Shorba Frik, Chorba Frik also known as Jari is a tomato and green wheat soup from the east of Algeria. This rich and delicious soup is also popular in central Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, especially during Ramadan. The soup is known for its wonderful nutty aroma and unique smoky flavor. Chorba frik is a hearty, flavorful, and often enjoyed as a comforting dish during colder weather.
What is Frik?
Frik, also spelled “firik, (Farik | Freekeh) is a type of wheat that’s harvested when it’s still green and then roasted or sun-dried. It’s a popular grain used in North African and Middle Eastern cuisines. The green wheat grains are harvested before they fully ripen, which gives them a distinct flavor and texture. After harvesting, the grains are traditionally roasted over an open fire, which imparts a smoky and nutty taste.
Or these are specially processed by sun drying, by burning the chaffs and lastly thrashed. Because of this method of thrashing or rubbing method, the grain got it’s name Farik. Farik is a Arabic word فريكة meaning rubbed.
Frik is commonly used in soups, stews, and pilafs, adding a unique earthy flavor to dishes. It’s known for its nutritional value and is often praised for its nutty taste and chewy texture.
Nutritional Benefits Of Frik (Freekeh – Cereal From Green Durum Wheat)
- Rich in Fiber: Frik contains a good amount of dietary fiber, which supports digestive health, aids in regular bowel movements, and may contribute to better weight management.
- Protein Source: It’s a source of plant-based protein, making it valuable for vegetarians and those looking to diversify their protein intake.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Frik contains essential nutrients like B vitamins (such as niacin and thiamine) as well as minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc. These contribute to various bodily functions including energy production, immune support, and maintaining healthy blood cells.
- Low Glycemic Index: With a lower glycemic index compared to some processed grains, frik can help regulate blood sugar levels more effectively.
- Antioxidants: It also contains antioxidants that may help combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Shorba Frik, Chorba Frik – Traditional Algerian Soup
Shorba Frik, also known as Chorba Frik, is a traditional Algerian soup that holds a special place in Algerian cuisine. People of all ages enjoy relishing this hearty and comforting soup.
This soup is made with a unique ingredient called “Frik,” which is cracked wheat or green wheat, that gives it a distinct flavor and texture. The Frik is usually soaked in water before being added to the soup, resulting in a rich and wholesome broth.
The base of the Shorba Frik typically includes a vegetable stock, onion, chickpeas, tomato puree. To further enhance the taste and complexity, some variations of Shorba Frik include the addition of tender chunks of lamb or chicken. Yet, you can make it a vegetarian or vegan dish by omitting the meat and substituting vegetable broth instead.
Once the ingredients are simmering, we add Frik and cook, till it turns tender. This slow cooking of frik gives the soup a delightful chewy texture. Finally, before serving, garnish the soup with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro. These add color and refreshing touch.
Shorba Frik, Chorba Frik Ingredients
Freekeh (Green Wheat) – Freekeh is roasted green wheat, offering a unique smoky flavor and a chewy texture. It’s rich in fiber, protein, and various nutrients, contributing a hearty base to the dish.
Tomato Purée with chili (double concentrated) – This concentrated paste combines the tanginess of tomatoes with the kick of chili. It enhances the soup’s depth and adds a spicy note to the overall flavor profile.
Chickpeas (pre-cooked or tinned) – : These legumes are a great source of protein and add a delightful creamy texture to the soup. They’re already cooked, saving time and effort in the preparation. Adding chickpeas is optional.
Onion & Garlic – Both these aromatics form the foundation of many dishes, providing a savory and aromatic base to the soup. They infuse rich flavors into the broth.
Paprika – This spice adds a warm, earthy flavor and a reddish hue to the soup. It complements the other spices and contributes to the overall taste.
Vegetable Stock – It serves as the liquid base for the soup, imparting depth and complexity. The vegetable stock enhances the overall flavor while keeping the dish vegetarian.
Olive Oil – Adds flavor and richness to the dish. Olive oil is often preferred for its health benefits.
Coriander Leaves – These fresh leaves offer a burst of citrusy, herbal flavor, adding a refreshing element as a garnish.
Lemon Wedges – They provide a tangy, citrusy flavor that balances the richness of the soup and adds brightness to each spoonful.
Serve shorba frik as a starter or a light lunch, accompanied by crusty bread or traditional Algerian flatbread known as “khobz.” Its warm and comforting qualities make it a popular choice during colder months.
This nourishing Algerian soup is perfect for fasting days during Ramadan. The combination of wholesome ingredients, aromatic spices, and the use of Frik creates a delicious and satisfying vegan soup.
This recipe is by Asmaa of HalalCooking. Taken and slightly adapted from Sweetpea & Jasmine by Asmaa. Asmaa is an Algerian food blogger. This recipe is part of Global Ramadan Event – Joy From Fasting To Feasting.
- 2 tbsp. Olive oil
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. Paprika
- ¾ tbsp. Black pepper powder
- 2 tbsp. Tomato purée with chilli* (double concentrated)
- 1 l previously Boiled water or Vegetable stock
- 4 tbsp. Freekeh (Green Wheat)
- ½ cup Coriander leaves
- ½ cup Chickpeas (pre-cooked or tinned), optional
- 1 Lemon, cut into wedges
- Salt, as per taste
How To Make Shorb Frik | Chorba Frik - Algerian Soup
- In a large stock pot, gently fry onion until translucent and soft.
- Add garlic and fry for 2 minutes.
- Add tomato purée cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add paprika, salt and black pepper, cook for another 1 minute by stirring often.
- Add boiled water or stock, increase heat and bring to boil.
- Meanwhile, place freekeh in fine meshed sieve and rinse under cold water then add freekeh to pot.
- Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes.
- Carefully pour soup into blender or using hand blender, blend for 10 seconds by adding herbs.
- Pour the soup back into the pot and add chickpeas. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.
- Serve with lemon wedges on the side so that people can add a squeeze of lemon juice if desired.
Tips & Variations
- Preparation of Freekeh: Rinse the freekeh thoroughly to remove any excess dust or debris. Toast it lightly in a pan before adding it to the soup; this enhances its nutty flavor.
- Layered Flavors: Sauté the onions and garlic first in olive oil until they're translucent. This creates a flavorful base for the soup. Add paprika to the sautéed mixture for a deeper taste.
- Tomato Purée Integration: Add the tomato purée after the onions and garlic have cooked down. Allow it to cook with the aromatics to release its flavors fully.
- Stock Quality: Use a good-quality vegetable stock or broth to enrich the soup. If using store-bought, low-sodium options, adjust seasoning gradually to avoid oversalting.
- Chickpea Incorporation: Add the pre-cooked or canned chickpeas later in the cooking process. This prevents them from becoming too mushy and ensures they retain their texture.
- Simmering Time: Let the soup simmer gently to allow the flavors to meld together. The longer it simmers (without overcooking the freekeh or chickpeas), the more developed the flavors will become.
- Seasoning: Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Remember that the vegetable stock and canned ingredients might already contain salt, so be mindful while adding additional seasoning.
- Garnish and Freshness: Just before serving, sprinkle fresh coriander leaves on top for a burst of freshness. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for individuals to add according to their taste.
- Consistency: If you prefer a thicker soup, allow some of the freekeh to break down during the cooking process. For a thinner consistency, add more stock or water.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 283Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 824mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 13g
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.