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Tbikha el Rabî3 | Algerian Brasied Artichokes, Fava Beans and Peas.

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

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Springtime is here! And the countryside is brimming with fresh new crops of produce. Vegetables or khodra as they are called in Algeria are prominent in Algerian cuisine. The Mediterranean- Algerian diet may offer the most options for vegetarians, or anyone looking to increase vegetables in their diet. Algerian cuisine is really rich and varied. It's synonymous with its simple preparation of local abundant ingredients.

The variety of locally grown seasonal products and unique ways of preparing them to make for a mini-laboratory of vegetable goodness. Whereas often we find vegetables as a side dish in many American or European cuisine, they are front in center in most Algerian dishes. Every meal begins with a vegetable laden soup which is accompanied by a salad, a simple mosaic of fresh vegetables. And weekday meals usually consist of a Djouez, a vegetable based stew along with piles and piles of freshly baked bread.

In Algeria, as in much of North Africa, food is not just nutrition. It’s a celebration of life, colour, aroma, atmosphere, magic, history and tradition. Even after 10+ years living in Algeria, I'm still fascinated by the markets. I have presented to you all gradually some recipes of Algeria modern and of yesteryear, recipes forgotten but somehow inherited (by me) by countless hours with my Algerian family and friends. I have already proposed on my blog some Algerian recipes. More widely known ones such Chourba frik and Dolma Courgette but also some forgotten ones such as Tadjine S'fardjel, Selq bel roz and Qahwa Maâtra.

Each season, brings with it certain tastes and colours to savour. In the winter, we warmed our bones with hearty slowly braised stews and as we came into spring more and more delicate fresh flavours greet us. Some of my favourite dishes are usually vegetarian. 

ChakchoukaHmissGgarantita and Chtitha Chiflôr are some of my favourites, in fact. Today, I'm going to share a seasonal stewed vegetable dish that's 100% vegan and also Paleo-friendly.  I've previously presented a preparation of this using rice and potatoes, but today's version is a bit different with more fresh and bright flavours.

Tbikha is a very beloved dish to many in Algeria, as artichokes are a much favoured vegetable. Artichokes are members of the thistle family, which can make them a bit prickly and unapproachable—but they're really good for you, and tasty too.People would impatiently for the artichokes season in order to feasts on the tender delicious flesh of artichokes globes. Lucky for us, with technical advances the growing season is longer here in Algeria.

For this recipe, super tender baby artichokes are best. If you can't get a hold of baby artichokes the more mature variety or even frozen are fine. I wouldn't suggest using canned artichoke though. 

If you need a bit of help cleaning the artichokes, take a look at this video here.

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So let's get started with the recipe.

KITCHEN TIME 🕓 ACTIVE PREP TIME : 20 - 30 min |   INACTIVE PREP TIME : 0 min  |  COOK TIME : 20 min  
main dishes | serves  about 4- 5

Springtime Algerian braised vegetable stew

 500g - 1lb shelled sweet peas
‣ 500g - 1lb shelled fava beans
‣ 5 - 6 cleaned artichokes, halved or quartered
‣ 1 large onion, chopped fine
‣ 3 garlic cloves, minced
‣ few saffron threads
‣ generous pinch of ground ginger
‣ 1 hot pepper or harissa to taste (optional)
‣ 1 large ripe tomatoes, chopped or crushed
‣ 1 TBS tomato paste
‣ 1 TBS desra (pepper paste)
‣ 1 tsp sweet paprika 
‣ About a quarter preserved lemon, minced
‣ generous handful of chopped parsley
‣ generous handful of chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
‣ small handful of chopped fresh mint leaves
‣ oil, salt, black pepper, water

To serve: extra virgin olive oil, lemon, chopped coriander and parsley

1. Clean the fava beans. You can add some of the fava bean pods if they're young and tender. A quick tip for having perfectly cooked fava beans is pricking them with a needle so that the insides cook at the same rate as the outer skin.

Clean the artichokes and peas as well. Set aside.

2. Place the saffron threads in a glass of warm water and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.

3. In a heavy bottom pot, saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the tomato, tomato paste, spices, lemon, vegetables and half the herbs. Now add in the saffron enough water to cover the vegetables. Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes. Check around the 15minutes mark.

4. Once the vegetables are tender, add in the remaining herbs then allow the sauce to reduce for additional 5 minutes.

Serve with herbs on top and lemon. This goes nicely with some rice, potatoes or freshly baked bread. 

     This dish can be stored in the fridge in a food-safe container for up to 4 days. This dish isn't freezable.

    You can vary this dish by adding in rice or potatoes or alternatively add in lamb, beef or veal.

    You can use frozen vegetables here if you cannot find them fresh. Or alternatively use other vegetables here like turnips or Jerusalem artichokes if you like.

     CATEGORIES: algerian savoury, main dishes,  VEGETARIAN, VEGAN, HEALTHY, QUICK AND EASY,

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        This dish would go very nicely with this olive bread. And washed down with this cooling homemade Orangina.

        Or alternatively, browse through the recipe index to get inspired.

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