Ramadan recipes – Algerian Shorba


One of the Ramadan ‘staples’ in Algerian homes is Shorba Frik which is basically a kind of Minestrone soup with burghul/cracked wheat (a.k.a. frik) instead of pasta.


Shorba Frik is often accompanied by Borek – the Algerian version of samosa or spring roll or bread.

My simple recipe for Shorba is as follows:


1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 medium carrot, washed and halved (no need to peel)

1 small courgette/zucchini

small piece of green pepper/capsicum

a few lamb chops

6 fresh tomatoes, peeled OR 1 tin plum tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato concentrate

salt, pepper, sprinkle cinnamon

1.5 litres water


  • Throw all the above ingredients into the pressure cooker as they are, no need for chopping or dicing. Put the lid on and pressure cook until the meat and vegetables are soft.
  • Carefully remove the pieces of meat and then puree the soup with a handheld blender or pour into a jug blender.
  • Return to a gentle heat and proceed to remove the meat from the bone and break up into fairly small pieces and return meat to pan. Add 1/2 tin of chickpeas and 2 handfuls of cracked wheat/burghul – the fine variety is better. Add more water as and when necessary.
  • Simmer until the chickpeas are softened and the burghul is cooked. Remember to stir occasionally so the burghul doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Just before serving stir in some chopped coriander and garnish with additional chopped coriander. Serve with quarters of lemon.
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31 responses »

  1. It is trust me! I used to painstakingly dice the onions and courgette until one Ramadan a friend from Oran gave me her recipe. She calls it Harira but essentially it’s the same as Shorba and my mother-in-law tells me my shorba is good – that’s the Litmus test for me! ;)

  2. umm ibrahim thanks for sharing your version of shorba fereek. I’ve actually got mine cooking as I type. I’ve done dozens of different soups but this is the one my husband loves most. If I only cook this soup he is totally satisfied.

    I don’t put all of those vegetables in mine though. Will have to give it a try.

    Ramadhan Mubarak!

  3. Yumm this looks so delicious!
    Thanks so much for the visit and wonderful comment!
    May this Holy month bring you and your family peace, blessings and the Almighty’s mercy!

    Ramadan Mubarak!

  4. Salaam…

    I’m glad that my husband does not want want Algerian soup every day during Ramadan like some – fortunately I vary the theme!

    Cidahmed: Thank you… Ramadan Kareem to you also.

    Tee: Ramadan Mubaarak again!

    Marahm: Nice to see you; loved your Ramadan nostalgia post!

  5. as salamu alaykum,

    from my little knowledge this is the “Shorba Frik” (as u find it called in the recipes books etc.) . Harira instead is mainly known in the west of Algeria,as u said Oran for example. Also harira has got different ways of making it.Mine is quite different from the one my sisters in law makes… we could say that it changes from home to home…as any kind of food in any part of the world mash’Allah!

  6. Thank you for this recipe I have been looking to make a simple soup (well they are all simple essentially) and this has all the ingredients I like!
    Mashallah it sounds so good!!

    Ramadan Mubarak

  7. Rainbow: Shorba/Harira seem to be so interchangable that I don’t know what the difference is supposed to be. :?

    Hope it works out for you if you do try it Aalya. :)

  8. I am going to try your shorba sis as DH moaning ”i used to make nice shorba but now :( ” thing is i think its fine mashaAllah men huh!

  9. Harriah is smother where as shorba more chunky does that make sense ? heheh actually dh did say my morocan hariah nicer so let me try this and see if he guesses the difference ! Algerian men and there shorba hey!

  10. Assalaamu alaikum,

    I’m nervous now Umm Aicha… how did it go down?!

    Rainbow: Men! Yes I see what you mean about the difference between Harira and shorba. :)

  11. I did it at first it looked like a soup and i was a lil worried but alhamduilah ‘no comment’ in my home its ‘silent approval’ I ajusted it a lil like added extra spices ect just the colouring was more carroty rather than brown? Tasted just fine and easy to make shukran ukti!

  12. I find it becomes shorba once the burghul is added along with the coriander. As for the colour… I guess you can adjust the amount of tomatoes and tomato paste you add and of course add ra’s al hanout or other spices as liked. It’s all in the ‘tweaking’!

  13. ahhh i didn’t do frik as we wanted a change so done vermcelli also no ras el hanout sadly , got none!

  14. I also like to make it with ‘Tlitli’ pasta – Langues d’oiseaux (Birds tongues). More often than not with frik though but shorba is so versatile!

  15. Pingback: Saudi Shorba with oats « Stranger in this Dunya

  16. Pingback: Algerialainen chorba | lastensilmin

  17. Thank You for a great recipe! We seems to have many things in common; we even have same background in our blogs :). I have four half-algerian children: three boys and one girl. We are now in Algeria and I enjoy to be here. Originally I`m from Finland.

  18. Assalaamu Alaikum,

    Thanks very much for your visit and your kind comment. Very nice to ‘meet’ you. Your blog looks really nice, would you consider making the occasional post in English? I tried using an online translating programme for some of your posts but these programmes are not very reliable! A lot of the words were left in Finnish which wasn’t very useful!

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