Tunisian shorba frik recipe
Ramadan mubarak! For our first Ramadan recipe, we couldn't start with anything other than shorba (chorba). This delicious, satisfying soup is an absolute staple on every Tunisian dinner table for all 30 nights of Ramadan. It is well loved any time of year but especially during this month of fasting as it is not only a delicious meal with hearty ingredients such as frik and meat, but it is also water-based so the idea is you are quenching both your hunger and thirst with one dish. This year, hydration is particularly important for those in northern latitudes as sunset occurs quite late (shoutout to Seattle- 9:04pm tonight!). There are of course usually other dishes to go along with shorba, and we look forward to sharing some of those with you soon! Happy fasting!
RECIPE FOR TUNISIAN SHORBA
~1lb meat or chicken cut up into small pieces
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
5-6 gloves garlic
2 tbs ras el hanout spice
1/2 of a large or one small onion chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne
1 cup frik (or 'freekeh', green wheat)
1/2 cup celery chopped
1/2 cup cilantro chopped
one 6oz can tomato paste
1 tsp dry mint
1/2 cup chickpeas (optional)
Water (amount will vary, have a pot or kettle of hot water ready during cooking)
With a mortar and pestle, mash together the garlic and ras el hanout spices.
In a large soup pot, add enough oil to fully cover the bottom and turn the heat on between medium and medium high.
Add in the garlic and spice mixture, onion, salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, tomato paste and saute for a few minutes until it all comes together and is fragrant.
Add your meat or chicken and continue to saute a few more minutes. You may need to add a little water at this point to keep the meat or chicken from sticking or burning.
Add enough water to fill your pot about 3/4 of the way, or about the amount of finished soup you want to have.
*Note: If you're not sure, add a little less than you might think because you can add as it cooks if it starts to look to thick or reduce too much.
Add the frik and celery, reduce the heat to low and cook for approximately one hour or until meat is tender and the soup has thickened slightly.
Optional: if desired, add chickpeas to the soup. If using canned/cooked chickpeas, add towards the end of cooking just to heat through. If using dried chickpeas, add them at the same time as the meat.
To finish, add the cilantro and mint and serve with bread. Enjoy :)