Shakshuka

  • Yield 4 servings

Shakshuka is a North African dish with many variations. Some add preserved lemon, others feta and different herbs and spices.

088-089_shashuka
Chronicle Books

Cook and serve it in individual pans, if you have them, or in one very large one. Chunky white bread on the side is a must.

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced
2 red bell peppers, cut into 3/4-inch strips
2 yellow bell peppers, cut into 3/4-inch strips
4 teaspoons muscovado sugar
2 bay leaves
6 thyme sprigs, leaved picked and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus extra to garnish
6 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper
8 eggs

Instructions

  1. In a very large pan dry-roast the cumin seeds on high heat for 2 minutes. Add the oil and onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the peppers, sugar and herbs and continue cooking on high heat for 5 to 10 minutes to get a nice color.
  2. Add the tomatoes, saffron, cayenne and some salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. During the cooking, keep adding water so that the mix has a pasta sauce consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. It should be potent and flavorful. (You can prepare this mix well in advance.)
  3. Remove the bay leaves, then divide the pepper mix among four deep frying pans, each large enough to take a generous individual portion. Place them on medium heat to warm up, then make two gaps in the pepper mix in each pan and carefully break an egg into each gap. Sprinkle with salt and cover the pans with lids. Cook on a very gentle heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the eggs are just set. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
Reprinted with permission from Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi (Chronicle Books, 2011).

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