Algerian Doubara

Doubara is a great example of the various Mediterranean influences you can find in North African cuisine. It is a traditional vegan dish which consists of chickpeas or fava beans (or both) soaked in a delicious vegetable stew.

The Doubara or Dobara, in particular, is a signature dish of the Biskra region, a northeastern town of this North African nation. Hence, it’s also popularly known as Doubara Biskra. The name is derived from the Arabic word d’bara, which means to create or orchestrate.

The spiciness is the essence of this vegan soup that is primarily prepared using fava beans or broad beans. No wonder it is the most preferred meal during winters as turns up the heat considerably! It keeps the body warm and leaves you salivating for more. Meat is an expensive commodity in Algeria and many households cannot afford it. Be it your financial condition or the situation of an uninvited guest, the Doubara always comes to your rescue. This dish packs a punch and makes the non-vegetarians forget their meat for once.  

Fava beans are the star of the show. They can be replaced with chickpeas or made using a combination of both. In some parts of the country, they also add white or red beans to increase the nutritional value and give it a depth of flavour. The doubara is mostly consumed hot or at room temperature. Prepared in olive oil, it mainly comprises beans, tomatoes and a truckload of spices and is traditionally served in a wooden dish.

This soup is not for the faint-hearted as the spice levels can make your taste buds go numb. It contains harissa or the Tunisian hot chilli pepper paste. Then, there’s chilli pepper and black pepper. They also add paprika to give the dish a third dimension of piquancy. A humble dish with humble ingredients, the doubara is the perfect example of a simple, sumptuous meal.

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