Shakshouka - eggs poached in tomatoes...

"Shakshouka (Arabic: شكشوكة‎; Hebrew: שקשוקה‎) (also shakshuka) is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, often spiced with cumin. It is believed to have a Tunisian origin. Shakshouka means "a mixture." or shaken in Tunisian dialect, and is also derivation of a common last name in Tunisia "chakchouk". Shakshouka is a staple of Tunisian, Libyan, Algerian, and Moroccan cuisines traditionally served up in a cast iron pan with bread to mop up the sauce. It is also popular in Israel, where it was introduced by Tunisian Jews."

I've already made something very similar - Eggs in Purgatory - but after seeing this dish in River Cottage "Veg everyday!" programme I had to try this version too. It's very good and quite feeling, which surprised me a little bit. Oh, one thing - I'm not a huge fan of cumin seeds but I actually like it in this dish! It gives it a nice 'hint/flavour".

How to make it...
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and finely sliced
- 1 yellow pepper, cored, deseeded and finely sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
- pinch of saffron strands (I omitted that step)
- 400 g tin plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 4 eggs
- sea and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large, ovenproof frying pan. Add the cumin seeds and let them fry gently for few minutes. Add the onion and cook gently for 8-10 minutes, or until soft and golden.
Add the garlic and peppers and continue to cook over a gentle heat for about 20 minutes, stirring quite often, until the peppers and soft. Add the paprika, crumble the saffron, then add the tomatoes with their juices and some salt and pepper. Cook gently, stirring from time to time, for about 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning. Make 4 hollows in the surface and carefully break an egg into each one. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the egg white is set and the yolk is still runny. Serve immediately.


You may also like: