Algerian bread – Kersa is a delicacy I fell in love with, even though I am not so much into bread. This recipe is very simple but yet will make you travel!
Traveling in the North African countries you realize, that the bread there is holy. The consumption of wheat is enormous. This include not only bread but also pasta and couscous.
The holy bread and the origin of Kesra
As Algeria was a French colony, the most common bread is the baguette, which you will see everywhere. However, traditional bread, which was before French occupation was mostly round and flat. If you have ever been to the Sahara Desert in Morocco or Tunisia , you surely tried the bread made in the sand.
Kesra is an Algerian bread native to Eastern part of the country that is semolina-based and has the shape of a round flatbread. You’ll find many other names according to which region of Algeria you are in: Ftira shorter nickname of Khoubz f’tir, Kesra khsiss, Aghroum akouran or Aghroum aqouran, Kesra Mbessa Rakhsis, Galette Algérienne de Semoule or even كسرة مبسة.
Traditionally, Khoubz f’tir only consists in semolina, oil, salt, water, and… that’s it!
Kesra is an essential accompaniment to soups in Algeria such as chorba or harira, but also butter, milk and buttermilk. Some people eat it along with coffee or tea and some, like me, can eat it all without any additional things. Having kesra on the plate sometimes could’t wait for the soup to arrive. Fresh Khoubz f’tir is crunchy and a little sweet.
Kesra – Algerian bread recipe
To prepare Kesra, the Algerians use a cast iron pan with embossed circle lines at the bottom. If you do not have this special pan like me, no problem. I used a regular frying pan, and it was fine.
The original recipe for kesra requires medium grained semolina, though, I could’t find it. I used only fine grained semolina.
Ingredients for the basic version of Khoubz f’tir:
‣ 1 cup of fine-grained semolina
‣ 1 cup of medium-grained semolina
‣ ¼ cup of olive oil
‣ 1 tsp of salt
‣ almost 1 cup of water
Mix the semolina with the salt and olive oil with your finger tips until it resembles wet sand. Add water. Gently mix to form a smooth dough. Let the dought to rest for 30 minutes. Devide the dough into 2 for large galettes or for more if you prefer the bread more flat. Using the heal of your hand or rolling pin flatten the ball to a thickness of 1 cm – ½ in.
Prick with a fork all over the galette. Cook on a medium-low fire for about 3 minutes then turn the galette clockwise to obtain even browning. Flip to the other side. E voila!
You can serve it with all types of soups and casseroles or salads as well as a snack with butter or jam.
Of course there are other variations from a basic version of ftira. Some people prepare kesra with addition of yeast and regular flour. Myself, I added to the traditional version sunflowers seeds and it was extremely delicious! Next time, I am planning to try with the black seeds! Let me know, which version you tried and share your thoughts in the comment!
I love to bring recipes from my trips! Kesra was my favorite food discovery in Algeria. Therefore, preparing Algerian bread feels like traveling again.
The Bee is a nature lover and tea addict. Loves the idea of slow life and responsible traveling, constantly trying to improve to bee more eco-friendly. Appreciates old cultures and traditions, loves to immerse with locals, listen to ethnic music as well as taste regional food and drinks. Her favorite spots while traveling are family houses and street markets.
oh my- that sounds so delicious. I dream of visiting Algeria and this just solidifies my dream. I think I might have to make some to pair with my travel dreams of Algeria
Eating Algerian bread is almost like traveling there 😉 than, you just need to get yourself a ticket 😉
Oh this bread looks so good. I can t wait to try this at home. Was it very difficult to prepare?
Super easy, you should try 🙂
Oh this looks absolutely delicious! It reminds me an Indian bread we make in my country of Trinidad and Tobago, called sada roti! Although we don’t eat it with soup, but with other fillings like eggplant and pumpkin, its so interesting to know the similarities between different foods from around the world!
Wow sounds wonderful! I would love to try the bread from your homeland 🙂
Must say a rather interesting post about food less known and heard of. Kesra surely is still made in the old traditional way by the Algerians using a cast iron pan with embossed circle lines at the bottom. I’m sure this is a healthy option as well and must be tasting good. Thanks for sharing the recipe and one I may give a shot .
Such a simple recipe that even someone with no cooking skills (me) can try! Local bread recipes are great since they’re the accompaniment to so many meals. I like your version of adding sesame seeds and I’ll have to give this a try.
I would absolutely love to try this! I’m a huge bread eater, and eat plenty of it in Italy. It’s interesting they use semolina in this recipe, it’s quite different. I don’t have the right pan though, but would still like to try it myself one day. It looks delicious too!
I tried on the regular frying pan and it was ok 🙂
I love me some food flat bread! While I haven’t been to North Africa we have some amazing restaurants here in Munich that serve North African style flatbread and it is so delicious. This recipe looks amazing and a lot less complicated than I imagined. The history lesson was cool too, and it is great that you can find both French baguettes and traditional flat-bread there! I’ll have to try this recipe next time I made soup!
Perfect! Let me know when yo try, I am curious about out impressions! 😉
I was lucky to try Kesra once and I love it. I had no idea what it was made or its origin but it was actually one of the best bread I have ever tried. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I am looking forward to trying this at home. I bet my family would love it too.
Algerian bread – Kersa looks very delicious. I love sampling local food wherever I go. I am glad that you have shared the recipe. I am definately try my hands on it. I am sure it tastes better when you serve it hot with salad 🙂
Looking forward to know how did it go for you! 😉
I am impressed with your post here is a new post and you have prepared a new recipe not everyone can do it but you have done it I think you will become another successful person in life.