When I saw Chakchouka was on the menu in last month's Tunisian-themed Kitchen Trotter box, it brought back fond memories of discovering this dish in a poolside cookery lesson in our hotel in Morocco. I know what you're thinking - zero points for presentation because it looks a right mess - and you'd be right. Our cookery guide Ali said that Moroccan parents often yell at their kids "go and tidy your room, it's a chakchouka in there", meaning that it's a total mess ! It tastes great though so you'll just have to tuck in with your eyes closed ! I followed the recipe in the box because it differed a fair bit from the original chakchouka recipe that I posted - this one had potatoes so didn't need a side serving of couscous - but they are both lovely so do head over to check out the other version !
drizzle of olive oil
4 merguez (spicy Tunisian sausages)
4 chipolatas (optional - if your kids don't like spicy food)
1 egg per person
1 clove of garlic
2tbsp tomato puree
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1tsp ground caraway
sprig of fresh mint to garnish
1/2tsp harissa (optional - if you want to add a kick)
Chop the onions and garlic and fry in the drizzle of olive oil until they are starting to go soft and translucent.
Chop the merguez and chipolatas into pieces about an inch long and add them to the pan. Fry for about 10 minutes until they are pretty much cooked through.
Add the tomato puree and the spices (paprika, caraway, cumin, salt, pepper) and give it all a good stir. Cook for a further five minutes. Chop the potatoes into small pieces and add to the pan.
Pour over 600ml of boiling water and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Use this time to chop the peppers and tomatoes. (You can peel them if you're so-minded but I never bother.)
Add them to the pan and cook for an extra ten minutes.
Add a bit more water if your mixture is too dry, because you'll need hot liquid to cook the eggs, but it needs to have the consistency of a thick sauce. If you want to add harissa to spice things up, now is the time to stir it through the dish.
Use a wooden spoon to make a few hollows in the mixture and crack an egg into each one.
Turn off the heat and cover the pan for about 4 minutes until the egg is cooked. Snip fresh mint over the top as a finishing touch.
*** Don't miss my country-by-country globecooking recipe index ! ***
Fancy trying your hand at some more Tunisian cuisine? How about Frik Chorba, Mechouia Blankit, Ojja or Quick Midweek Couscous ?