COOKING

During the very few times when Djamel doesn’t play music, he sometimes finds the time to cook. He loves to cook his mothers recipes from Algeria, but meanwhile, he has also developed some recipes of his own. And – he likes to reveal his secret: a lot of time, and a lot of love – and nothing can go wrong! By using the word ‘time’, Djamel adds, he means of course the time for preparation, not the time to let it scorch.  Bon Appetit!!!

aubergineFried aubergines

Cut the aubergines into slices 2 mm thick and fry till golden brown in plenty of oil. Aubergines absorb most of the oil at first but release it later, so they should really swim in it. I always use a wok for frying the aubergines because you can fry all the slices at the same time. Alternatively I use a pan and prepare them in portions. The frying takes about 30 minutes till the aubergines have turned golden brown. I then put the slices onto plenty of kitchen roll to allow them to drip and add the onion to the oil. If the oil is still really hot, it will only take 1 or 2 minutes to be ready. The rest is really easy: put the aubergines in a bowl, add the onions, add pressed garlic, pour balsamico vinegar, add salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Sprinkle chopped coriander over the mixture. Aubergines taste better when prepared the previous day as the flavour needs time to develop. Serve cold with baguette.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg aubergines
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 tbsp balsamico
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Approx. 1/2 bundle of fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • Salt and pepper

moehrenCarrot salad

Peel and cut the carrots into thin slices 1 mm thick. Steam-cook the slices for about 20 minutes till soft. Leave to cool off and then mix with other ingredients in a bowl. Marinate for 2 hours or overnight so that the carrots absorb the flavours.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg carrots
  • 6 tbsp cumin
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp Balsamico
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Approx. 1/2 bundle of fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • Salt and pepper

radiRadish, orange and celery salad

Cut the radishes into thin slices 1 mm thick. Peel the oranges, cut into slices 2 mm thick and then cut slices into eights. Finely chop the celery sticks. Mix ingredients and serve fresh.

This summer salad is very refreshing and has wonderful colours.

Ingredients:

  • 300 g radishes
  • 3 oranges
  • 2 celery sticks

taginePullet Tagine with carrots, potatoes and dates

Pour olive oil into a large, oven-resistant pot or tagine pot, add the chicken. Peel the carrots and potatoes. Dice the potatoes into cubes of 2 cm and slice the carrots into strips 1 cm thick. Add these with dates and garlic cloves to the chicken.

Sprinkle the spices and salt over the chicken. Cut the lemon in half, remove the skin and rinse. Add the lemon to the vegetables. Add the carrot juice and water and possibly a bit more olive oil. Sprinkle the almonds over the vegetables. Close the pot and place in the oven for 1 ½ to 2 hours at around 180°C (350° F). Check occasionally to ensure that the liquid does not dry up and that the dish is always well “soaked”. At the end of the cooking time there is a very tasty brew which is poured as a sauce over the dish.

The tagine is cooked when the carrots and the potatoes can be easily cut with a knife and the chicken lets clear juice out when pierced with a knife. Tagine is best served with fresh baguette (to soak up the sauce) and Harissa (the North African version of Sambal Oelek).

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pullet / young chicken
  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 600 g carrots
  • 250 g dates, stoned and cut in halves
  • 10 garlic cloves cut in halves
  • 100 g almonds (whole)
  • 2 teasp cumin (jeera)
  • 2 teasp ground coriander
  • 1 teasp turmeric
  • 1 teasp cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp rosmarine
  • Salt and pepper
  • preserved lemon juice
  • or
  • the juice of one fresh lemon
  • 750 ml carrot juice
  • 100 ml water

tagine2Tagine with meat balls and peas

Put mince meat with soaked bread roll, diced onion (small cubes), 1 egg and 1 tbsp cumin in a bowl and mix together. Form the mixture into small balls of about 3 cm and put aside.

Pour olive oil into a large pan or a tagine pot. Fry the second onion. Add finely-chopped tomatoes with their juice and bring to the boil, add peas and carrot juice. Add dry spices, pressed garlic and salt to taste. Carefully place the meat-balls into the sauce and cover the pan. Cook for approximately 20 minutes at medium heat. If preferred, it can be left to sizzle over a long time at a very low temperature and making sure that there is always enough moisture in the pan.

Before serving whisk carefully one or two eggs per person, add to the mixture and cover till cooked. Before serving sprinkle with fresh coriander (cilantro), to give it that special Maghrebian touch.

This is one of those recipes that tastes better the next day, in which case the eggs are always prepared shortly before serving. Tagine is best served with fresh baguette (to soak up the sauce) and Harissa (the North African version of Sambal Oelek).

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400 g mince meat
  • 350 g peas (deeply frozen)
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 1 bread roll from the previous day, soaked
  • 800 g tin of tomatoes with its own juice
  • 300 ml carrot juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 teasp cumin (jeera)
  • 2 teasp paprika
  • 1 teasp ground coriander
  • 1/2 teasp turmeric
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 bundle of fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • 5 eggs or more

zucciniFried courgettes (zucchini)

Cut the courgettes into thin slices 1 mm thick, fry in plenty of oil so that the courgettes can swim in it. I always use a wok for frying the courgettes because you can fry all the slices at the same time. alternatively I use a pan and prepare them in portions. The frying takes about 30 minutes. Half way through I gently turn the slices over. They are ready when turned golden brown. I then put the slices onto plenty of kitchen roll to allow them to drip and add the onion to the oil. If the oil is still really hot, it will only take 1 or 2 minutes to be ready. The rest is really easy: put the courgettes in a bowl, add the onions, add pressed garlic, pour balsamico vinegar, add salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Sprinkle chopped coriander over the mixture. The courgettes taste better when prepared the previous day as the flavour needs time to develop. Serve at room temperature with baguette.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg courgettes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp balsamico vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Approx. 1/2 bundle of fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • Salt and pepper

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