Tikourbabine: Semolina dumplings in herb soup

This Kabyle recipe is made of a fragrant herby broth and minty semolina dumplings. Although the original version of this dish does include meat, the hearty dumplings are quite filling enough to hold their own without it.

INGREDIENTS

For the sauce

  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 small courgettes
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ras al-hanout
  • Salt

For the dumplings

  • 3 cups of medium semolina
  • 1 onion
  • 1 egg
  • A bunch of mint
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 ladles of sauce (see below)
  • Salt

METHOD

For the sauce

  1. Finely chop the onions and celery and fry gently in olive oil until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the crushed garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  3. Peel and slice the carrots lengthways and then add them to the pan.
  4. Add boiling water to cover the vegetables generously, then add the tomato paste, cumin, ras al-hanout, half of the fresh coriander and salt to taste.
  5. Bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat.
  6. Slice the courgettes lengthways and add them to the pan with ten minutes to go.

For the dumplings

  1. Tip the semolina into a bowl along with the oil. Rub the oil into the semolina until it is completely distributed throughout.
  2. Finely chop the onion, garlic and mint.
  3. Add the chopped onion to semolina and mix before adding the chopped mint, chopped garlic, egg, salt and paprika.
  4. To make the dumpling dough, use a ladle to add some of the sauce to the dumpling mix, bringing everything together with your hands. You want to achieve a dough that holds together without being so soft that it falls apart or too chewy. Three ladles of sauce is a good place to start. Bear in mind that the dumplings will tend to firm up when cooked.
  5. Form into large dumplings – slightly larger than an egg – and drop them into the stew. Allow to simmer over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Once the vegetables and dumplings are cooked, sprinkle with the rest of the fresh coriander and serve.

To make this warming stew suitable for vegans, simply make the dumplings without the egg, which is only there to help them bind a little more easily.