One of our favourite meals at home right now is Shakshuka, a Middle-Eastern dish of eggs poached in a fragrant stew of peppers and tomatoes. To make from scratch, this takes almost an hour but if you make to make the pepper/tomato stew on a Sunday afternoon or some evening when you do have plenty of time, dinner, a few days later, can be on the table in 20 minutes.
1 onion, sliced
3 red or yellow peppers, sliced
250g tomatoes (I use cherry tomatoes)
Pinch of saffron
Pinch of sugar
2 bay leaves
1/4 tspn cayenne pepper
1 tspn cumin OR smoked paprika (either version is lovely)
1/2 tspn sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
Parsley & bread to serve
- Heat a glug of olive oil in a medium frying pan. Add the onion and cook for 5 mins over a medium/high heat. Add the peppers and cook for 10 minutes more, lowering the heat if necessary.
- Once the peppers have started to soften add all the spices, the tomatoes and about 100ml of water. Bring to a simmer then lower the heat. Let this cook gently for 20 mins, adding a splash more water if it gets too dry. Season and taste, adding more cayenne if needed.
- If you’re making the stew in advance, stop here. Turn off the heat, cool and pop in the fridge.
- Bring the stew to a slight simmer. Use a spoon to create 4 little pockets in the sauce. Break an egg into each and sprinkle with salt. Turn the heat down as low as it’ll go and pop a lid on the frying pan. Leave for 10 mins.
- When you remove the lid, the eggs should be cooked through but still have a runny yolk.
- Sprinkle the dish with chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread to mop up the juices.