My friend Rima recommended this recipe for maakouda, which is one of her favourite Algerian foods. The original recipe comes from Marocmama, so the dish is also in the Moroccan cuisine. I would describe them as fried potato patties. In fact, the ingredients seem very simple, so the flavour of the cumin really stands out. If you want to spice it up, you can serve them with harissa, a type of chili paste. The flour coating is very important as that is what makes them crisp on the outside. Re-heating in the air fryer worked well!
When I make these again, I will use a mini food processor to chop the onions and garlic. By hand, I tried to chop the onion as finely as possible. However, I think the patties would have a nicer texture with minced onion.
One day I hope to be able to try these in Algeria. So far I have not had a chance to visit this large country in North Africa. I have been to Morocco, and the cumin spice definitely reminds me of Moroccan foods. However, I did not see these on offer during my visit or at least not that I can remember!
1 1/2 lb Yukon Gold or another potato with soft skin
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp black pepper
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
around 1/2 cup plain flour
vegetable oil for frying
1 cup plain flour for dusting
First, scrub the potatoes well and place them in a pan filled with water. It is optional to peel them. Boil the potatoes until soft. Then remove from heat and allow to cool. Mash them until smooth.
Next, add the spices, onion, garlic, salt and egg, mixing well.
Add flour gradually, starting with around 1/2 cup, and mixing while you go. The dough should be slightly sticky but should not stick to your hands. You may need to add more flour until the dough is less sticky.
In a small pot, heat the oil to medium.
Make golf-ball sized balls with the potato mixture. Flatten each ball and dust with flour.
Carefully add the patties to the oil, making sure not to crowd the pan. Brown on both sides, remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.
Finally, serve warm with your favourite sauce such as spicy harissa.
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