The hit new trend sweeping across cafés and households alike is a staple North African peasant dish – the shakshuka. Growing up in a Moroccan household myself, this dish commonly featured as a weekend brunch where the entire family would gather round a bubbling skillet, choosing which egg they liked best.
Now, having flown from the nest, I yearned to recreate this but on a considerably smaller scale. I use any large oven-safe ramekin I can find to create the perfect portion – these ones from Le Creuset I find incredibly charming. Now, I understand making your own flatbread may seem a chore when they are readily available at the supermarkets but I assure you it is wickedly simple and worthwhile. You’ll never use store bought again.
This dish is the perfect fusion of gnarly and delicate. The spices are so bold and offer an intense complexity whereas the baked egg oozes at the barest touch of the flatbread.
Not only is this recipe rich in flavour, it is also a healthy balanced meal which will keep you satisfied until dinner. Not to mention it is deliciously affordable!
What you will need:
50g plain flour
50g full fat yoghurt
¼ tsp of baking powder
Pinch of salt
What you will need:
1 x medium shallot
½ sweet pointed red pepper
1 x clove garlic
½ tsp of cumin seeds
½ of tsp paprika
2 tsp of tomato paste
½ can of chopped tomatoes
1 x free-range egg
Salt and pepper to taste
How to Make Shakshuka:
1. Start off by making the flatbread: Combine all of the ingredients and mix with your hands until it forms a dry dough. Put it onto a lightly-floured surface and knead until it becomes uniform (approx. for two minutes). Cover in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge whilst preparing the Shakshuka.
2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and place the ramekin in there. I find this cooks the egg most evenly.
3. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the pan on medium heat. Add in the shallots and the peppers along with a pinch of salt. Sauté until the shallots are soft.
4. Throw in the sliced garlic until fragrant (approx. 30 seconds).
5. Then, add in the spices, cooking them off in the pan until wonderfully fragrant, allowing the flavours to coalesce.
6. Now, mix in the tomato paste until the raw tomato smell has cooked off (approx. 1 minute).
7. Pour in the tomatoes and give it all a good mix. Let simmer for approx. 5 minutes so the flavours can mingle and the sauce can thicken.
8. Remove the ramekin from the oven and pour the thickened sauce into it. Make a well and crack the egg inside. Cook for 7-10 minutes.
9. Meanwhile, preheat a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to roughly 3mm thick. Once the pan is hot, cook the dough for 1-2 minutes on each side until decorated in deep brown spots. Brush with olive oil.
10. Remove the ramekin when the whites are set but the yolk still wobbles. Sprinkle with chopped mint, parsley and toasted sesame seeds.
Photo credit: Grace Tasselli