Chachouka

Chachouka is a North African tomato and pepper stew with eggs. I’ve read that it’s also popular in homes throughout Israel, where it is known as Shakshuka. I’ve seen it pop up on some of my favorite food blogs over the years but I didn’t get around to trying it myself until very recently. I’ve no idea why I waited so long: I keep chickens so I always have eggs, and it’s so very easy to make.

This particular Chachouka recipe comes from a stunning new vegetarian cookbook called River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes. I received a review copy from Ten Speed Press and I’ve been cooking from it quite a bit lately: I made the Potatoes Dauphinoise (page 60) the other night and my family went crazy for them.

I recommend cooking your Chachouka in cast-iron skillet. That way, you can easily transfer it from the stovetop to the oven. (Don’t have a cast-iron skillet? You need one! I’ve had mine for a long time, but it is similar to this one.) Chachouka makes a great brunch, lunch (or light dinner) for 2 people (or maybe 4, if you serve it with a hearty salad, chunks of sourdough bread, etc). Cold leftovers are also quite tasty for breakfast.

Chachouka

Recipe for Chachouka

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

*3 tablespoons olive oil
*1 teaspoon cumin seeds
*1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
*1 clove garlic, crushed
*1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
*1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
*½ teaspoon hot smoked paprika
*A pinch of saffron strands
*1 (14-ounce/400g) can plum tomatoes (I used an equivalent amount of frozen roasted tomatoes from my garden last summer instead)
*Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
*4 large eggs, preferably farm-fresh, pastured eggs
*Crumbled feta cheese, for serving (optional...this was my addition to the recipe)

Directions:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large, preferably ovenproof, frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and let them fry gently for a couple of minutes. Add the onion and cook gently for 8–10 minutes, or until soft and golden.

2. Add the garlic and peppers and continue to cook over a low heat for at least 20 minutes, stirring often, until the peppers are soft and wilted. Add the paprika, crumble in the saffron, then add the tomatoes with their juice and some salt and pepper. Cook gently, stirring from time to time, for 10–15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.

3. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If your frying pan isn’t ovenproof, transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Make 4 hollows in the surface and carefully break an egg into each one. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 10–12 minutes, until the egg white is set and the yolk still runny. (I garnished mine with a bit of crumbled feta, which I strongly recommend.)

Recipe reprinted (with slight adaptation) with permission from River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes. Reprinted with permission from Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

Chachouka

More Chachoukas/Shakshukas from food blogs I love:
Smitten Kitchen
And Here We Are
David Lebovitz

More recently-released vegetarian cookbooks I love:
Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch
Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes
Mr. Wilkinson’s Vegetables: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Garden

 

23 Comments

  1. 1

    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — May 31, 2013 @ 6:38 pm

    What a fabulous recipe and post, Winnie! Tomatoes, peppers and eggs? I’m there! Plus, in my humble opinion, the addition of feta is majorly marvelous! Genius. I can taste dishes in my head. And, honestly, without the feta in this dish, it would be like a woman leaving the house without her jewelry. BRAVO, girl! Pinning to group boards at Pinterest! *mwah!* P.S. Oh! Signed up for Bloglovin’, so I should never again miss one of your posts! xo

    • Winnie replied: — June 1st, 2013 @ 8:54 pm

      You are the sweetest, Stacy. Seeing your avatar always makes me happy.

  2. 2

    Irina @ wandercrush — May 31, 2013 @ 8:44 pm

    Shakshuka really is some of the best simple and quick comfort food out there. I’ve never had it with feta, but it sounds like a perfect creamy balance to the acidity and spice. Thanks for sharing!

    • Winnie replied: — June 1st, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

      I really liked the feta! Also, I added some cilantro toward the end of cooking, too. I forgot to write that in the instructions…oops!

  3. 3

    Sarah Crowder — May 31, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

    Beautiful! Is this the same thing as eggs in purgatory? or is that more of a tomato sauce? Regardless, I love anything where the yolk provides a sauce for the dish.

    • Winnie replied: — June 1st, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

      No- I think eggs in purgatory is an Italian dish. But it’s a similar idea, for sure :)

  4. 4

    Lisa the Gourmet Wog — June 1, 2013 @ 3:14 am

    Yum! My favourite :) I adore the smokey paprika smell and taste.

    • Winnie replied: — June 1st, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

      I love smoked paprika, too!!!

  5. 5

    Suzanne Perazzini — June 1, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

    Anything with the golden runny yolks of eggs on top gets my attention. We had a cast iron pan when I was growing up and we used no other frying pan but I don’t have one now. Apart from the health factors, the black looks so darn good against food.

    • Winnie replied: — June 1st, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

      My cast-iron pan gets more use than anything in my kitchen, I think. How do you survive without one??

  6. 6

    Ren — June 1, 2013 @ 10:43 pm

    I hope this recipe is as good as it looks! I want to try this out for the weekend in with my friends.

  7. 7

    Kelly Yamauchi — June 2, 2013 @ 12:02 am

    This recipe is very interesting. I love the combination of tomatoes, peppers and eggs. It looks so easy to do. I bet it’s very delicious too. :-D

  8. 8

    Linda — June 2, 2013 @ 8:18 am

    I love Chachoukas/Shakshuka. I like your addition of saffron. Have you ever tried it with harissa? Adds a nice little kick from dried chiles, such as guajillo and anchos. This is a version I’ve made: http://www.wildgreensandsardines.com/2012/10/shakshouka-with-harissa.html

  9. 9

    Ramblings of a Bored Receptionist | kitchenkarmablogdotcom — June 3, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    [...] http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com/chachouka.html [...]

  10. 10

    hottipsforyou — June 3, 2013 @ 11:34 pm

    Thank you. I am sure if I try my best to do as the same as you did my kids will like this breakfast. The only thing I may change is to cook the eggs longer. They like well cooked eggs.

  11. 11

    Annette — June 5, 2013 @ 8:58 pm

    I can’t pronounce it, but it looks delicious!

  12. 12

    Kathy Chaney — June 7, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

    I’d love the silpat non stick baking mat! I’ve heard how wonderful the mats are for baking, and I’d love to give it a try. Found my way to your blog through a post on facebook. Someone was sharing your recipe for DIY creme fraiche. I am looking forward to making it up. It sounds delicious. I have some strawberries that are just calling out to be topped with it. Thanks very much.

  13. 13

    My Italian-American Kitchen — June 10, 2013 @ 7:50 pm

    I love your recipes! Simple, healthy and easy, just like mines! ;) I will try this one!

  14. 14

    Linda — June 12, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

    I need to get out my cast iron skillet. I haven’t used it in quite some time. This will be great for my weekend breakfast

  15. 15

    Choclette — June 16, 2013 @ 8:17 am

    When tomatoes and peppers are in season we eat Shakshuka regularly – I love it. I first came across it when visiting Egypt and have loved it ever since. I have an adapted recipe on my blog for Chocshuka and the addition of chocolate goes remarkably well.

    I would love a cast iron skillet.

  16. 16

    AJ — June 16, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

    I made this today and it turned out really good. I didn’t have feta so I just used my crumbly Gorgonzola cheese. I’ll be making this again.

  17. 17

    Phyllis Smith — September 18, 2013 @ 12:19 pm

    I’ve made this in a kitchen with one non-ovenproof skillet, and I just put a lid on it after breaking in the eggs. Worked fine.

  18. 18

    Conrad D — April 11, 2014 @ 12:03 pm

    You can make different versions of this,… Italian: add Sun Dried Tomato, Asiago Cheese and/or a dash of Olive Oil,.. