Chakhchoukha is a traditional Algerian dish that is made with torn pieces of rougag flatbread soaked in a rich tomato-based broth and mixed with chicken, carrots, and chickpeas. This flavorful tomato-based sauce is made from a combination of including onion, garlic, tomato paste, and ras el hanout spice.
Chakhchoukha is one of my favorite Algerian foods which originated from Kabylie region of Algeria. It is actually similar to the Arabian Gulf dish called Tashreeb since the bread is also soaked in tomato stew. It is considered a full meal since it contains protein from the meat, carbohydrates from the flatbread, and vegetables that are rich in nutritional value.
The word Chakhchoukha comes from the “tacherchert” in Chaouia language meaning “crumbling or tearing into small pieces”. This makes sense since the main ingredient of this recipe is the flatbread. Traditionally, the Algerian flatbread or rougag is made from semolina dough, which is used to make the bread, and then cut into pieces before steaming in salt water to make it soft before the sauce is pour on top.
Is Chakchouka and Chakhchoukha the same?
One of the biggest confusions from others is that they misunderstood Chakchouka with Chakhchoukha, which is completely different at all.
Chakchouka or Shakshuka is a North African and Middle Eastern dish that consists of poached egg in flavorful tomato & pepper-based sauce with different spices including cumin and paprika. This is found in countries like Morocco, Tunisia, and Israel.
On the other hand, Chakhchoukha is specifically an Algerian dish similar to the Kuwaiti Tashreeb dish which consists of meat, vegetables, and teared pieces of flatbread soaked in a rich tomato-based broth.
Here are the ingredients you need to make a delicious Algerian Chakhchoukha recipe:
Chicken: This will be the main protein for this recipe I am using drumstick since it’s juicy and tender. The chicken will be cooked in the broth, adding richness to the stew.
Tomato Paste: This will provide a concentrated tomato flavor and a rich red color to my stew.
Ras El Hanout: This is a popular North African spice that is a combination of cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, and others. This is the most important ingredient to add flavors to this dish.
Carrots: The carrots will be the vegetable used in this dish which is sliced and cooked in the broth.
Chickpeas: I am using this legumes which provides protein and texture to the dish.
Rougag Flatbread: I am using an Algerian flatbread made from semolina flour which is torn into small pieces and soaked in the broth, creating a unique flavor. You can alternatively use any flatbread that is available in your area.
Water: I use water to make the broth and combine it with tomato paste and other ingredients.
Other ingredients: The rest you will need red onion, garlic, and olive oil. The olive oil will be used to sauté the onion and garlic to enhance the flavor of the dish.
Step by Step Instruction
I. Making the Spiced Tomato Stew
Step 1: Heat the oil in the cooking pan. Once hot, I sauteed the onion till it turns translucent before adding the garlic.
Step 2: Next, I added the chicken drumstick. Gently stir to combine.
Step 3: After that, I added the Ras el Hanout and tomato paste, and gently mix to combine.
Step 4: Pour water enough to cover the chicken and wait till it starts to boil.
Step 5: When it’s boiling, I added the carrots, and lowered the heat to let it simmer for 30 minutes.
Step 6: Once you reached 20 minutes, add the drained chickpeas, and continue simmering.
Step 7 and 8: Once it’s already cooked, turn off the heat. Remove the chicken and transfer into the oven to broil to brown the chicken. Set it aside along with the tomato stew.
II. Steaming the Flatbread
Step 9 and 10: For the rougag flatbread, tear it into smaller pieces.
Step 11: By using the rice cooker or any cooking pot, I poured water and wait till it started to simmer.
Step 12, 13, and 14: Lastly, place a metal rack over a pot of simmering water and cover it with the lid. Let it steam for up to 10 minutes or until the flatbread is soft. Once done, you can start serving it together with the tomato broth
III. How to serve the Chakhchoukha?
To serve the Algerian Chakhchoukha, you need to place a steamed torn flatbread into the plate, and then pour the spiced tomato broth on top of it to make it soft. Lastly, place the chicken, carrots, and chickpeas on the flatbread. This will serve as a full meal since it contains protein from the chicken and carbohydrates from the flatbread.
- You can replace chicken with lamb or beef.
- Use different vegetables like zucchini, potatoes, or bell pepper.
- To make it spicy, add green chilies or jalapeno peppers.
- If you prefer flatbread that is softer and fluffier, use arabic khubz / kuboos or other flatbread recipes that does contain mainly white or wheat flour.
- If you don’t have Ras El Hanout spice, you can use Baharat or Arabic Masala spice.
Other Algerian food recipes to Try
If you love Algerian food, here are other delicious recipes that you can make at home:
2. Kesra Bread
📋 Recipe Card
Algerian Chakhchoukha Recipe
Chakhchoukha is an Algerian recipe that consist of torn rougag flatbread soaked in a spiced tomato-based broth enriched with chicken, carrots, and chickpeas.
- 6 chicken drumsticks
- 2 carrots sliced
- 1 cup canned chickpeas
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons ras el hanout
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Rougag flatbread quantity depends on personal preference, usually a few pieces
Heat the oil in a cooking pan. When it’s hot, sauté the onion until it becomes translucent, then add the garlic.
Introduce the chicken drumsticks and gently stir to combine.
Add Ras el Hanout and tomato paste, gently mixing to combine.
Pour enough water to cover the chicken and wait for it to come to a boil.
Once boiling, add the carrots and reduce the heat to let it simmer for 30 minutes.
At the 20-minute mark, incorporate the drained chickpeas and continue simmering.
When fully cooked, turn off the heat. Remove the chicken and transfer it to the oven to broil for 5 minutes or until browned. Set it aside with the tomato stew.
For the rougag flatbread, tear it into smaller pieces.
Using a rice cooker or any cooking pot, pour water and wait for it to start simmering.
Place a metal rack over a pot of simmering water, cover it with a lid, and let it steam for up to 10 minutes or until the flatbread becomes soft.
Once done, you can start serving the torn rougag flatbread along with the tomato broth and the browned chicken.
Arrange steamed torn flatbread on a plate, pour spiced tomato broth to soften it, and top with chicken, carrots, and chickpeas. Enjoy!
- To see the pictures of the recipe instructions, please look at the step by step section in the recipe post.
- Add green chilies you want it spicy
- You can use kuboos, pita bread or any flatbread if you don’t have rougag.
- Use Baharat or Arabic Masala if you don’t have Ras El Hanout.
Calories: 573kcalCarbohydrates: 73.3gProtein: 35.2gFat: 14.8gSaturated Fat: 2.5gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 552mgPotassium: 879mgFiber: 13.3gSugar: 9.8gCalcium: 172mgIron: 7mg