7 Tunisian Dishes That You Have To Try
Tunisia might be the smallest country in North Africa, but when it comes to food their offer is one of the biggest in the whole of Africa. The country has been perfecting its recipes since the time of ancient Carthage.
Tunisian cuisine is a mix of Arabic, Turkish, and Spanish food, and there is nothing not to love about it. Here are 7 Tunisian dishes that will inspire you to pack your bags and visit this African gem.
Note: Real Tunisian food can be spicy!
Brik is the most famous and traditional Tunisian dish. You can find it on the street, the most famous hotels and, of course, every home. Originally, Brik is a pastry called Malsouka, that is fried and stuffed with tuna, egg, and parsley.
Commonly, its served with lemon and there is even a specific technique to eat it: you take a couple of bites until you are about to reach the egg. When you are just a bite away from the egg you need to swallow it, so you don’t spill the egg’s liquid. At that time you can add lemon.
Brik is always in the shape of a triangle, like a folded pizza. High-quality brik is always multi-layered. It is always served as the second course during Ramadan.
This dish is popular all over North Africa, but it is believed to have been invented in amazing Tunisia. It has everything: onions, hot chilies, poached eggs, cumin, and tomatoes that are mixed in an iron skillet and cooked to perfection. You can eat it at any time of the day, but in most cases, it’s served for breakfast.
Fricassé is one of the favorite street food in Tunisia. You can find it on every street corner, in every city of the country. It is a savoury fried doughnut that is filled with tuna (Tunisian tuna is one of the best in the world, so you shouldn’t miss it if you get to visit the country), olives, harissa, boiled egg, and boiled potato.
This is a real Tunisian dish with a Mediterranean vibe and it’s perfect for everyone’s pocket.
4. Tunisian Couscous
There are many different ways to prepare couscous and this dish is typical to North African countries, including Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania and of course Tunisia. But, Tunisian couscous is a little unique. Locals will eat couscous with vegetables and lamb, that includes broad beans, cardoons, and even pumpkin. And there are spices.
Each city in Tunisia will have their spice addition. Some will serve couscous with crushed rosebuds, and others with cinnamon. After all, it’s all about diversity.
Harissa is a 100% Tunisia product and if you are not a fan of spicy food, you should pass on this one. On the other hand, if you love to feel the hotness you will love this spicy paste. Harissa is made with garlic and chili peppers and it’s often served as a dip or as a condiment.
You can eat it with bread and olive oil as a snack. If you want to make poached eggs interesting add some harissa and you will love it.
6. Le Lablabi
This is one of the most original and interesting dishes from Tunisia. Originally, lablabi is a thick soup or stew made of chickpeas and flavored with garlic and cumin. It’s always served with bread (two-days old breed would be perfect for this dish).
A soft egg is added to the soup, together with harissa, olive oil, tuna, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and capers. You put the bread in the bowl first, cut it small pieces, and then add the rest. Mix everything and serve.
If you are eager to try some meatier dish than you should try Kefta. The meat used for this meal is not beef or chicken, but a minced lamb. You can use another meat as well, as long as it’s minced, but lamp meat is an original touch. It’s simple, as the whole meal is just meat, onions and various spices.
You prepare Kefta like meatballs and fry them. In most cases, it is served with tomato sauce and a carrot salad. You can always make a Tunisian salad to complement this dish. Tunisian salad is a raw salad with onions, chopped tomatoes, sometimes even apple and cucumbers. Olive oil is a must, together with salt, pepper, and lemon. You can add chopped eggs and tuna.