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Chtitha Chiflôr | Algerian Braised Cauliflower

    بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
    السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
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    How do you define simple?

    Something easy?

    Not too complicated?

    Something with a few steps or ingredients?

    I know I often rave about simplicity in the kitchen but this dish is a classic example of that. The hardest part about this dish is chopping it up into neat florets. The easiest part is the cooking. Just imagine, in season cauliflower braised with tomato paste, onion, spoon of dersa (homemade pepper paste), garlic and some spices. Voila! A quick and simple meal to warm your bones during this cold season.

    Simplicity rules ok!

    You can easily pair the braised cauliflower with your favourite protein or serve it as the main vegetarian star attraction with a side of olives. Butdon’t forget some crusty bread to mop up those gorgeous, olive oil infused juices.

    ⇨⇨⇨ Did you know that in the Middle Ages the British used to call the cauliflower “Cyprus Colewort”? It is believed that the cauliflower originated in Cyprus, where the oldest record dates from the 6th century b.C. Cauliflower, arrived in Europe from Cyprus by the Venetians. It was then introduced to mainland Europe through Italy in the mid-16th century and only when King of France, Louis IIV tried it and liked it, it became very popular. Since then they began to cultivate it, especially in the region of Brittany.

    PS ... When I served this Algerian style braised cauliflower dish to a friend recently, she remarked that not only was it tasty but quite frugal too. So it's a definite must-have in your cooking répertoire 😉

    So let's get started with the recipe.

    Chtitha Chiflôr 

    This unusual but flavoursome cauliflower dish is cooked in a delicious Algerian  sauce. 

    main dishes | yields about 4-6 servings
    ACTIVE PREP TIME: 15mins
    COOK TIME: 20-25 mins


    ‣ 1 whole head of cauliflower
    ‣ 1 large onion, finely chopped
    ‣ 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
    ‣ ½ tsp ground cumin
    ‣ ¼ tsp (or to taste) Harissa paste
    ‣ 1 tsp sweet red paprika
    ‣ pinch of ground cinnamon
    ‣ pinch of ground coriander
    ‣ 1 rounded TBS tomato paste
    ‣ olive oil
    ‣ Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    ‣ water to cover

    ‣ Peas, (optional)
    ‣ Lemon, to serve with (optional)

    1. Clean the cauliflower, removing the core and leaves. You can use the core and leaves, they're edible. Just make sure you cut the core into smaller pieces than the florettes.
    2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium to high heat.
    3. Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent.
    4. Add the cauliflower florets. Sauté the cauliflower has slightly caramelised (about 5 minutes).Then add in the optional fresh peas, if using. 
    5. Add the spices, tomatoe paste, Harissa, salt and pepper and water. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15-20 mins or until cauliflower becomes tender. Don't overcook, into a mush.
    6. Serve immediately with bread and lemon.
    You can store this dish in a food-safe container, in the fridge for up to 4 days. I wouldn't recommend freezing cauliflower as it would be very mushy once reheated. 
    ⇝ As you can see in the picture I added fresh peas. Some cooks add chickpeas to this dish. I personally prefer peas.  If using chickpeas, make sure they're precooked chickpeas. The cauliflower will cook faster than the uncooked chickpeas. For tips on how to dried chickpeas or any other beans, click here.
    ⇝ Another variation, of this you can bread the cauliflower in egg + flour + some of the spices used in the sauce,  fry, and then slowly braised in the sauce as per the recipe above.

     CATEGORIES:  vegetarian, vegan, healthy, algerian savory

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        1 comment:

        1. Wa alaykum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa baarakatuhu,
          Saha for your comment over on my blog.
          Your vegetarian chtitha looks so yummy and perfectly in season. Pinning to my pinterest board 'All things Algerian'.


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