Ramadan iftar: 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.

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 hollow 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 hollowed 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.

Give it a try!

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