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Sépia Chtitha | Algerian cuttlefish in a piquant sauce



بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته



Cuttlefish is a marine animal that can be found in the Mediterranean, amoung others large bodies of water around the World. It isin the same family as squid and octupuses.

Here in Algeria, along the coasts one can find cuttlefish (and other seafood) fresh off the boats. But also frozen imported from Spain. Eating fresh seafood can be expensive here in Algeria, but when bought in small amounts as part of a banquet of Algerian dishes, one can benefit from its rich Protein and Phosphorus. 

In Algeria, generally cuttlefish is prepared in the traditional Andalusian way of being breaded and then fried, but also a piquant red sauce called 'Chtitha'. Today, I am presenting the later.

Sépia Chtitha
Algerian cuttlefish in a piquant sauce
serves 4
  • 1kg cuttlefish, cleaned and sliced (fresh or frozen) ๑۞๑  
  •  2 tomatoes
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  •  1 tablespoons of tomato paste 
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  •  1 bay leaf 
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • oil 
  • salt and black pepper 
  • optional harissa 
  • parsely and cilantro chopped (for decor)
  • lemon on the side
  1.  Wash the cuttlefish, then carefully remove the ink sac. Be careful not to puncture the sac.
  2. Remove the bone.
  3. Slice the head part. And cut the tentacles in half. Or leave whole if it is small.
  4. Make the dersa: sauté the minced garlic and onion in oil.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients. 
  6. And also a large glass of water and the cuttlefish.
  7. Cover, bring to a boil, then lower to simmer.
  8. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the cuttlefish is tender.
Serve with fried potatoes or steamed rice. Decorate with the chopped herbs and squeeze some lemon over the dish before serving.

๑۞๑  You can also use calamar (squid) or shrimp(prawns) in this recipe.




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