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Chorba hamra bel frik (Algerian lamb, tomato and freekeh soup)

  • 1 medium-sized glass freekeh (cracked wheat)
  • 300g lamb meat, cubed
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch mint, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1/2 (400g) tin chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 courgette, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
  • 1 potato, diced
  • Place the cracked wheat in a bowl and cover with water. Leave to soak while you start preparing the dish.
  • Place the lamb and onion in a couscous pot. Add the pepper, paprika, cinnamon and the salt.
  • Add the oil, half of both the coriander and the mint, and the celery. Stir over low heat for about 15 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas, cover with a little water and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the tomato puree, courgette and carrot.
  • Place a couscous steamer on the pot and steam the tomatoes. Crush the tomatoes with a wooden spatula as they cook and soften to let the pulp drip into the soup. Discard the leftover tomato peels.
  • Add the potato, cover with water and simmer over low heat till potatoes are soft.
  • Add the drained frik to the pot and cook for 15 more minutes.
  • Remove the celery from the soup and discard. Sprinkle the soup with the remaining coriander and mint before serving.