Sunday, May 31, 2009

Walima First Challenge - Representing the Algerian Cuisne

Algerian cuisine features cooking styles and dishes derived from traditional Arab, Amazigh, Turkish, and French cuisines. Additional influences of Jewish,Spanish Berber,and Italian cuisines are also found. The Cuisine is flavorful, often featuring a blend of traditional Mediterranean spices and chili peppers. Couscous is a staple of the diet, often served with stews and other fare.We are proud to represent the Algerian Cuisine as our first challenge in the Walima Cooking Club, and the challenge is brought to us by our friend member Khadidja from

Ready for our first Walima Challenge? As you may know by now, Algerian cuisine have been selected to be the first challenge. I chose a dish that I personally like - to eat and to cook- and hopefully, you'll have fun preparing it too and most importantly, I hope you'll like it. I chose Tajine Ezzitoun / Olives Tajine for the savory part, and Almond Surprises or what is called in Algerian "Slilet laaroussa" which is -translated- "The Bride's Basket" for the sweet part. Tajine Zitoun (Olives Tajine)This dish could be made with chicken or lamb or both. I personally mix the two meats in the same dish This recipe has some added meat balls and this is optional. If not using both meats, keep the exact same recipe.

Tajine Ezzitoun - Olives Tajine

Tajine Ezzitoun - Olives Tajine

1 whole chicken cut into pieces
2 lbs of lamb
1 large onion
1 Tbsp butter or oil
2 cups pitted green olives
2 medium carrots, cut into circles
1 tsp salt,1/2 tsp cinnamon,1/2 tsp black pepper
1 chicken cubed
Meat balls (optional)
1/2 lb ground beef
1 small onion
1 small egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Flour to dredge the meat balls
To thicken the sauce: 1 Tbsp soft butter2 tbsp flour

1- In a pot / pressure cooker put the butter ,oil, chicken pieces, lamb pieces (if using), the onion, salt, pepper cinnamon. Cook over medium heat until the onionsare translucent. Add the chicken cube and enough water to cover the meat. Bring the mixture to a boil then cover and cook until the meat is tender. If using both meats, half way through cooking, remove the chicken pieces and continue to cook until the lamb is tender.
2 - In a sauce pan, put the olives and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let the olives boil for 3 to 5 mn. Drain and repeat the same process 2 to 3 times until the olives are no longer bitter.They should not be too salty neither. Set the olives aside.
3- Prepare the meat balls: mix all the ingredients and make balls. Put about 1/2 in of oil in a frying pan and heat over medium heat. Dredge each meat ball in flour and fry until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
4- Once the meat pieces are cooked, add the olives, the sliced carrots and the meat balls. Bring the sauce to a boil, cover the pot and cook until the carrots and the olives are tender, and the meat balls are cooked through.
5-To finish the dish, mix the butter and flour to form a smooth paste. Bring the sauce to a boil and gradually add the butter/ flour mixture, stirring continuously. Let the sauce boil for 3 to 5 minutes. The sauce should be slightly thick. Add 2 tbsp chopped parsley. Serve the dish accompanied with lemon wedges.

Very flavourful recipe , I followed the recipe as given , adding chicken, lamb and meat balls,I did adjust the spices a little to our taste...we enjoyed it , and I encourage you to try it

for the Slilet Alaroussa, or the Bride's Baskets check the original recipe in Khadidja blog, also check the Spicy & talented Walima Team Blogs to enjoy their talented and creative cooking and amazing photos.


p.s.: Our June challenge will represent the Bahraini Cuisine... Join us.


Touria said...

Hi arlette
thank you so much for your help
The bahraini recipes are so delicious especcially the dessert recipe hmmmmm I like it
I'm going to do slilat laaroussa or walima club soon inchalah but i need an invitation to walimaarabia so as i can post my pictures
please don't forget to sent me one ok
have a blessed day

Arlette said...

Marhaba Touria,

I sent you the invitation last night let me know if you received it or not.

from my motorhome to yours said...

I love making foods from other places, your breads look amazing, check out my blog I am starting giveaway #2 later today

souka said...

Nice recipe you prepared.

Amal said...

Marhaba Arlette
how are you?
it looks delicious with meat too, the challenge is saccessful...bravo!
i didn't tried the slilats' recipe cause i am following a regime..
I'll republish the tajine recipe and talk about Walima, during the week.
i'm sorry for your problems, i hope it will be arrange!
take care

Arlette said...

Hello my dear Amal,
thanks very much for your sweet words,
its been a while since I visited your blog
I promise to come and visit soon.

Yes , I hope my problem will be solved soon.

Elra said...

Oh, I love Tajine very much that I make it on a regular basis. Today I made lamb Tajine and serve it with spiced couscous. This look delicious Arlette!

sweetalmond said...

Arlette you did an amazing job!!! the dish looks so good. I hope you enjoyed it as well. I want to thank you again for your wonderful idea of creating an Arabic cooking club. I wish lots of success for this project.

Arlette said...

Hello My dear Khadidja

Are you back from Algeria??
Merci to you for a wonderful Challenge, Every one enjoyed the recipes, and I loved your tajine, and I feel bad I didn't have time to try the Slailat Al Arous, they look gorgeous made by the rest of the Team...
I want to try it one day, when I have some time on hand...
Take care my dear.

faisal said...


I think the recipe is better for health.

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Summer said...

Beautiful recipe and presentation Arlette. thanks for sharing.

lisamichele said...


I tried to leave a comment on your Levain copycat post, but it says comments are disabled (???) Well, I'll leave it here then :) They look marvelous, and I must try it your way, the freezing idea sounding like it would work really well! Now, what's goin' on with your blog, chicky?

Sorry it took me a while to post to you, but I'm still going through a lot of pain due to the sudden breakup..kind of a zombie now :(