Chachouka is a pepper and tomato stew, and is a staple of North African Cuisine, particularly Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Libya. It is traditionally served up in a cast iron pan with bread to mop up the sauce. It is also popular in Israel, where it was introduced by Tunisian Jews and is known as Shashouka.
The idea to make this recipe was born while perusing an online search for interesting things to do with some duck eggs! I came across this on the River Cottage Website, so all credit to the lovely Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall.
This dish looked amazing when cooked, and the baked eggs were fantastic. The flavour of the stew was deep and rich, but my personal feeling was that I think it could have benefited from a bit more spice. Next time I’ll add an extra chilli!
Serves 4 ( although I think this would be for a light meal only)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- ½ tsp hot smoked paprika
- 2 pinches saffron
- 6 largish ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 each red, yellow and orange Ramiro peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 Poblano chilli, chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 duck eggs
- Heat the olive oil in a large, preferably ovenproof, frying pan over a medium heat.
Add the cumin seeds and let them fry gently for a couple of minutes.
Add the onion and cook gently for 8–10 minutes, or until soft and golden.
Add the garlic and peppers and continue to cook over a low heat for at least 20 minutes, stirring often, until the peppers are soft and wilted.
Add the paprika, crumble in the saffron, then add the tomatoes with their juice and some salt and pepper.
Cook gently, stirring from time to time, for 10–15 minutes.
Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If your frying pan isn’t ovenproof, transfer the mixture to a baking dish.
Make 4 hollows in the surface and carefully break an egg into each one. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 10–12 minutes, until the egg white is set and the yolk still runny.
Happy eating 🙂