Crafting Your Perfect Mhadjeb Recipe: Unraveling the Culinary Tapestry

Mhadjeb, also known as “Mahjouba” or “Msemen,” is a delightful Algerian stuffed flatbread that captures the essence of North African cuisine. This recipe guide will take you through the steps of crafting your perfect Mhadjeb, allowing you to unravel the rich culinary tapestry of flavors and textures.

Table of Contents


For the Dough:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine semolina
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ cups warm water

For the Filling:

  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for sautéing


  1. Prepare the Dough: a. In a bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and active dry yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy. b. In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, semolina, and salt. c. Gradually add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients, kneading until a smooth and elastic dough forms. d. Divide the dough into golf ball-sized portions, coat them lightly with olive oil, and let them rest for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare the Filling: a. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté until translucent. b. Add ground beef or lamb, breaking it apart with a spoon, and cook until browned. c. Stir in diced tomatoes, bell pepper, tomato paste, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the mixture is well combined. Set aside to cool.
  3. Assemble the Mhadjeb: a. Take one portion of the dough and flatten it into a thin round disc on a lightly oiled surface. b. Place a generous amount of the prepared filling in the center of the dough. c. Fold the edges of the dough over the filling, creating a square or rectangular shape. d. Repeat this process for the remaining dough portions.
  4. Cook the Mhadjeb: a. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. b. Place the filled Mhadjeb on the hot surface and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. c. Repeat until all Mhadjeb are cooked.
  5. Serve and Enjoy: a. Allow the Mhadjeb to cool slightly before serving. b. Slice them into portions and serve with your favorite dipping sauce or a side of salad.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully crafted your perfect Mhadjeb, unraveling the culinary tapestry of North African flavors. Enjoy this savory delight with family and friends, and savor the rich combination of tender dough and flavorful filling.

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