Doubara is a great example of the various Mediterranean influences you can find in North African cuisine. It is a traditional vegan dish consisting of chickpeas or fava beans (or both) soaked in a delicious vegetable stew.
The name is derived from the Arabic word d’bara, which means to create or orchestrate. 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 spiciness is the essence of this vegan soup primarily prepared using fava beans or broad beans. It keeps the body warm and leaves you salivating for more. No wonder it is the most preferred meal during winters as it turns up the heat considerably! 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. You can replace them with chickpeas or use 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 flavor.
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 chili pepper paste. Then, there’s chili 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.
- 2 cups Chickpeas, dry soaked in water overnight
- 2 cups Fava beans soaked in water overnight
- 4 cloves Garlic chopped
- 1 Lemon juiced
- 4 Chili peppers
- 2 tablespoons Tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Harissa
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- ½ teaspoon Saffron
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup Olive oil
- Spring onions and chopped parsley for garnish
- Drain the chickpeas and fava beans.
- Fill a pot with water, add chickpea, cumin, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 90 minutes.
- Heat up ½ cup of olive oil, then add tomato paste, chili pepper, garlic, harissa, and all the spices, and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add tomatoes and chickpeas, making sure the liquids cover the chickpeas and vegetables. Add some of the water used to boil the chickpeas, if necessary.
- Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with spring onion slices and chopped fresh parsley leaves.