Kesra goes well with Chorba or Harira soups, bell pepper salads, as well as butter, milk, and buttermilk.
7. Mbesses – Traditional Algerian Sweet Bread
Mbesses is an Algerian sweet bread that is often served as part of breakfast or dessert.
To make Mbesses you will need semolina flour, yeast, sugar, and milk, and can be either baked or fried.
Honey and Algerian date syrup are essential accompaniments to Mbesses bread.
Popular Algerian Desserts
Algerian cuisine offers a variety of desserts that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. From the well-known Baklava to the lesser-known but equally delicious Algerian cookies, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
1. Algerian Baklava
Baklava is first brought to Algeria by the Ottomans. Baklava is a famous Turkish sweet pastry. It’s made of filo dough that is rolled very thin and layered with chopped nuts, and syrup.
2. Tcharek M’saker (Algerian Gazelle Horns)
Tcharek M’saker, also known as Gazelle Horns are traditional sweets that are made from flour, eggs, sugar, almonds, and other flavoring ingredients.
The delicious cookies are shaped into the horns of a gazelle and then baked and sprinkled with powdered sugar. These Algerian yummy treats are often served during weddings and other special occasions.
3. Algerian Makrout (Semolina and Date Cookie)
Algerian Makrout is a deep-fried pastry that is made of semolina and filled with dates, almonds, or figs.
To make Makrout, the semolina dough is stuffed with the fillings and then cut into small diamond-shaped pieces, deep-fried until golden, and then dipped into a sweet syrup.
Makrout is a popular Algerian dessert and is often served during Ramadan.
4. Samsa (Algerian Almonds Triangles)
These Algerian crisp pastries are so easy to make and only require a few ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
A very thin phyllo pastry is wrapped around a delicious almond paste shaping a triangle then fried until golden and dipped in sugar syrup.
5. Qalb el Louz – Baked Semolina Almond Dessert
This Algerian dish is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth. Qalb el louz which means “the heart of almonds” is made with semolina, almonds (for fillings and decoration), orange blossom, and honey.
Algerian food is a delicious mix of French, Arabic, and African flavors. There are so many dishes to try, but we’ve highlighted some of our favorites for you to start with.
What’s your favorite Algerian dish? Comment below and let us know!