Tunisia is located in the continent Africa. It has the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east, Libya to the southeast, Algeria to the southwest, and Spain and France to the far northwest.
The capital is Tunis.
The official language is Arabic.
The climate is warm and temperate with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. The staples are eggplant, bell peppers, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, eggs, harissa, tuna, lamb, veal, beef, camel, chicken and so much more (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunisian_cuisine#:~:text=Farm%20animals%3A%20lamb%2C%20veal%2C,%2C%20apricots%2C%20pomegranates%20and%20quince).
TUNISIAN SHORBA (https://www.ourtunisiantable.com/home/2017/6/4/tunisian-shorba-recipe):
- 1lb. meat or chicken cut up into small pieces
- 3-4 TBSP vegetable oil
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- 2 TBSP ras el hanout spice (I bought this at Amazon)
- ½ of a large or one small onion chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 TBSP paprika
- 1/8 – ¼ tsp cayenne
- 1 C frik (or ‘freekeh’, green wheat) (also bought at Amazon)
- ½ C celery chopped
- ½ C cilantro chopped
- One 6oz tomato paste
- 1 tsp dry mint
- ½ C chickpeas (optional)
- Water (amount will vary, have a pot or kettle of hot water ready during cooking)
- With a mortar and pestle, mash together the garlic and ras el hanout spices.
- In a large soup pot, add enough oil to fully cover the bottom and turn the heat on between medium and medium high.
- Add in the garlic and spice mixture, onion, salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, tomato paste and saute for a few minutes until it all comes together and is fragrant.
- Add your meat or chicken and continue to saute a few more minutes. You may need to add a little water at this point to keep the meat or chicken from sticking or burning.
- Add enough water to fill your pot about ¾ of the way, or about the amount of finished soup you want to have (*Note: If you are not sure, add a little less than you might think because you can add as it cooks if it starts to look think or reduce too much).
- Add the frik and celery, reduce the heat to low and cook for approximately one hour or until meat is tender and the soup has thickened slightly.
- *Optional: if desired, add chickpeas to the soup. If using canned/cooked chickpeas, add towards the end of cooking just to heat through. If using dried chickpeas, add them at the same time as the meat.
- To finish, add the cilantro and mint and serve with bread. Enjoy!!
KHOBZ TALIAN (Italian Bread) (https://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-recipe/khobz-talian-tunisian-italian-bread/):
- 8 C flour
- 2-1/2 TBSP active dry yeast
- 6 TBSP olive oil
- 3 TBSP sugar
- 4 tsp salt
- 1-1/2 C warm water
- Nigella seeds
- Dissolve the yeast in warm water with sugar. Pour the flour, salt, oil, and yeast/sugar mixture in a bowl and knead the dough with a stand-mixer for 10 minutes.
- Let rise in a covered bowl for an hour, until the dough doubles in volume.
- Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Flatten each piece with a rolling pin to obtain and rectangle with about a 4” thickness. Roll each piece diagonally and make cuts on top of each bread. Place the bread on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Let rise for 1 more hour. Brush with warm water and sprinkle nigella seeds.
- Preheat oven to 450F and place a small bowl of water in it to prevent the bread from drying. Bake bread for 5 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 390F and continue baking for another 20 minutes.
KABER ELLOUZ (Tunisian Almond Balls) (https://tarasmulticulturaltable.com/kaber-ellouz-tunisian-almond-balls/):
- ¾ C superfine (caster) sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla sugar
- 7 TBSP water
- 4 tsp rosewater
- 2-1/2 C almond meal
- ½ tsp red food color
- ½ tsp green food color
- Superfine sugar
- Pine nuts
- In a small saucepan, combine sugar and vanilla sugar. Stir in the water and heat over medium. Cook, whisking occasionally, until all sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes, Whisk in the rosewater.
- Place almond meal in a medium bowl. Use a wooden spoon to stir in syrup. Once the dough has come together, knead on work surface lightly dusted with almond meal until smooth.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. To one piece, knead in red food coloring. Knead in green to another piece. Leave the third piece plain.
- Roll each piece into a ¾” wide rope. Place the ropes side by side and braid together. Push the braid together to seal and cut into about 1: long pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
On a plate, sprinkle some superfine sugar. Roll each ball in the sugar and place on serving plate. Sprinkle with pine nuts, if using, and serve.