I thought I could post yet another way to make this Algerian dish.
I never thought to use carrots and onions also with or without green peppers, but here in Metlili that is what they use, in fact, nobody uses onions and tomatoes except myself. They also add cheese and meat or chicken. It's wonderful!
2 tbs tomato paste or 1 of each tomato paste and harrisa
1 ts cumin
1 ts paprika
2 or 3 ts of hot paprika (optional)
salt to taste
chicken or meat (optional)
olive oil, the non virgin type or any other vegetable oil
Knead together the semolina, salt and water until a smooth grain free dough is achieved. It will be really soft, even a bit sticky. This does take a long long time if you do it by hand.
Gently oil, cover and set aside.
Chop all of the veggies into small bits with a knife, food process if you are me, or grate if you are a true Algerian... which I guess I'm not because that takes way to long in my book! Throw them into a pot over medium/high heat and cook until soft and water has evaporated.
Add the seasoning, tomato paste, cheese, chicken or meat if using and give it a good stir.
I cook mhajeb on the floor these days. It's new, in the States I didn't because I didn't have this nifty fire device. Since I do now, it's become my best friend for making this pastry. The bowl is for making and filling the pastry, the cookie sheet is for setting the finished ones on, the tongs are for flipping. I still don't use my hands, being the weeny I am.
(the soap bottle is actually olive oil, it makes shaping the pastry easy ... don't worry I only use about 1/4 or less of a cup per Mhajeb day!)
So here it is.. step by step how to fold it.
& there you have it. Gently press it out, pick it up and place on a hot griddle.
Cook until golden brown, if you make the heat really hot they will be soft, if you cook it slowly they will be crunchy, which is how I like them.
Serve them with soup and salad, or with salad as we do in the warmer months.
They also go really well with tea.