Famous in Msila and other regions, Zviti is a very spicy food prepared using green pepper that is cooked with the dough and then cut with a wooden masher and serve in a wooden bowl.
Some cities add sliced tomatoes as well as coriander, green olives, and sometimes garlic.
What is Zviti?
Zviti also called Slata Mehrez ( literally means the mortar salad). It is an Algerian spicy dish that is originally from the region of Bou Saada( M’Sila province).
This dish is made of a semolina galette called Rakhssas or Rakhssis (Arabic رخسيس orرخساس), that is cut into small pieces and crushed in a tall wooden mortar called Mehrez along with the grilled peppers, tomatoes and more ingredients.
To make this dish, pancake is crushed in a mortar with a very spicy preparation of chili, a very famous tasty dish of M’sila in the same way as the local chakhchoukha (shredded leaves served with a red sauce with chickpeas).
It is delicious and very easy. It is well embellished with coriander and fresh tomatoes, garlic, and its main ingredient the chili but very hot pepper. All these are mixed and crushed in the mortar and preferably served as is the tradition. a spicy preparation to make you sweat.
And in order to give it an even more rustic character, this “fire dish”, ideal and very popular as an accompaniment, is presented on a special table pierced with a hole in the middle, intended to accommodate the wooden pestle (the mehras) where it was prepared.
How To Serve Zviti
Zviti dish is served in the long wooden mortar (Arabic مهراز, pronounced Mehrez) and everyone gather around the mortar to share the dish.
The spicy salad is taken directly from the pestle by the commensals who savor it by wiping their foreheads and, sometimes, by gasping, the throat being severely tested by the spiciness of this dish that some restaurateurs nevertheless try to soften by reducing the dose of pepper compared to the tomato or by adding olive oil or natural butter.
Be Sure to Try These Other Authentic Algerian dishes!
Zviti: Traditional Algerian Chili Dish
- 500 grams fine semolina ⠀
- 4 tablespoons oil ⠀
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Water ⠀
- 4 medium tomatoes grilled, peeled, seeded and diced
- 2 green peppers peeled and seeded
- 2 grilled green peppers peeled and seeded
- 6 dry red peppers seeded and rehydrated in water
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste diluted in a glass of hot water ⠀
- 5 cloves garlic
- coriander seeds ⠀
- fennel seeds ⠀
- chopped coriander ⠀
- Olive oil ⠀
- Mix the semolina and salt. Add the oil.
- Gradually add water to pick up the paste. Knead until a firm dough is obtained.
- Divide into four dough pieces.
- Flatten so as to obtain pancakes with a thickness of 1 cm. Bake on a hot cast iron griddle (or skillet) for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Crumble the hot pancakes.
- Bake on a hot cast iron griddle (or skillet) for 3 to 4 minutes per side.
- Crumble the hot pancakes
- Arrange the fennel seeds, coriander, salt, and garlic in a masher and mash.
- Add the red pepper, the cilantro leaves and mash again. Then add the green peppers and tomatoes.
- Mix everything, then gradually add the pieces of crumbled pancake, alternating with the diluted tomato paste. To crush.
- Pour a drizzle of olive oil and mix. Enjoy with a glass of lben (buttermilk)