This dish has often been described as Algerian chili. I suppose one can call it that when explaining it to an American audience. It does have beans, optional ground or minced meat and spices. But the similarities end there. The flavor and texture are very different. The white beans and chick peas are cooked to buttery tenderness that contrasts nicely with the spiced broth and piquant dirsa.
Dirsa is a chili sauce made from fresh or dried hot red peppers.
200 grams of haricots blancs (white beans) soaked overnight
200 gr de haricots blancs
300 grams of chick peas soaked overnight
300 gr de pois chiches*
1 onion minced
1 oignon eminces
250 grams of ground lamb or beef
250 gr de viande hachee
4 tablespoons of tomato paste (homemade tomato jam recipe , there is a shortcut method. You can cook down canned tomato puree or even better with canned whole tomatoes passed through a sieve or a mill, it will not be as good as a jam made from fresh tomatoes but it will be much better than common tomato paste in a tin)
4 cuilleres a soupe de concentre de tomate
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 gousses d'ail emincees
2 tomatoes concasse
2 tomates concassee
Vinegar or lemon wedges
Vinaigre ou Citron coupe en quartiers
1-2 teaspoons of spice blend
1-2 cuilleres a cafe d'epices
My Algerian Spice Blends For this dish I prefer a mixture of four spice blend 1 and five spice blend or ras el hanout.
Salt and pepper
Sel et poivre
1) Saute the onions in olive oil over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, add tomato paste and saute for about 10 minutes more, if you are adding meat to the dish add it now, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 15 minutes.
2) Add the beans and water to cover plus more 2 cups more. Season with salt and pepper, add 1/2 of the quantity of spices you will be using. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours on low heat, stirring occasionally.If the liquid reduces to much add more water. Add the tomatoes, taste for seasoning, adjust if necessary, add more spices if desired, cook for about 30 minutes more. The beans and chick peas should be meltingly soft.
Ingredients for dirsa:
2-4 fresh or dried hot red chilis (if you are using dried soak them in water until soft
2-4 piments rouges fort, frais ou seches
2 cloves of garlic
2 gousse d'ail
1 tablespoon of salt
1 cuillere a soupe de sel
1/2 cup of olive oil
Mortar and pestle method:
1) Pound the garlic, chopped peppers and salt into a paste. Slowly beat in olive oil until a light paste consistency is achieved
1) Blend the garlic, peppers and salt with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until a light paste consistency is achieved.
Serve the bean stew with lemon wedges or a little bottle of vinegar and the dirsa for diners to add at the table. I prefer to eat this with bread, but it can be eaten with rice or bulghur couscous.
*You can use just white beans, rather than a blend of beans.chef zadiFarid Zadi