بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
There's a tradition here in Algeria around the foothills of the Atlas Mountains near the city of Blida. Women in the spring and early summer months can be seen collecting lavender. Lavender is a much-loved herb that is a part of local seasonal practices. The picking of wild lavender reminds all of the harmony we have with nature. Eating of one famous dish, called "Hammama Blidéen" or "Taâm Hâlhal" is one of luxury and nostalgia that people of the north living near these ancient wild fields still enjoy today.
This dish gets its name "Hammama" (meaning sauna bath) from the sweating effect after its consumption. It's quite an interesting phenomenon. It's a fusion of the expertise of the Berber and Andalusian kitchen. The exact composition of the herb bouquet for the Hammama differs from a cook to another. Some cooks just use the wild lavender while others like to add other herbs in like wild thyme and oregano. There seems be several versions out, according to the virtues the cook wishes to draw out. Today, I'm showing you a version I learned from my husban's aunt Kheira. 😃
The appearance of wild lavender, in Algeria symbolizing tradition, end of the winter chill and the arrival of spring's bounty. The eating of this couscous is like a spring cleaning of the Algerian stomach. It's said to bring immunity of the colds and flu of the colder months. I don't have any concrete evidence to share but lavender's medicinal use has been documented for centuries.
Traditionally, this dish is made by rolling fine and medium grained semolina with steamed lavender buds, but I'm taking a shortcut ... making this dish more accessible for home cooks and using store bought couscous - not rolling my own. I've added less lavender than most Algerian cooks would since I don't like to overpower the subtleness of this herb. In my opinion, adding too much lavender makes you feel like you're eating perfume.
So let's get started with the recipe.
I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram & Facebook. Just Hashtag them #thetealtadjine
© All recipes, content, and images, including any not yet watermarked, are copyright of THE TEAL TADJINE, unless noted otherwise. You are free to print recipes for personal use, but you may not republish (i.e., copy and paste) anything from this site at other blogs, websites, forums, Facebook pages, and other sites that are available to search engines, without prior written and specific permission. All rights reserved.