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Berkoukech Soup (Mhamsa)

Berkoukech Soup (Mhamsa) - Moroccan Cooking


Berkoukech is a straightforward and natural soup, it’s brimming with flavors and ideal for the present nippy winter nights.

This soup is a conventional North African berber dish. It is generally arranged with goliath couscous grains like pearl pasta, it likewise contains vegetables, heartbeats and meat. The name berkoukech alludes to the name of the goliath couscous grains utilized as a part of the soup in the berber dialect.

Berkoukech formula is extremely adaptable and changes from district to area crosswise over North Africa. In Morocco, berkoukech is otherwise called mhamsa. Tradtionally, the berkoukech grains were hand rolled and dried out at home, fortunately we can without much of a stretch discover them in stores these days and appreciate this scrumptiously energetic soup.

If it’s not too much trouble make a point to check the notes toward the finish of the formula or your soup may wind up resembling a risotto as opposed to a soup. Genuine story.

I made it a couple of days back for Z and I and we cherished it, I prescribe getting a charge out of it with a major dab of harissa, however that is just on the off chance that you like hot and fiery sustenances. Appreciate!


Serves 4 to 6
  • berkouks

    1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 onion, grated
  • 200 gr braising beef or lamb, boneless, trimmed of excess fat and cut in 3 cm pieces (i.e. shoulder, neck fillet, beef shin, etc)
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, grated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander and more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Generous pinch of saffron
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • ¼ ground black pepper
  • 200 gr carrots, chopped
  • 100 gr celery, chopped
  • 100 gr drained canned chickpeas or 50 gr dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
  • 200 gr courgette, chopped in large chunks
  • 150 gr giant couscous (also known as berkoukech or mhamsa)



In a large casserole warm the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions, the meat, the tomatoes, the coriander, the tomato paste, the spices, salt and pepper. Leave for 5 to 10 minutes to lightly brown the meat and sweat the onions. Stir occasionally.

• Transfer the celery and the carrots in the casserole. Add 1 litre of water, bring to the boil and reduce the heat to low. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 60 minutes or until the meat is almost cooked.

• Add the courgette and the chickpeas then cook for an additional 20 minutes, or until the meat, the courgette and the chickpeas are a cooked.

• When ready to serve, transfer the giant couscous in the casserole and leave for 7 to 9 minutes or until the couscous is cooked. Depending on your type of giant couscous, the cooking time will vary. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve immediately.

Berkoukech Soup (Mhamsa)
Berkoukech Soup (Mhamsa)


If the berkoukech soup is not served straightaway, the couscous grains keep absorbing the water and the soup will loose a significant amount of its the liquid. For this reason, I recommend adding the giant couscous in the casserole a few minutes before serving the soup and serving it immediately once cooked.

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