By Mohamed Amine GHODHBANE
A popular personality ina Goulette, a tourist city north of the capital Tunis, Tunisia, is Chef Mohsen, 72 years old, who has spent 51 years in the restaurant industry here as the food in the city evolved.
Generations of chefs who now own restaurants here started out as employees at the Chef Mohsen Restaurant, cooking, among, other things, the popular Tunisian dish, Berik, a triangle shaped fried pastry, with a filling eggs, seasoned with traditional spices like coriander, harissa and parsley.
When Mohsen started his business in the 1960’s, the price of Berik, a simple dish made largely from potatoes, eggs and oil. was was about 180 / 250 mellimes, the equivalent of quarter of a dollar. Today it is sought after by an international as well as local clientele, and, of course, many times more expensive.
Today Chef Mohsen considered as the king of traditional Tunisian Berik, as well as other traditional Tunisian foods.
- Boil a potato and mash with olive oil.
- Heat two cups of grapeseed or canola oil in a deep 10 inch skillet to about 350 degrees.
- Flatten the “dough” making a well in the center.
- Dab the “dough” with a bit of Harissa, capers and parsley.
- Break an egg in the middle and fold the corners over it, closing the pouch to prevent it the egg from spilling out.
- Slip the “berik” into the oil – gently – and cook a minute or two on each side.
- Remove with a spatula, and drain the oil on absorbent paper.
- Serve with lemon wedges.
In addition to eggs, you can place spicy vegetables, Ricotta cheese, small cooked shrimp, seasoned finely chopped beef or chicken or other fillings in a berik. But for the real thing, visit Mohsen’s restaurant in Tunisia and try out other Tunisian specialties.
Credit : tunisie.co