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Shorba 'M'katfa' - Vermicelli Soup

Halal Home Cooking: Shorba M'katfa (Vermicelli Soup)
A vibrant red soup with vermicelli.

The soup is normally made using M'katfa (Algerian Arabic) - a handmade pasta shaped into little strands.

For a first experience of this soup I've adapted a recipe that uses store bought vermicelli.
Halal Home Cooking: Shorba M'katfa (Vermicelli Soup)
I'm sold on the flavour and textures of this soup and although I was dubious about the peas they bring a nice sweetness that counteracts some of the sharpness coming from tomatoes and lemon juice.

I made it for lunch but liked it enough I had another bowl for dinner.

 I'll be rolling up my sleeves soon enough to have a go at making my own M'katfa, In shaa Allah.
Halal Home Cooking: Shorba M'katfa (Vermicelli Soup)

Shorba M'katfa

Recipe slightly adapted from La Petite Paniere
Serves: 4
Skill level: easy
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes


2 tablespoon olive or sunflower oil
250 grams halal lamb *optional, chopped into small pieces
1 brown onion, finely chopped
small bunch coriander, finely chopped
salt and black pepper (i started with 1tsp S 1/4 tsp P and adjusted at end of cooking)
1 tablespoon red sweet paprika
1 teaspoon harissa paste
400 gram / 14 oz tin plum tomatoes or 240 grams fresh, peeled - blended
1 litre / 4 cups water
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
1/2 a 400 gram / 14 oz tin organic chickpeas or 60 grams / 2.1 oz dry soaked overnight
125 grams / 4.4 oz green peas (i used frozen petite pois)
50 grams / 1.8 oz fine vermicelli

To finish/garnish *optional

coriander leaves
lemon juice


  1. In a large pan over medium heat add oil, wait a minute then add onion, meat, salt, pepper, harissa, paprika and coriander. Stir ingredients together, cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every other minute.
  2. Add blended tomatoes, water and if using add soaked chickpeas now. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat till you get a steady simmer. Cook for  20 minutes.
  3. Add grated carrot, if using tin chickpeas add these now. Cover & cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add peas, cover and cook for l0 more minutes. Turn off heat and add in vermicelli that you have crushed with your hands. Cover and leave for 20 minutes until vermicelli is cooked. 
  5. If you like serve with a squeeze of lemon and some more coriander leaves to garnish.
Halal Home Cooking: Shorba M'katfa (Vermicelli Soup)
You may also like Shorba Frik

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At 20 September 2014 at 07:46 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like cooler weather has arrived in your part of town, am I right? I'm loving all of the warm dishes lately! :)

At 20 September 2014 at 13:51 , Blogger Halal Home Cooking - UmmHamza said...

Yes and lots of rain :) jazak Allahu Khair

At 24 September 2014 at 17:57 , Blogger Heni El G said...

Salaamu aleikoum,
Lovely looking chourb mkatfa. Def a soup on all Algerian Ramadan tables. Here's mine: http://thetealtadjine.blogspot.com/2014/04/chourba-mkatfa-algerian-red-soup-with.html
Machallah and mabrouk on the blog changes. Noor has done a great job machallah!

At 24 September 2014 at 23:17 , Blogger Halal Home Cooking - UmmHamza said...

Wa alaykum salaam Heni, how are you? Jazak Allahu khair, i will try your homemade m'katfa noodles in shaa Allah. Glad you like the changes too.


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