Tunisian cuisine is similar to other countries in North Africa and the Mediterranean basin. Lots of olive oil, spices, couscous are prevalent. Vast arrays of seafoods are offered, lamb is the preferred red meat, and chicken is often a meat entree.
Much like the “sun cuisine” found across the rest the region, couscous is almost always served, and typically taken with lamb. Vegetables most prevalent are tomatoes, carrots, a small white indigenous cabbage, chickpeas and turnips. And in Tunisian cuisine the vegetables a not overcooked, they are served still a bit chewy. Seasonally the vegetables will also include pumpkins, broad beans, and cardoons, cold broad beans.
Some especially interesting ingredients are found in Tunisian cuisine. Depending on the region, spices like “kerfa” (cinnamon) and “chouch” (dried and crushed rosebuds) are used, along with raisins and dates, to make a sweetened couscous dish.
Unlike Moroccan tajines, the tajines in Tunisian cuisine are egg-based. Typical additional ingredients are cheese, grilled peppers, and meats, seasoned with fresh parsley and baked in the oven—like a baked, cake-like omelet.
If you travel to Tunisia and eat at the restaurants, you will most likely be offered a menu that includes “koucha bil aallouch” (lamb shoulder with potatoes) and “kefteji” (potatoes, green peppers, and pumpkins that are fried separately and topped with eggs.). Kefteji is traditionally offered either very spicy hot, or milder and seasoned with mint.
Tunisian cuisine includes a large assortment of egg-based dishes. One of the most popular is Ojja, a skillet scramble sort of dish, with plenty of garlic and tomato and chopped up merguez (spicy lamb) sausage, and eggs on top. A kind of ratatouille provencale made with peppers, tomatoes, and egg, called “chakchouka” is another national favorite.
So off we go now, to Tunisia, for another wonderful ethnic foods adventure. You can click on the recipes below and be taken to a print-friendly page with just that recipe on it. Click away, and enjoy your sojourn into …
Eggs Shakshouka (Puréed peppers with Harissa sauce, sautéed with eggs on top)
Tendrons de Veau à la Gardiane (Braised Veal in the Style of the Camargue)
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