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Posted On: 8 July 2020 10:00 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 10:30 am

Qatar Home Cook Series COVID-19 special by Mama Baba Ganoush

Kim Wyatt
Kim Wyatt
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This week, we’re introducing two new Qatar Home Cooks with a passion for food. Meet Manel Boushaba, originally from Algeria and Samina Anique from India.

Covid19 has inspired many people to experiment with new recipes and new skills. Our Qatar Home Cooks series features people from all walks of life, backgrounds, ages and experience with one unifying feature – they’re passionate about cooking.

Whether you’re new to cooking, rediscovering your love of the kitchen or looking for foodie inspiration, these tried and tested recipes from our ILQ community will hopefully spark the creative home cook in you too.

If you’d like to be featured in this cooking series please get in touch.

Name: Manel Boushaba

Country: Algeria

Occupation: Former Clinical Research Co-Ordinator, full-time mother

Has Covid19 changed the way you cook at home? Covid19 has not changed my cooking style. For the past three years I have tried to eat homemade food. However, I have learned more about food conservation and now I have more time to discover and try new recipes.

What is your dish? Algerian chakhchoukha - a traditional meat stew prepared for happy, festive celebrations such as Eid or weddings. This dish originates from Constantine (east of Algeria) and comes in several versions. The preparation of this dish begins with the production of bread patties made with a simple dough composed of semolina, salt and water. The patties are semi-cooked and then crumbled and dried.

Why did you choose this dish? I try to cook a traditional dish every Friday

Instagram: @manel_biochimiste Facebook: manel boushaba

Recipe - Algerian Chakhchouka

Servings: 2 people


500 grams of chakhchouka semolina bread

400 grams minced meat of your choice (lamb, chicken, veal)

¼ cup of cooked chickpeas

1 large onion - chopped

3 cloves of garlic - crushed

1 tomato - chopped

2 tbsp concentrated tomato

10 tablespoons of oil + 50g of butter

1 tsp caraway + 1/2 tsp extra for minced meat

1 tsp coriander +1/2 tsp extra for minced meat

1 tsp paprika

salt and pepper to taste

1. 5 litres of hot water

2 hardboiled eggs - peeled

Optional flavourings:

½ teaspoon ras el hanout (North African spice mix)

½ teaspoon red hot chilli pepper


a. Preparation of the sauce:

  1. On a low heat, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, fresh tomato and meat. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Season by adding salt, pepper, tomato puree and ras el hanout, hot red chilli pepper. Stir well.
  3. Cook for a further 15 minutes on low heat and stir regularly.
  4. Add the hot water enough to cover the meat and add the chickpeas. Stir well. Slowly simmer until ingredients are cooked through. Add the butter. Mix well.

b. Preparation of the Chakhchoukha:

  1. Add the remainder of the hot water to the bottom of the couscoussier (double-barrelled traditional Berber/Arabic couscous steamer). Add the semolina bread to the top of the barrel and steam. Cover lightly with some of the sauce. Gently steam until the bread is cooked through.
  2. In a serving bowl, add the cooked semolina bread and sauce. Top with the meat and chickpea mixture. Add slices of the hard-boiled eggs and serve.

Name: Samina Anique

Country: India

Occupation: Former Registration Co-Ordinator, housewife and former winner of the Smile Hypermarket Biryani contest 2015

Has Covid19 changed the way you cook at home? Yes indeed, I have tried many new dishes especially during the holy month of Ramadan. Our iftars were spent at home. Also for the first time, I baked chocolate cream cake on my anniversary and for my son’s birthday plus a variety of sweet dishes for my kids to keep them happy at home during the lockdown.

What is your dish? Mom’s Special Mutton Biryani

Why did you choose this dish? It’s one of my mom’s best recipes. I cook this on every occasion and my family loves it very much!

Instagram: @saminique, Facebook @Samina Anique, Twitter @Samina Anique

Recipe: Mutton Biryani

Servings: 6 - 8 people

Total cooking time: 1- 1/2 Hours


½ kg mutton (cut in medium pieces)

500g long grain basmati rice

4 tbsp cooking oil

2 tbsp pure cow’s butter (ghee)

4 medium-size onions

3 tbsp ginger garlic paste

10 cloves

10 whole black peppers

2 cinnamon sticks

2 anise flowers

4 bay leaves

3 tsp salt (according to taste)

6 – 8 green chillis

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp whole spice (garam masala powder)

1 tbsp coriander seed

1 tbsp fennel seed

1 tsp cumin seed

8 green cardamoms

1 whole nutmeg

100 ml beaten yoghurt

8 saffron strands (soaked in 2 tbsp milk)

1 tbsp orange food colouring (soaked in water)

2 tbsp milk

1 tsp lemon juice



  1. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes and set aside.
  2. In a pressure cooker – add the mutton pieces, 4 glasses of water, 1 onion cut into medium pieces, 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste, whole spices (5 cloves, 5 black whole peppercorns, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 anise flower, 2 bay leaf, 1 nutmeg), 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp fennel seeds, 1 tbsp coriander seeds, ½ tsp cumin seeds, 4 green cardamoms). Mix well. Cook this until 2 whistles.
  3. In a saucepan add 4 tbsp of cooking oil and 2 tbsp pure ghee (cow’s butter).
  4. Thinly slice three onions and fry until golden brown. Set aside half of the fried onions for garnishing.
  5. Add 1 tsp cumin seed and all the remaining whole spices, 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste and ½ tsp garam masala powder.
  6. Add the cooked mutton pieces from the pressure cooker. Add ½ tsp red chilli powder, 6 to 8 green chillies (split in 2) and slowly add the beaten yoghurt. Fry for 5 minutes.
  7. Strain out mutton stock from the pressure cooker and add to this pot. Season with salt according to taste. Bring to boil and add the drained rice.
  8. Add 1 tsp lemon juice. Cook for ten minutes on high heat. Reduce heat and cover with lid - cook for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove the lid and add the orange food color plus saffron strands. Garnish with golden brown onion and cover the lid for another 5 minutes.
  10. Serve hot and enjoy this authentic North Indian delicacy. Serve with a green salad and mint chutney. Hope you like it!

What have you been cooking at home? Let us know in the comments section below!