mhadjeb
Breads & Dough, Main dishes

How to Make Mhadjeb (Algerian Stuffed Flatbread): Recipe to make Mhadjeb

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5 from 4 votes

Mhadjeb, Mhajeb, or also called Mahjouba, are stuffed flatbreads or some people call them crêpes, from Algeria. The dough has simple ingredients such as semolina, flour, salt and water. The Mhadjeb is filled with a sauce made with fresh tomato and onion. This Mhadjeb recipe is the basic recipe, you can make the filling to your liking and add any ingredients you like to make your own version of this Algerian filled flatbread.

mhadjeb on a wooden cutting board

Why make this Mhadjeb recipe

If you search in Google: "Recipe for Mhadjeb", you get many different recipes. Some are made only with semolina, others with half semolina and half flour and even Mhadjeb made only with flour... Apart from the fact that getting a perfect dough was a mystery, each filling is different.

If you are reading this you are lucky because I just made your life a little easier! This Mhadjeb recipe is the result of trying to make these flatbreads with only semolina, making them with half semolina and half flour... until I finally dared to play a little with the measurements and I got the perfect Mhadjeb.

The “basic” filling of Mhadjeb is made of tomato and onion. The good thing is that you can make the filling however you like, many people prepare it with red pepper, minced meat and even cheese.

The recipe contains several images to make the recipe more visual, this way it is easy to make Mhadjeb. So… what are you waiting for? Let´s get started!

Ingredients you need to make this Mhadjeb or Mahjouba recipe

The ingredients are divided into two groups of categories. One group of ingredients for the dough and another group for the filling. Below, I share the ingredients I have used to make about 10 Algerian stuffed flatbreads:

Ingredients you need to make the Mhadjeb dough

  • Fine semolina: Many times people are not really sure what semolina is. Semolina is a type of flour obtained by grinding durum wheat grains. It has a coarser texture than regular flour, but is much finer than couscous grains. You need 400 grams of fine semolina to make this recipe
  • Flour: you need 200 grams of all-purpose flour
  • Water: you need 400 ml to 450 ml of water, you have to add the water little by little. Normally, I use about 400 ml of water, but depending on the flour and humidity you may need more
  • Salt: you need 15 grams of salt
  • Sunflower oil: you are going to work the dough using sunflower oil, you need to have plenty of oil on hand. I always have a bowl of sunflower oil next to me to wet my fingers, this will save you some time. You will also use sunflower oil to make the Mhadjeb in the frying pan

Ingredients you need to make the filling

  • Tomatoes: you need 5 mature tomates, grated
  • Onions: 3 onions, chopped, or if you prefer, you can cut them into slices
  • Concentrated tomato paste: use a tablespoon of concentrated tomato to give more consistency and flavor to the sauce
  • Ras el Hanout: you need 1/4 teaspoon of ras al hanout, this spice is sold in any large supermarket
  • Sweet paprika: use one teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • Hot paprika: add 1/2 teaspoon of hot paprika, this gives a light spicy flavor to the sauce, but you can skip this step if you have very young children
  • Salt and black pepper: add salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil: you need olive oil to soften the onion
  • Sugar: have a teaspoon or two on hand in case the tomatoes are a bit sour, it won't always be necessary to use sugar. You can also replace the sugar with a little agave syrup

Kitchen utensils you need to make this recipe

This recipe does not require many kitchen utensils. Below I share everything you need:

  • Frying pan: you need a pan to make the sauce and the Mhadjeb
  • Cutting board: a cutting board and knife to cut the vegetables
  • Knife: use your favorite knife to chop the vegetables
  • Large bowl: use a large bowl to mix all the ingredients for the dough.
  • Plastic bag: necesitas una bolsa de plásticos de algún supermercado, en el apartado de “como hacer esta receta” te explico para qué la vas a necesitar
  • Tray: a kitchen tray on which you can put approximately 10 dough balls, the size of a mandarin
  • Cling film: you need cling film to cover the kitchen tray when you have made the dough balls to let the dough rest a little
  • Grater: a grater to grate the tomatoes
  • Kitchen scale: you need to weigh the ingredients for the dough, for this you need a kitchen scale
  • Measuring glass: use a measuring glass to measure the water

How to make Mhadjeb or Mahjouba or Algerian Stuffed Flatbreads

If you have never made this Mhadjeb recipe, it may seem like a difficult task. But it's quite the opposite, you will see that it is much easier than it seems. This recipe contains enough images to make it very easy to make Mhadjeb.

The dough needs an hour to rest, so start with the dough and while it rests, you can make the tomato filling.

