Monday, 2 February 2015

Moroccan Almond and chickpeas Kadra : Kadra Touimiya (Twin)

I have introduced Kadra (or kedra) in the previous post. Today's post is about one of the most commonly cooked dish in Fez: Kadra touimiya.


Many stories explain the origin of the dish but the one that makes more sense is the reference to "twin" in Touimiya where almonds and chickpeas are the twins in the story.


In addition to the recipe in the previous version of Kadra, this one uses blanched almonds which should cook to tenderness along with the broth (never toasted or fried). Ideally, you should get almonds that really taste almond and not the plain ones usually shipped from California.


Some types of almonds used in Morocco. Beldi is perfect for this dish.

The same rules apply to this kadra: NO (never) garlic, always smen. Ok to use ginger, Ok to use vegetable oil. NO olive oil.

The younger the chickpeas and almonds are the better.



Ingredients
Serves 8 -10 
Prep: 10 min - Cooking: 70 min by pressure cooker- 2h  for regular pot

  • 2 chickens of 1.5 kg each or 3 baby chickens (see tutorial here on how to prepare chicken for Moroccan cooking)
  • 1 kg of white/yellow onions, finely sliced or chopped 
  • 200 - 250g of chickpeas, pre-soaked overnight and peeled
  • 300 g of blanched almonds (parboil almonds and peel them)
  • 2 tbps of vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp of ground ginger (not in a Traditional Fassi version)
  • A good pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 tsp of finely ground white/black pepper (mix)
  • 1 cinnamon stick, about 6 cm tall
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp of smen (or 3 tbps of butter, but it's less interesting)
  • A handful of chopped parsley

Option: to make Another version of Kadra called Kadra Touimiya, omit potatoes and replace chickpeas with whole blanched almonds.



Preparation

Cut each baby chicken into 4 pieces or 6 pieces if you are using bigger chicken.




In a deep pot, add a few tablespoons of water, the equivalent of a couple of chopped or sliced onions. the chicken pieces, the spices, the peeled chickpeas and almonds. Let simmer for 10 min and add vegetable oil. Cover with water and cover the pot with a lid. Cook over medium heat until chicken is cooked. Add water should you see that it's needed.

Cooking Kadra after I fished out the chicken. 

Once the chicken is tender, fish it out, cover it with clean film or in another pot with a lid. Add the rest of the onions and carry on cooking them until they're all withered, mostly melted and the chickpeas are definitely cooked through. Make sure this is happening on medium heat. Add water if needed.

Add potatoes and half of parsley. Cook until potatoes are cooked through.

Before serving, return the chicken to the broth, correct the seasoning and add the rest of the chopped parsley and smen (or butter). Give it a few minutes to heat up over medium heat.

Serve hot with a good Moroccan bread, Turkish pide or a baguette.




Notes:

1- This dish is not to the type of food served in Restaurants, it's a family dish which is part of the culinary repertoire of a few Moroccan cities and Fez/Meknes especially.

2- The same dish can be made omitting chickpeas but a purse of rice (washed and drained) is cooked along with the sauce just 30 mins before serving. The rice is then aerated with a fork and served on the side. See this kadra for inspiration.


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