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Dolma batatas wa qarâa | Algerian stuffed potatoes and courgettes

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In Algeria, there are some dishes that appear on the table year around in one shape or form. Today, I would like to share one such dish, the Dolma. Dolma is a family of stuffed foods. They either have a meat based filling or a vegetarian one like rice or frik (green wheat). Dolmas were brought over from Turkey during the Ottoman Empire's rule in Algeria. The name was taken by its Turkish name dolmak. This dish possibly orginated from the Greek dolmades.

In Algeria, generally dolma is always a vegetable stuffed with meat filling. Algerian cooks favour stuffing potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes, aubergines even cabbage. It is economical dish that usually appears on everyday dinner tables. Depending on the region, a white or red sauce is used to cook the stuffed  vegetables in. Today, I present a classic Algiers presentation of Dolma.

To note, this dish depending on the region is also referred to as Dolma koulicha wa batatas or Dolma pomme de terre et courgettes. 



Dolma batatas wa qarâa  
- serves 6 people
Prep Time: 15 minutes (active) | Cook Time:  25 - 30 minutes

  • 1 onion, diced small
  • 500g potatoes
  • 500g courgettes
  • 500g ground meat
  • 150g of rice OR ¼ cup breadcrumbs ۞  
  • half of a lemon
  • 150g precooked chickpeas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • salt  / oil
  1. Clean the courgettes and potatoes. Then proceed to hallow them out with a spoon or a vegetable corer. 
  2. Mix the filling: ground meat, 1 egg, half of the parsley, rice, salt, pich of black pepper and cinnamon.
  3. Stuff the hallowed vegetarians with the filling. Set aside. You will have extra filling, make meatballs from this.
  4. Sauté the onions in the oil.
  5. Add back in the meat, chickpeas and spices. 
  6. Now add in the stuffed vegetables and meatballs.
  7. Cook on a low fire until the vegetables are cooked through.
  8. Now gently remove the vegetables, then proceed to let the sauce reduce for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  9. Now add back the vegetables into the pot.
  10. Whisk the egg with the lemon, then add into the pot to further thicken and flavour the sauce.
To serve, place several of the stuffed vegetables in a wide plate. Arrange some of the meat and meatballs on the plate. Ladle the sauce over it. Eat with fried potatoes and crusty bread.

۞ Please note, I have used dried breadcrumbs when I took these pictures. Traditionally, rice is used around Algiers, but breadcrumbs or soaked bread is fine also.

 ۞ version popular around Algiers is Dolma el raïs, where morsels of beef or lamb are also cooked with the stuffed vegetables, chickpeas and meatballs.


31 comments:

  1. sounds yummy for the tummy! I think I will try this recipe before I leave for Algeria...just to see how I like it

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  2. a little different to the recipe my mother in law gave me but really nice. She puts a little piece of cheese in the veg before stuffing and uses the scooped out potato and courgette chopped up to thicken the sauce insted of egg. :-))

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