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Algerian Savoury Pancakes: M'hadjeb

Algerian Savoury Pancakes: M'hadjeb

M'hadjeb, or Algerian "folded pancakes" or "stuffed crepes," is a delectable delicacy created from straightforward dough that is filled with a tasty blend of onions, tomatoes, and spices. It is a meal created by the inventive resourcefulness of Berber cultures crossing the enormous Sahara desert. With the little ingredients they had available, they created a dish that would last the test of time.

Flour, water, and olive oil were three basic ingredients that the Berbers cleverly mixed to generate a pliable dough that could be moulded into a pocket of delight. This portable and filling product supplied food and energy to keep them going on their arduous excursions over the desert environment.

The appeal of M'hadjeb is found in both its manner of assembly and its distinctive taste. The dough is expertly folded into beautiful circles that resemble antique atlases showing paths through the desert. Then, a flavourful mixture of finely chopped onions, diced tomatoes, and bell peppers is applied to this canvas. A blend of ground paprika, cumin, and turmeric, a spice that tells tales of trade routes between continents and elevates the symphony of flavours even further.

Preparation Time

30 minutes


For the dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup water 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

2 large onions (chopped)

1 teaspoon ground paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium tomatoes (diced)

1 bell pepper (diced)

Salt and black pepper 


  • Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Gradually add water while kneading to form smooth, elastic dough. Add water as needed to achieve the right consistency. 
  • Divide the dough into small golf balls size.
  • Brush each ball with a little olive oil to prevent sticking, cover them with a damp cloth, and let them rest for about 20 minutes.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes and bell pepper to the skillet. Cook until the tomatoes soften and release their juices.
  • Stir in the paprika, cumin, turmeric, salt, and black pepper. Cook for a few minutes remove from heat and set aside.
  • Take one of the rested dough balls and roll it out into a thin circle on a floured surface. 
  • Place a spoonful of the filling mixture onto one half of the circle, leaving some space at the edges.
  • Fold the other half of the dough over the filling, creating a half-moon shape.
  • Use your fingers to press and seal the edges of the dough to enclose the filling.
  • Repeat this process with the remaining dough balls and filling.
  • Heat a lightly oiled skillet or griddle over medium heat.
  • Place the filled M'hadjeb onto the hot skillet and cook for a few minutes on each side until they are golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove and serve!