RECIPE: #StayHome Shakshuka [v]

I can’t believe my fellow Herders haven’t beaten me to posting this simple, tangy and delicious North African egg dish – and I don’t know why I don’t cook it every goddamn week.

Serves two
Olive oil Multiple glugs
Onion 1 whole white, sliced
Red bell pepper, 1 whole, sliced
Hot red chilli 1 sliced
Cumin 2 teaspoons whole, or 1 teaspoon powder
Paprika 2 teaspoons sweet powder, or 1 teaspoon smoked powder
Garlic 2 cloves, finely sliced
Tinned tomatoes Whole or chopped, the higher quality the better
Eggs 4 (my box of eggs only had 3 eggs in it when I had the brainwave of cooking this dish)
Coriander A handful, chopped

In a deep pan with a tight fitting lid, heat the oil through on a high-ish heat. Add the sliced onion and sliced pepper, coat in oil and distribute evenly across the bottom of the pan. Resist the temptation to constantly move the mixture, we want some caramelisation.

Once a fair amount of caramelisation has occurred on one side of the veg, add the spices and mix the mixture thoroughly. Leave for a minute or two, before adding the garlic. Whilst the garlic is heating through, keep the mixture moving. We don’t want it to catch.

Once everything has got to know each other, the mixture is deep in colour and your whole house smells amazing, add the tin of tomatoes and mix. If your tomatoes are whole, use your spoon to crush them as you stir until there are no egregiously large tomato lumps. Keep this simmering for 10 minutes. Season at this point with salt to taste, and optionally black pepper if you really want that specific flavour involved (I’ve probably got an entire standalone post in me about salt and pepper as these seemingly inseparable bedfellows).

Next, create a divot for an egg in your mixture. Make sure you position the divot so that you’ve left space for the other eggs you’ll be adding. Crack the egg into the divot, and repeat until all eggs are in. As soon as they’re all in, push the sauce towards the sides of the eggs to enclose them a little more. We want the whites to set as quickly as possible. Get the lid on the pan as soon as you can in order to get the mixture cooking from the top as well. Check periodically, and when the whites are almost entirely set, kill the heat and remove the lid. The residual heat of the pan will do the rest.

Hopefully your yolks still have some softness in them, although my personal success with this remains variable! Either way, sprinkle with your handful of coriander and serve with your best toasted bread.