Shakshuka

Rich spiced tomato sauce, spiked with a warm chilli heat. Eggs cooked just enough to set the whites, revealing liquid gold yolks when gently pierced with the tip of a knife. A couple of slices of toasted week-old sourdough enjoyed on the side. I am of course, talking about Shakshuka, a popular brunch dish which is North African in origin. In the Salford Kitchen, we enjoy it as a healthy and easy mid-week supper, perfect for warming the dark winter evenings that characterise this time of year.

We started off making this according to the Ottlolenghi recipe in Plenty, but over the years we’ve enjoyed it so much that we’ve tweaked it to our own tastes and made it our own.

Ingredients

Serves two

  • 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium brown onion, cut into thin slices
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into thin slices
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley (stalks and leaves)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander (stalks and leaves)
  • x1 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • A splash of hot water
  • 2 free-range eggs (4 for a more substantial meal)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper

Method

  1. In a large frying pan for which you have a lid, heat the oil over a medium-high temperature. When hot, add the pepper strips and cook for 15 – 20 minutes, until they are starting to soften and the edges are starting to char.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small frying pan dry-roast the cumin seeds for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from the heat and set to one side.
  3. Add the onion to the peppers and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the cumin seeds, parsley, three quarters of the coriander, sugar and paprika, and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, a splash of hot water and some salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 -15 minutes. The mix should reduce and thicken. Keep an eye on it, and add a splash more water if it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Make two gaps in the pepper and onion mix and carefully break an egg into each gap (if easier, you can break each egg into a separate bowl and then pour it into the pan). Sprinkle each salt with salt and cover the pan with its lid. Cook on a very gentle heat for 3 ½ – 4 minutes, or until the eggs are just set. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with slices of toasted crusty bread.
Steps 1 and 2 – peppers frying and cumin seeds toasting
Step 3 – adding the onions
Step 3 – adding the herbs and sugar (including huge clump :-D)
Step 4 – reducing nicely!
Step 5 – dinner’s ready!

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