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Makaroni Embowkha - A Libyan dish - Steamed pasta with chick pea & onion sauce served with Lamb.

Updated: Mar 22, 2022

So in today's post we will be celebrating a well known, staple in every Libyan home, this dish takes great pride in a weekly or monthly meal planner all across Libya and along with stuffed vine leaves, cous cous and dolma or mahshey I would call it one of the most important dishes in Libyan cuisine.

It really is full of delicious flavours, the slowly steamed pasta melts in your mouth whilst the chick pea and onion sauce adds a depth of flavour, and is usually served with a good offering of Lamb. (In our family home we also add potatoes and other veggies but this is optional)

The ingredients that are needed for this meal are pretty basic but I can promise you the end result is far from that.


Capelli L'angelo Pasta

As many onions as you can bear to peal and slice 1 kg would be great

2 cans of Chick Peas

4 Small Potatoes

4 Shallot Onions

Sunflower Oil


Tomato Puree




10 or 5 Spice Hararat Mix - by GP Spices

Chilli Powder if you prefer you meal HOT


1.To Start with lets prep the tomato sauce that you will steam your pasta with, this is very basic.

Roughly chop one onion, add Lamb and Sunflower oil, allow onion to saute and lamb to colour then add salt, pepper, 10/5 Spice Mix Hararat (by gp spices) add a tube of tomato puree & passata add a full kettle of boiling water and allow to bubble on a high heat.

2. Take your pasta rolls and break them in your hands until all your pasta is broken into small pieces, add a little sunflower oil to help the pasta steam better. Add the pasta to the top pan of your two tier steamer, ensuring to push the pasta back in the middle allowing a hole for in the centre of the pot for the steam to come through. Place your pasta on top of your bubbling tomato sauce and allow to steam for 30 minutes. Lower the heat on your tomato sauce, allow enough heat to steam without burning the sauce.

3. For your chick pea sauce, peel and slice 1 kg of onions, add to a separate pot and allow the onions to reduce, add your spices, salt, pepper, and a heaped tablespoon of 5/10 spice Mix Hararat (gp spices) then adding your sunflower oil and allow the onions to brown. Once nice and brown add some tomato puree until the sauce is nice and red and add boiling water from the kettle. After 20 minutes add in your two cans of chick peas.

4. Meanwhile with you steaming pasta every 30 minutes take the pasta out of the steamer and add a ladle or two of the sauce, mix well with a fork and pop back into the steamer. Keep doing this in 30 minute intervals until your pasta is cooked.

N.B you may need to keep adding boiling water to avoid the sauce from burning, if you choose to add the veg, add these to the sauce before the final 30 minute steam.

Serving: to serve this dish, carpet the pasta, add the chick pea and onion sauce, add the lamb (you can brown your cooked lamb on a griddle pan or in the oven if you prefer before serving) layer on your veggies and to finish sprinkle the hararat (gp spices) lightly on top to add the final element of flavour.

Do let us know how you get on with this recipe & we hope you love it as much as we do !

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