Recipe: Chakchouka (pepper ragout)


Looking for a fast, local dinner?
Look no further than Chakchouka !

This easy North African dish was introduced to me by an friend from Egypt. Also popular in Israel.
A simple dish of eggs poached in a pepper ragout cooked in the pan, it has many names and variations- similar to piperade . Potatoes, zucchini and even lentils are great pairings. I have also had it where the egg were scrambled and it was more like a omelet. How does your family prepare this dish?

Chakchouka/ Shakshouka

  • 3 tbsps Olive oil
  • 1 Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 minced Garlic cloves
  • 3 Tomatoes diced  (peeled, seeded)
  •  2- 3 bell  peppers, diced
  • 1 cup  Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • dash of paprika ( optional)
  • Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Stir dash of paprika and cook slighly to color the oil, about 10 to 15 seconds. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent and wilted but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to reduce down a little bit. Add the peppers, water and salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add more water as needed to keep it from drying out.Using a spoon, form four small indentations in the simmering peppers to hold the eggs. One by one, crack the eggs into a small bowl and slip each from the bowl into an indentation. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes or so until eggs are cooked through. Serve with crusty bread, pita or rice.
Other variations use hot peppers. Check out this post on Smitten Kitten.

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