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Pronounced mmthoowam, Mthouwem is an Algerian dish that I love love love! We usually make it during Ramadan, but today, since I had all the necessary ingredients, I figured I would make it for dinner. It's been a while since I've made Mthouwem so you could just imagine the bliss I was in when I took my first bite. MMM MMM GOOD :)

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1 onion
4-5 pieces of chicken
3 tablespoons of oil
½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
 ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of salt
1½ teaspoons of paprika 
handful of chickpeas

For the meatballs:
½ pound ground beef
4-5 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon of cumin
dash of cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of powdered red pepper
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 egg

1 cup of pitted green olives

Wash the chicken with lemon and salt. Place the chicken in a large saucepan and grate onion over it. Add all spices (except for the paprika), and the oil, and sauté in the oil for about 10 minutes. Then cover the chicken with water, add the chickpeas and paprika, stir for about 2 minutes, then let it cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, prepare the meatballs. Peel the garlic, and then chop it very finely. Add the chopped garlic to the ground beef, add all the spices, and using your hands, thoroughly mix the ingredients in with the ground beef. Then crack an egg over the ground beef mixture, and again mix thoroughly. (The egg is used to help clump together the beef and it helps it retain it's round shape when cooking )Wet your hands to form small (smaller than a golf ball) meatballs.

When the chicken is done cooking, add the meatballs and cook for another half an hour. If your olives are too salty, boil them in a medium saucepan of water for about 5 minutes, and then drain them before you add them to the pot. Otherwise, you can add them to the pot during the last five minutes.

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  1. Aslamu alakum Mimi
    i make mactouem (never get the prounce right!), my Mil showed me how to but not with chicken , i do it with beef&Almonds. Anyhow how i loke the sound of yours and will like to try it soon with chicken. Mimi i wonder if you can help me? What is 'kubeciya' in English, its a spice used whole or grounded here in Algeria apperance is like a black pepper ball but bigger and brown. What is this in English plz?

  2. MMMHHH, I like this dish a lot. We do something like this back home.
    My dh doesn't like it much so I have to cook this when he is travelling or not eating in. I don't put chicken.
    Rainbow- we must have same mil as mine showed me without chicken.
    Algerian loves almonds a lot! Very expensive in Algeria.

  3. Rainbow- Im not sure what kubeciya is in English, I'll ask my mother and get back to you.

    Muslimah- Yes, many Algerians use almonds instead of chicken. My mother taught me the way with chicken. I dont really like almonds very much.

  4. Aslamu alakum ukti i made this and its on my blog do have a look, it went down well mashaallah , i had no comment at the dinner table and in my home its silent approval.

    muslima trying to HE yes we do have the same Mil indeed! I found the almonds are the same price as they are in the UK, yes expensive the good thing in algeria is you can buy small quanities like 20da or 50da worth enough for the dish without busting the bank alhamduilah.


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