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Maraq Digaag is a Somali chicken stew recipe that is a flavorful and comforting dish made with chicken, vegetables, and a xawash spices. The dish is often served with rice or bread, and it’s known for its rich and savory taste.

Somali chicken stew Maraq Digaag served with potatoes & carrots in a plate bowl

Maraq Digaag is a delicious Somali chicken stew that brings together tender chicken, potatoes, carrots, and a mix of spices like cumin and turmeric. This comforting dish reflects the rich history of Somalia, with influences from Arab, Persian, Indian, and Italian culinary traditions, creating a unique and flavorful experience.

What makes this food a must-try is not just its tasty blend but also the cultural story it tells. It’s a connection to Somali heritage, showcasing the nomadic lifestyle and diverse influences that have shaped the country’s cuisine. In this recipe, I am going to show you how to make a delicious Somalian Chicken stew- Maraq Digaag.

Somali chicken stew Maraq Digaag served with potatoes & carrots in a plate bowlSomali chicken stew Maraq Digaag served with potatoes & carrots in a plate bowl

Recipe Ingredient

Here is the ingredient to make the Somali Maraq Digaag:

  • Chicken (Drumstick, Thigh, Breast): In this recipe, you can use different parts like drumsticks, thighs, or breasts, which add tasty and tender pieces to the stew.
  • Garlic: Its often used to give the stew a flavorful and aromatic kick.
  • Red Onion: The onion is processed in a food processor to create a puree, bringing a mild and tasty essence to the dish.
  • Green Bell Pepper: This crunchy and green vegetable adds freshness and a bit of sweetness to this dish, contributing to its overall delicious flavor when processed into a puree .
  • Tomatoes: The tomatoes are processed into a puree, providing a saucy base and adding a natural sweetness to the stew.
  • Coriander Leaves: Coriander leaves, also known as cilantro, are processed in a food processor to create a paste. They add a fresh and herby taste to the stew.
  • Tomato Paste: The tomato paste is used to enhance the tomato flavor and thicken the stew.
  • Xawash Spice: Xawash spice is a blend of aromatic spices used in Somali cuisine, including cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon and turmeric.
  • Potatoes: Potatoes are often diced and added to this stew, providing a hearty and filling element to the dish.
  • Carrots: Carrots add a sweet and earthy flavor to the stew, as well as a vibrant color and a nutritious crunch.
  • Other Ingredients: The remaining ingredients include water for preparing the stew and vegetable oil for cooking and pan-frying the potatoes and carrots.

Step by Step Instruction

Step 1: In a food processor, combine tomatoes, coriander leaves, red onion, garlic, and bell pepper.

Step 2: Turn on the food process to make it into a puree. Set it aside.

Step 3: In a cooking pot, add vegetable oil at medium heat.

Step 4: Once hot, add the chicken and gently stir for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Add the Xawash spices and give it a quick stir.

Step 6: Transfer the green puree into the chicken. Gently mixed to combine.

Step 7-8: Pour 3-4 cups of water and gently stir to combine. Once boiling, adjust to low heat and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes. After 15 minutes of simmering, add tomato paste and give a quick stir.

Step 9-10: In a separate pan, pour vegetable oil and pan-fry the potatoes and carrots. You can just partially cook it since the rest will be done through a simmering process.

Step 11-12: Transfer the partially fried potatoes and carrots into the stew. Let it simmer for 5 more minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Serve it with rice or bread. Enjoy!

Somali chicken stew Maraq Digaag served with potatoes & carrots in a plate bowlSomali chicken stew Maraq Digaag served with potatoes & carrots in a plate bowl

Tips and Hints

  • It goes well with rice, flatbreads, or Somali-style bread like “canjeero.” You can also try it with yogurt on the side or a bit of lemon for extra flavor.
  • For a softer and more delicious result, try cooking Maraq Digaag slowly. This allows the spices and ingredients to mix, making the taste stronger.
  • Cut the potatoes and carrots into the same sizes so they cook evenly. This helps keep a good texture in the stew, with both vegetables getting just right at the same time.
  • If your chicken has bones, it can make the stew taste even better. The bones also help make the broth richer as everything cooks.
  • If you want it spicy, you can put in some red chili pepper.

Other Chicken Stew recipes to try

Here are other delicious chicken stew recipes that you can make at home:

  1. Indian Palak Chicken Curry
  2. Turkish Tavuk Sote
  3. Emirati Chicken Salona

📋 Recipe Card

Somali Maraq Digaag

Saif Al Deen Odeh

Maraq Digaag is a delicious Somali chicken stew made with chicken, vegetables, and aromatic xawash spices. It’s often served with rice or bread, boasting a rich and savory flavor.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 40 minutes

Total Time 50 minutes

Course Main

Cuisine North African, Somali

Servings 5

Calories 611 kcal

Ingredients  

  • 1.5 pounds of Chicken Drumstick, Thigh, Breast
  • 4 cloves of Garlic
  • 2 medium-sized Red Onion
  • 1 medium-sized Green Bell Pepper
  • 3 medium-sized Tomatoes processed
  • ½ cup of Coriander Leaves processed
  • 2 tablespoons of Tomato Paste
  • 1-2 tablespoons of Xawash Spice adjust to taste
  • 1 large-sized Potatoes diced
  • 2 medium-sized Carrots sliced
  • 3-4 cups of Water for stew consistency
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Vegetable Oil

Instructions 

  • In a food processor, blend tomatoes, coriander leaves, red onion, garlic, and bell pepper into a puree and set aside.

  • Heat vegetable oil in a cooking pot and add chicken, stirring for 5 minutes.

  • Add Xawash spices to the chicken and give it a quick stir.

  • Combine the green puree with the chicken, gently mixing to combine.

  • Pour 3-4 cups of water into the pot, stirring gently. Once boiling, adjust to low heat and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes.

  • After 15 minutes of simmering, add tomato paste to the pot and give it a quick stir.

  • In a separate pan, pan-fry potatoes and carrots in vegetable oil. Partially cook them since the rest will be done through the simmering process.

  • Transfer the partially fried potatoes and carrots into the stew.

  • Let the stew simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

  • Serve the Maraq Digaag with rice or bread and enjoy!

Notes

  • Add more water if the stew has a thick consistency
  • If you desire a spicier flavor, incorporate red chili pepper when combining the remaining ingredients in the food processor.

Nutrition

Serving: 5gCalories: 611kcalCarbohydrates: 48.2gProtein: 17.4gFat: 41.7gSaturated Fat: 8.2gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 450mgPotassium: 1106mgFiber: 6.3gSugar: 11gCalcium: 196mgIron: 4mg

Keyword Maraq Digaag, Somalian Chicken Stew

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