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Marqa L'3dess | Algerian Lentil Stew

  This earthy and saucyflavored stew is surprisingly delicious and can easily stretch to feed a crowd as it's loaded with potatoes. 

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
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Marqa L'3dess مرقة العدس also called L'3dess  (or ragoût de lentilles à l'Algérienne in Frenchis a traditional Algerian dish that is prepared mainly during the winter when it is cold.

The lentil soup  is a legume rich in iron and very nutritious.  Marqa L'3dess satiates the hungry belly well. At home, we add vegetables such as carrots or potatoes to make a complete dish that we accompany our homemade bread like Khoubz Matlouh or the Kabyle galette Kesra.

Unlike other beans, you don't need to soak them the day before to make them double in size. The lentils I prefer to use are the small French Puy that are extra small and thin, making them even easier to cook. 

This is an easy and very tasty dish to prepare. Towards the end of cooking, I like to add a green pepper that will bring more taste to the sauce.

↠↠↠ Other recipes of traditional Algerian dishes

๑۞๑ Marqa L'3dess is naturally gluten-free but contains meat, but you easily omit the meat  making this dish vegetarian and vegan friendly. See Kitchen Tips for more tips.


So let's get started with the recipe...


main dishes | serves about 6-8

Marqa L'3dess  
Algerian Lentil Stew  
  This earthy and saucyflavored stew is surprisingly delicious and can easily stretch to feed a crowd as it's loaded with potatoes. 

 Few piece of (bone-in) chicken, beef, lamb of your choice
‣ 2 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped 

‣ 2 TBS tomato paste

‣ 2 TBS dersa (red pepper paste)

‣ 3 cloves of garlic, minced

‣ 1 tsp of salt
‣ 2 bay leaves
‣ 1 TBS paprika
‣ 2 tsp Ras el hanount spice mixture
‣ 1/2 tsp of cumin

‣ 1/4 tsp black pepper
‣ 1/2 tsp hot chili pepper (optional)
‣ 1 green  pepper
‣ 2 carrots cut in a slice
‣ 2 potatoes, cut into wedges or cubes

‣ 400g  - 2 cups lentils
‣ Handful of chopped coriander/cilantro
‣ Handful of chopped parsley 
‣ oil, water or stock

‣ Harissa, to taste

1 - Add the finely chopped onion into a large heavy bottom pot along with some oil. Brown for a few minutes until soft. Add the meat, sliced carrots, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, spices and enough liquid to cover. Simmer on low for about 15 minutes.

2 - Rinse the lentils and pick through them, removing any debris. Place the lentils and the herbs in the pot along with the bay leaf, herbs, green pepper and 2x the volume of the lentils, allowing it cook covered for about 10 minutes, or until soft.

If the liquid becomes too low, add more. 

3 - Clean and cut the potatoes. Taste the lentils, adjust the seasoning. They should be soft enough to break under your teeth. Now add in the potatoes to cook for an additional 5-8 minutes.

 Spin the potatoes and cut in quarters. Taste the lentils for seasoning; adjust as needed. Add in the potatoes, cooking them for about 5-8 minutes, until tender.

Sprinkle with chopped herbs and serve hot with crusty bread.

    Make Ahead
    ⇝ This stew is easily made ahead up to 2 days before you would like to serve it.

    ⇝ This stew can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days in a food storage container. I wouldn't freeze it. I think it would become too mushy. 

    ⇝ You could substitute merguez or something other types of sausage in this recipe.

    ⇝ You substitute other vegetables in this dish.

    Vegan & Vegetarian
    ⇝ To make this dish veg-friendly omit the meat and use vegetable stock.


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     ➤ This stew  would be delicious served  with this homemade bread
    ➤ Or even try this zataar fan-tans.
    ➤ Or get inspired at the Recipe Index.

    do you like lentils? let us know which ones in the comments below. 

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