Make the Mhadjeb dough

In a bowl, add the 400 grams of semolina, 200 grams of flour and 15 grams of salt. Mix it and start adding water little by little while kneading with your hands. Usually I use about 400 ml of water, but you may need a little more or even a little less.

flour and semolina in a bowl

The dough has to be flexible but not sticky. Feel free to add more water if you still feel it a bit rough or if the dough doesn't stretch easily.

dough ball

Once you have a flexible dough, wet a grocery bag with warm water and put the dough ball inside. Close it and let it rest for about an hour. While prepare the filling for the Mhadjebs.

dough ball in a bowl

While the dough rests, make the filling for the Mhadjeb

Making the filling is quick and easy. Chop the onion (or cut it into slices if you prefer) and sauté them in a pan with a splash of olive oil. When they have softened, add everything else: the spices, the concentrated tomato, the grated tomato and salt and pepper to taste. Put the lid on and leave it for about 20 minutes over medium heat.

tomato and onion on a red kitchen counter

Do not add the sugar until the sauce is almost done, and you have been able to taste it. It's only necessary to add sugar if the sauce has an acidic taste due to the tomatoes.

Once the sauce is made, remove it from the heat and let it cool.

How to make Algerian stuffed flatbread step by step

Now comes the fun part, at least it seems that way to me. For some reason I love making Mhadjeb, it may be because I love any recipe for which I have to make some dough.

To be able to handle this dough easily, you will need plenty of sunflower oil. I always prepare a bowl with sunflower oil in which I can dip my fingers with oil whenever I need it. This saves me time as I don't have to grab the oil bottle every time.

Make balls about the size of a mandarin, wet your hands with a little oil to make the balls. Put them on a tray lightly covered with sunflower oil and cover them with plastic wrap. Let them rest for about 15 minutes.

ten balls of dough on a tray covered with transparent film

Have plenty of counter space available because the dough stretches a lot. You have to get a very thin dough in the shape of a rectangle, like in the image below.

Lightly grease the counter with sunflower oil. Put a little extra oil in the center of the counter and put a ball of dough on top. Lightly coat your hands with oil and flatten the ball so that it becomes larger and thinner. Use more oil if you need, you have to stretch the dough as much as you can so that you get a very thin dough. You may get some holes in the dough, this is okay, and it's very normal for it to happen. When you have stretched the dough as much as you can, you can grab the edges, lift the dough slightly and stretch it to get a thinner dough.

stretched mhadjeb dough

The Mhadjebs need to have a very thin dough. If it's the first time you make Mhadjeb, don't stress, with practice you will do them faster, easier and thinner, although they are not difficult to make at all.

Fold the dough in half along the long side as in the image below.

mahjouba dough folded in half

And with the other half do the same (as in the image below).

algerian flatbread dough

Put a thin layer of tomato sauce on the middle part of the dough as in the image below.

mhadjeb with tomato sauce

Once you have added the tomato sauce, close it on one side as in the image below. And then do the same with the other side.

dough filled with tomato

When you have made one, put it in a hot pan with a splash of sunflower oil. They are cooked over medium heat, each side has to be well done, or you can estimate roughly 3-4 minutes per side. Although rather than guiding yourself by time, look at the color, make sure they are similar to the ones in the photo below. While you have one Mhadjeb in the pan, take another ball of dough and prepare another one so that when the one in the pan is done, you can put the other one in.

mahdjouba in frying pan

If your family is at home, you will see that every time a Mhadjeb comes out of the frying pan it takes seconds to disappear!!

mhadjeb on a wooden cutting board

Frequently asked questions

Below I answer some frequently asked questions, if you do not find the answer, you can leave a comment below. I will be happy to resolve any doubt.

What do I do if I run out of filling?

In case you run out of filling, follow the same process and make the Mhadjeb without the filling. In this case you will have Msemen, very well-known crepes for breakfast. Save them for breakfast and heat them for a few seconds in the microwave. They are generally served hot with butter and honey.

The dough is very sticky, what do I do?

Sprinkle the dough with a little flour and knead until you obtain a flexible and non-sticky dough.

How do I store Mhadjeb?

If you have leftover Mhadjeb, share them with your family and neighbors. They will be very happy! If they have been so successful and your family doesn't let you give some Mhadjeb away, store them in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator for about 3 days.

How can I warm them up?

You can heat them for about 30 seconds in the microwave, our microwave is powerful, so you may need to heat it a little longer in yours.

Can I double the recipe for more Mhadjeb?

Yes, you can perfectly double the recipe to have more. With this recipe, you will have more or less 10 Mhadjeb. If you double it, you can have about 20. At home there are currently 3 of us, and 10 Mhadjeb don't last more than a day, so I usually double the recipe.

Ideas for the filling

You can fill the Mhadjeb with whatever you want, below I share some ideas for the filling.

  • Add red bell pepper, in the step of sautéing the onions, also add the red bell pepper and follow the steps in the recipe. Adding red pepper to the sauce is delicious since it will provide a touch of sweetness that the pepper has. When I have red bell pepper at home I almost always add it, you will see that you will love it.
  • When you put the filling in the dough, add pieces of cheese like "la vache qui rit" or any cheese you would like to add. You will have some cheesy Mhadjeb, I really recommend this if you are a cheese lover.
  • Make the filling with minced meat it is delicious. When the onion has softened, add a little bit of minced meat and when it is done continue with the steps indicated in Mhadjeb's recipe.
  • If you love spicy, add a spicy sauce to the filling like Harissa. Or just add a little extra of hot paprika.

