Mtabga, the Southern galette of Tunisia


Its name may sound a bit strange for you, but the Mtabga is very well-known in Tunisia, especially in the South of the country. This stuffed galette is one of the most common snacks in the Tunisian culture.

The Mtabga is Berber specialty that was originally prepared in the South of the country and then quickly became a national snack. This southern specialty is a thick galette stuffed with a kind of shakshuka (carrots, onion, parsley, tomatoes, harissa…) cooked in a traditional pan. But the secret of its unique taste (a secret that isn’t very healthy) is the lamb fat that is usually added to the preparation. Obviously, the lamb fat isn’t an essential ingredient since it gives to the Mtabga a strong taste and some people may not appreciate it. If you want to keep a light taste, you can replace the lamb fat with extra virgin olive oil.

For the dough, you will need (for 4 persons):

  • 500g of fine semolina
  • 250g flour
  • 1 sachet of baker’s yeast

For the shakshuka, you will need:

  • 3 fresh tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • Spice (salt, black pepper, paprika, coriander, caraway, turmeric)
  • Harissa
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste


  • For the dough, mix the flour, semolina, baker’s yeast and salt and pepper with some warm water. Once it’s done, let the mixture knead until you obtain a homogenous and elastic dough. Leave it for 1 hour, and meanwhile, start preparing the shakshuka.
  • In a pan, put some extra virgin olive oil and cook the crushed garlic cloves and the onion cut into small pieces. Then add the tomato paste, coriander, caraway, turmeric, harissa, peppers, salt and paprika and a glass of water. Let it cook for 10 minutes, and in the meantime, crack to 2 eggs in the pan.
  • To stuff the dough, create small balls with it, then spread out the balls in a round form. Then, add a bit of shakshuka and close the dough, while creating a half-moon form. Finally, cook each Mtabga for almost 20 minutes (10 minutes on each side).


photo credit : mesrecettestunisie

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