Ras El Hanout Shakshuka
From Ainsley’s Fantastic Flavours, ITV
Shakshuka is a Maghrebi dish that’s popular throughout North Africa and parts of the Middle East and it’s one of my favourites for a lazy brunch with friends. The ingredients can vary, but always includes a tomato base and eggs. I’ve given mine a twist by using Ras El Hanout and bell pepper for extra texture. Ras El Hanout is a king amongst North African spice blends – it translates as ‘head of the shop’ implying it’s a mix of the best spices on offer. It’s a heady mix of over a dozen spices (In Morocco I was once told 30!) including cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and allspice.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the onion and cook for 4-6 minutes until softened, but not coloured. Add the peppers and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften. Stir in the garlic, ras el hanout and cayenne and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes to the pan along with 1 tbsp of water, breaking them down using a wooden spoon if using plum tomatoes. Stir in the sugar and season with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes until thickened. Stir in the parsley and half the coriander.
Use a spoon to make 4 small wells in the sauce and carefully crack an egg into each. Cover the pan and cook over a low heat for 7-10 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your liking. Season the eggs with salt and give everything a good grind of pepper. Scatter over the remaining coriander and feta. Serve at the table in the pan with some warm crusty bread or pitta for mopping up the sauce.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red & 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp Ras el Hanout
- ¼ - ½ tsp cayenne (adjust according to taste)
- 2 x 400g can chopped tomatoes or plum tomatoes
- good pinch of sugar
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- 80g feta, crumbled, to serve (optional)
- bread or pitta, to serve