Saturday, 27 November 2010


I'm still buzzing with ideas for meals to cook from my trip to the Lebanon last week but with a weekend of work ahead I know I'm not going to be able to spend much time in the kitchen.

This spicy egg dish which I cooked for the Guardian Student Cookbook I wrote back in the summer will have to do in the meantime.

Cooking eggs with tomatoes, chillies and sometimes peppers is popular all over North Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Basque country but this particular version originated in Tunisia. I love the way the egg whites leach into the sauce marbling it red and white.

Serves 2-4
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium to large onion, peeled and sliced
3 small or 2 medium peppers, quartered, seeded and sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4-1/2 tsp hot pimenton, paprika or chilli powder
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes - or 400g fresh tomatoes, skinned and 1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp chopped coriander (optional)
4 eggs
Salt and pepper
Feta and pitta bread to serve (optional but good)

You’ll also need a large frying pan preferably with a lid or some foil

Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the sliced onion and peppers and cook for about 10-15 minutes until they begin to soften. Stir in the crushed garlic and cook for another minute or two then add the cumin and pimenton, paprika or chilli powder and coriander, if using and cook a minute more. Tip in the tomatoes, stir and leave over a low heat for another 10-15 minutes until the sauce is thick and jammy. Check the seasoning adding salt and pepper to taste. Make four hollows in the surface with a large tablespoon then crack an egg into each hollow (or crack it in a saucer then slide it into the sauce). Cover the pan with a lid or a large piece of foil and carry on cooking until the whites are lightly set but the yolks are still runny. Serve with warm pitta bread with some extra coriander sprinkled over the top. Some crumbled feta is also really nice with it.

Do you make baked egg dishes like this? If so what's your favourite?


TheFoodieHistorian said...

I've never actually made a baked egg dish - this looks lovely though with some crusty bread and wine, will have to add it to my list of things to try!

Sophie said...

I love these baked egg dishes - it seems like most countries have their own take on Chakchouka (except us brits).

My most frequently cooked is a (possibly terribly unauthentic) spanish pisto topped with eggs

Sarah said...

I must admit I prefer crispy crunchy fried eggs cooked in hot fat. I associate the flabby white ones with B&B breakfasts.

I may try this dish next summer though when peppers are in season again.

Fiona Beckett said...

Oddly Sarah - and Foodie Historian - they don't go flabby - possibly because of the slightly longer cooking and lack of oil - or oil directly onto the eggs. The texture's more like a poached egg.

Pisto looks great, Sophie. Will have to give that a try.

Chakchouka convert said...

Just had this for lunch. It was delicious and a perfect antidote to the cold weather. Thanks.

Fiona Beckett said...

Great 'chakchouka convert' - glad you liked it :)