North African foods

My daughter's school project is on Tunisia. She would like to bring a native food/dish for the class to sample. I welcome all ideas...I'm an experienced cook who has limited time. It needs to be a dish that will travel well.

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pierino
pierino April 21, 2013

Tagine is very typical of North Africa, usually with couscous, here is one of my own http://food52.com/recipes... but you might also want to consult Paula Wolfert's books. She is the go to source.

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sel et poivre
sel et poivre April 22, 2013

I second pierino, his tagine is great! Otherwise, for another (quick) idea, JO's Tunisian Brik: http://www.jamieoliver...

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Bill F
Bill F April 22, 2013

It isn't a traditional Tunisian dish but try something called Nairobi stew Its relatively easy if you're an experienced cook. I'd be willing to bet you could even slow cook this in a crock pot. And I'm sure it would travel well.

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thebunalsorises
thebunalsorises April 22, 2013

I made this the other day and it turned out so well that I posted the recipe. I don't usually cook with beef, but it was delicious: http://food52.com/recipes...

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QueenSashy
QueenSashy April 22, 2013

I feel your pain. I often struggle with cultural projects that involve food, as most of the interesting foods are not very portable, and you have many constraints around serving a lot of kids, spilling, dietary restrictions, no nuts, etc. When I gave cultural presentation about Sri Lanka to my daughter’s class, the kids ended up being fascinated with the spices and stories around them. Just touching the spices, and crushing them and combining them into their own mix, was a lot of fun. One very quick thing to make is spicy pita chips, and you can make it with different flavor combinations. It does not involve much work; you could buy pita breads, cut them into chips, sprinkle with olive oil and various spices, and bake in the oven. Tasting different spices could turn into a little learning adventure on its own.

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creamtea
creamtea April 22, 2013

Tunisian chickpea stew! Kids love chickpeas. You can start with canned to shorten the cooking time. Just leave out the harissa. http://food52.com/recipes...

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lloreen
lloreen April 22, 2013

Almond or Pistachio Baklava is very typical - I had some at a Tunisian bakery in Paris. It would be easy to transport. I don't have a recipe but you could adapt this Persian almond baklava. Maybe leave out the rose water? Not sure if that is ever used in Tunisian cuisine....http://food52.com/recipes...

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Maedl
Maedl April 23, 2013

Lots of good ideas are suggested above. I love the idea of the tagine, particularly if you can serve it in a traditional tagine dish. A couscous would also be a good make-ahead dish and can be made with lamb, beef, fish, or simply vegetables. Both of these dishes improve with age, but you need facilities at school to heat them as well as plates and utensils.

If you have to keep it very simple, think of figs, dates, almonds, pistachios, and citrus fruits. Perhaps oranges with a sprinkle of cinnamon, a drizzle of honey and a misting of rose water served along with dates, figs, etc. would introduce a palette of North African flavors that are not too radically different for children, yet encourage them to branch out to more complex foods.

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Stephanie G
Stephanie G April 23, 2013

Thanks so much Maedl! That's exactly what I'll do. Because of the travel implications, tartine or stews are somewhat impractical. Your suggestion is perfect!

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Maedl
Maedl April 23, 2013

Glad it was useful!

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Stephanie G
Stephanie G April 23, 2013

Queen Sashy, I just saw your answer...great idea!

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QueenSashy
QueenSashy April 23, 2013

Good luck, and let us know how it went!

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