If you have any other ideas, share them in the comments. 🙂 My favorite is adding red pepper to the sauce and cheese.

Save this Algerian Mhadjeb or Mahjouba recipe on Pinterest!

Save this recipe on Pinterest so that you won't lose it. Like this, when you go are going to make it, you don't go crazy looking for this recipe on the website. You just have to click on the Pinterest button below where it says “Spread the love”, and this recipe will automatically be saved on a board on your Pinterest account.

mhadjeb pinterest

If you like this recipe, you will love the following Algerian recipes

If you like this recipe, you will probably also like the following Algerian recipes:

  • Try this recipe to make Algerian Dolma, it's zucchini and potatoes stuffed with minced meat in a simple but delicious sauce. It's easy to make, healthy and above all delicious. 
  • If you love pizza, you can't miss this Pizza Carrée. It's a pizza with a delicious base, it's different from the ones you have tried, and has a very basic tomato sauce on top. It's decorated with black olives and no matter how simple it may seem, you will love it.
  • If you prefer Cocas, try this Algerian Coca, filled with a spiced tomato and onion sauce. You can add ingredients such as chicken breast or cheese.
  • This quick and easy recipe for chicken with chickpeas in a delicious tomato sauce (Chtitha Djedj). Serve it with some baguettes warm out of the oven.

Did you make this recipe?

Make a photo and add the hashtag #cookingwithoumbilal

I would love to see your creations on Instagram, you can also tag me in your stories: @recetasbyoumbilal

How to Make Mhadjeb (Algerian Stuffed Flatbread): Recipe to make Mhadjeb

How to Make Mhadjeb (Algerian Stuffed Flatbread): Recipe to make Mhadjeb

Recipe by Oum Bilal

Mhadjeb, Mhajeb, or also called Mahjouba, are typical stuffed flatbreads from Algeria. The dough has simple ingredients such as semolina, flour, salt and water. The Mhadjeb is filled with a sauce made with fresh tomato and onion. The recipe has many images to make it easier to make this delicious recipe.

Course: Breads and dough, Main dishesCuisine: AlgerianDifficulty: Easy
5 from 4 votes
Servings

5

servings
Preparation time

30

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes
Rest time

75

minutes
Cooking mode

Keep your device screen on

Ingredients

  • Ingredients for the dough
  • 400 grams 400 fine semolina

  • 200 grams 200 all-purpose flour

  • 400 – 450 ml 400 – 450 water

  • 15 grams 15 salt

  • sunflower oil

  • Ingredients for the filling
  • 5 5 tomatoes, grated

  • 3 3 onions

  • 1 tablespoon 1 concentrated tomato paste

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 ras al hanout

  • 1 teaspoon 1 sweet paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 hot paprika

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • splash olive oil

  • 1-2 teaspoons 1-2 sugar

Instructions (the instructions with pictures are above)

  • Dough
  • Mix the semolina, flour and salt. Mix it and start adding water little by little while kneading with your hands.
  • Add water little by little while kneading with your hands. I usually use about 400 ml of water, but you may need a little more or even a little less. The dough should be flexible but not sticky. Feel free to add more water if you still feel rough or if the dough doesn't stretch easily.
  • Wet a grocery bag with warm water and put the dough ball inside. Close it and let it rest for about an hour.
  • Filling
  • Chop the onion (or cut it into slices if you prefer) and sauté them in a frying pan with a splash of olive oil. When they have softened, add everything else: the spices, the concentrated tomato, the grated tomato and salt and pepper to taste. Put the lid on and leave it for about 20 minutes over medium heat.
  • Do not add the sugar until the sauce is almost done, and you have been able to taste it. It's only necessary to add sugar if the sauce has an acidic taste due to the tomatoes.
  • Once the sauce is made, remove it from the heat and let it cool.
  • Make the Mhadjeb
  • Make balls about the size of a mandarin, wet your hands with a little oil to make the balls. Put them on a tray lightly covered with sunflower oil and cover them with plastic wrap. Let them rest for about 15 minutes.
  • Lightly grease the counter with sunflower oil. Put a little extra oil in the center of the counter and put a ball of dough on top. Lightly coat your hands with oil and flatten the ball so that it becomes larger and finer. Use more oil if you need, you have to stretch the dough as much as you can so that it is a very thin dough. You may get some holes in the dough, this is okay, and it is very normal for it to happen. When you have stretched the dough as much as you can, you can grab the edges, lift the dough slightly and stretch it to make it thinner.
  • When you have a rectangle of thin dough, fold the dough along the long side in half. Fold the other part of the long dough, fold it over the side you have just folded (images above).
  • Put a thin layer of tomato sauce on the middle part of the dough and close it on one side and then on the other.
  • When you have made one, put it in a hot pan with a splash of sunflower oil. They are cooked over medium heat, each side has to be well done, or you can estimate roughly 3-4 minutes per side. Although rather than guiding yourself by time, look at the color, make sure they are similar to the ones in the photo below. While you have one Mhadjeb in the pan, take another ball of dough and prepare another one so that when the one in the pan is done, you can put the other one in.
  • Enjoy them a lot :)
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