Shakshuka

Although straightforward to make, shakshuka often involves more chopping and cooking than most of us have the time or inclination for first thing in the morning, so you might want to save this one for a weekend brunch, lunch or a light supper. But it is also worth noting that the eggs are added at the very last minute. The sauce can be cooked in advance and will keep for two or three days very happily in the fridge. All you have to do is heat it up, add the eggs, cook them for a few moments and it’s ready.

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Ingredients
1 tsp of coriander seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds
Olive oil
1 onion, sliced into half moons
1 garlic clove
1 tsp of thyme leaves
2 peppers (any colour), sliced
1-2 tsp of sugar
6 tomatoes, roughly chopped, or a 400g can of chopped tomatoes
1 handful of chopped parsley
1 handful of chopped fresh coriander
Cayenne pepper or chipotle flakes (optional)
4 large eggs
Salt & pepper
Method
Step 1
Dry-fry the coriander and cumin seeds in a pan until lightly toasted, then tip into a pestle and mortar and crush them, just to break them up a bit. Heat a glug of oil in a large sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft but not brown. Grate in the garlic clove and add the thyme leaves, slices of pepper and the sugar and cook for another few minutes until the peppers start to soften.
Step 2
Add the tomatoes, the crushed cumin and coriander seeds and most of the chopped parsley and fresh coriander, leaving some for garnish at the end. Season with salt, black pepper and a shake of cayenne pepper or a pinch or 2 of chipotle flakes if you want some heat. Cook on a low heat, adding a splash of water if it needs it. You want a thick, chunky sauce that tastes rich and full of flavour. This could take 10-15 minutes of slow, patient cooking. All this can be done in advance and set aside until you want it.
Step 3
Once you are ready to cook the eggs, reheat the sauce then make 4 small wells in the sauce into which you break your eggs. Sprinkle them with salt, cover the pan and cook on a low heat for 8 minutes or so until the whites are cooked, but the yolks still soft. Bring to the table in its pan, sprinkled with more chopped coriander and parsley, and serve with hunks of bread for mopping.

Home Cooked by Kate Humble published by Gaia, £25, Photography by Andrew Montgomery

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