Algeria: Lamb tagine with cinnamon recipe
Pierre Khodja, of Canvas restaurant, talks about Algerian cuisine.
How has your heritage influenced your cooking?
As a young child, my daily life revolved around food. I would shop at the markets with my mother, then go home and prepare the evening meal. In the evening, the entire family would sit down and eat together. My heritage is what steered me towards cooking.
Why is this dish representative of Algerian food/cuisine?
Couscous is the national dish of Algeria. It is the staple ingredient in everyone’s diets – whatever walk of life they come from. We serve couscous on celebratory occasions as well as an everyday food.
How closely will you be following the World Cup?
Very closely, as I do love football and used to play in Algeria.
Is food or football more important to Algerian people?
Whilst football is quite a big part of Algerian life, food is definitely the most important part of our culture. Food first, football second!
If you could cook a meal for one of your nation’s football heroes, past or present, who would it be and why?
Zindidine Zidane – because he is my football hero and we shared very similar childhoods.
This interview is part of a series on chefs representing each of the countries in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. More interviews.
Ingredients1 kg lamb leg, large cubes
1 litre lamb stock (or chicken stock)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 brown onion, diced
2 cinnamon sticks
5 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp butter
12 prunes, whole
12 dried apricots, whole
Fresh coriander (to serve)
3 tsp rosewater
Handful roasted flaked almonds, to garnish
PreparationSauté the meat in vegetable oil until browned. Remove from pan.
Using same pan, sauté onions until softened, add meat back in to pan with onion mixture. Add cinnamon sticks, 4 tbsp caster sugar and stock. Simmer over medium heat until meat is soft and tender (approx 1 hour).
Meanwhile, in a different pan, add butter, apples and the remaining caster sugar. Cook, uncovered, on low heat until the apples are golden and caramelised.
Add apples, prunes and apricots back into the meat tagine mixture and cook for further 10 minutes on low heat.
Remove from heat, add rosewater last minute then serve immediately.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and flaked almonds.
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