Algerian Doubara is a traditional vegan, budget-friendly fava bean stew that is loaded with hearty flavors. It is very easy to make, but like most stews, takes some time.
It is the perfect meal for cold winter months and makes the ideal meat-free dinner option! And, best of all, it stores incredibly well, even in the freezer!
Give this vegan stew a try, and let me know what you think about it in the comments below. And if there are any other dishes you are dying to try, feel free to drop some suggestions as well!
What Is Algerian Doubara?
Algerian Doubara, also commonly spelled “Dobara” is a traditional North African vegan dish made from primarily fava beans and chickpeas. It is packed with a variety of spices and aromatics that create a hearty meal or side dish.
If you take a look at the ingredients list, you will see it looks very similar to many Mediterranean dishes. That’s because Algeria, like most North African countries, has strong influences from different parts of the world. So, you’ll likely have most of these seasonings in your pantry already.
Algerian Doubara is originally from the Biskra region, which is why it can also sometimes be called “Doubara Biskra.”
Now, what makes this dish unique? First and foremost, it’s the use of fava beans. You can also add some chickpeas (like my recipe does today). But, it is traditionally made with only fava beans.
Another key feature is the spicy flavor. It’s not Doubara without adding a bunch of chilies. You can use any type that you’d like. But personally, I love using red bird’s eye chilis. They pack quite the punch. And I even added some harissa to add an even spicier undertone.
The heat makes this dish perfect for cold, chilly autumn evenings or icy winters.
And finally, this dish must never contain any meat. It’s supposed to be a budget meal and completely vegetarian or vegan. It’s part of what makes it unique. Unlike many African dishes, no variation contains meat.
What You Need For This Algerian Doubara Recipe
To start, you need fava beans and chickpeas for this recipe. I used dried beans and chickpeas instead of canned ones.
Once they have been soaked, you can drain them well under cold running water. This will remove any scummy water and debris.
The flavor base for this recipe is simple, but there are a couple of ingredients that you need. They include garlic, chili, tomato paste, harissa paste, saffron, paprika, and turmeric. As I said, these are all commonly found in Mediterranean cuisine, and most people have the majority of these ingredients in their pantries.
And finally, you need to add some lemon juice and diced tomatoes. The tomatoes add a little bit of tart, tangy flavor to the dish. It helps make the Doubara more savory, bulks it up, and creates a more balanced flavor profile.
Tips And Tricks To Make My Authentic Algerian Doubara Recipe
- This recipe takes some time to make. But, most of it is spent waiting for the fava beans to finish cooking. During that time, you can measure out and prepare the rest of the ingredients or make the main dish.
- You can replace the chickpeas with more fava beans if you’d like. And, even though it’s supposed to be a fava bean dish, you can replace the fava beans with chickpeas as well.
- Other suitable substitutes for fava beans include lime beans or cannellini beans. Neither of these is ideal, but I know some parts of the world don’t readily stock fava beans in any form.
- If this vegan fava bean stew is too spicy for you, you can always reduce the number of chilies and harissa paste.
- In the fridge, leftover Algerian Doubara can be stored inside an airtight container for not longer than 3 days. But keep in mind, beans get very stinky when stored for a while.
What can you serve with Algerian Doubara?
This spicy chickpea and fava bean stew is perfect with a slice of my famous Garlic Bread. But, really any type of flatbread will go well with this stew. It’s also quite delicious next to something meaty, like Slow Cooked Ribs or Baked Chicken Wings.
Is Dobara vegan?
As I’ve mentioned, this should be a vegan bean stew, and there are no traditional variations that contain any type of meat. But, when you eat it you’d be surprised as to how meaty the flavors actually are! This all comes from the combination of spices I used along with the beans and tomatoes.
What can I use instead of saffron?
Saffron is a hard-to-find and expensive ingredient. So, you can replace it with turmeric. For this recipe, you can add another teaspoon of turmeric. You can also take a look at this list of saffron alternatives and how to use them.
More Delicious Recipes
Algerian Doubara Recipe – Authentic Spicy Vegan Fava Bean Stew
- 2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight
- 2 cups dried fava beans, soaked in water overnight
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 chili peppers, chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp harissa paste
- ½ tsp saffron
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Spring onions and chopped parsley, for garnish
- Drain and rinse both the soaked chickpeas and fava beans under cold running water to remove any debris.
- In a large pot, combine the rinsed fava beans with enough fresh water to cover them. Add the cumin and a pinch of salt. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 90 minutes, or until the beans are tender.
- While the fava beans are cooking, prepare the flavored base. In another large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, chili peppers, tomato paste, harissa paste, saffron, paprika, and turmeric. Cook for a minute or two to release the aromatics' fragrances.
- Stir in the lemon juice, diced tomatoes, and the soaked, rinsed chickpeas. Add enough water to cover the ingredients. Mix well to blend the flavors. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 45-60 minutes, or until the chickpeas are tender. Check occasionally and add more water if necessary.
- Once the fava beans are cooked, drain them and add to the pot with the chickpeas. Stir to combine and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Cook the mixture together for an additional 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
- Garnish with fresh spring onions and chopped parsley before serving.