- SHOP LIST
- bell peppers (red and yellow)
- cumin seeds
- strong smoked paprika
- saffron pistils
- extra-virgin olive oil
Today I’ll talk about a Tunisian dish, chachouka.
I discovered this dish thanks to september Starbooks, that was about about a very interesting cookbook, River Cottage Veg Every Day by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, interely dedicated to vegetables, that are (or at least they should be) very important in our daily diet.
Now my fridge is full of black cabbage, spinach, swiss chards, broccoli, fennels and bell peppers, so I don’t have a veggie problem in my diet, but when I see a new way to cook vegetables, I can’t let it out of my hands, especially in cases like this one, where you can create with very little effort a single course dish that could save your dinner, or your lunch, if bell peppers for dinner would be too much for your stomach.. In my case, a miracle happened: years ago I would have never ate bell peppers, but, after the litmus test, I did great, and now I even have them for dinner!
So, when I heard the description of the chachouka from Daniela and, even more, when I saw the actual dish, I didn’t say no to it.
Well, Daniela and Hugh saved my dinner!
- Yield: 4 servings, but for me actually 2 (as a single course)
- Prep: 10 mins
- Cook: 60 mins
- Ready In: 1 hr 10 mins
- 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 big onion cut in half and then cut into thin slices
- 1 clove garlic pressed (I left it whole)
- 1 red bell pepper cleaned, withou seeds and cut into slices
- 1 yellow bell pepper cleaned, withou seeds and cut into slices
- 1 green bell pepper [I added it, ’cause my other peppers were little] cleaned, withou seeds and cut into slices
- 1 tsp strong smoked paprika
- 1 pinch saffron pistils
- 400 grams tomatoes roughly chopped [you can use canned tomatoes; I used my home-made canned tomatoes]
- 4 eggs
- black pepper freshly ground
- Heat the oil in a big frying pan, preferably suitable for baking, on a medium heat.
Add the cumin seeds and let them fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add the onion and cook on a low heat for 8/10 minutes, or until onion is soft and golden brown.
- Add garlic and bell peppers and continue cooking on a low heat for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionaly, until the peppers are soft.
- Add paprika, saffron pistils and then tomatoes and theis juice, season with salt and pepper. Cook on a low/medium heat for 10/15 minutes, stirring from time to time. Preheat the oven to 356°F (180°C).
- Taste and, if necessary, add some salt and pepper. If your frying pan is not suitable for baking, transfer all in a baking pan. Make four holes on the surface and, carefully, break in each one an egg. Season with salt and pepper every egg.
- Bake for 10/12 minutes until the egg white is firm and the egg yolk is still soft.
- Daniela’s note: you could prepare Chachouka a day before, dividing the work into two parts. You could prepare the bell peppers part before and then you could simply add the eggs the next day. In this case, since the vegetables are cold, you’ll need 2 or 3 minutes more in the oven.
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This dish is basically an Italian peperonata, but adding these spices you can make an all different dish, very interesting!
And, for me, the combination between bell peppers and eggs was totally new, and I loved it! Well, not just me!
Recipe… APPROVED. And I will do it again!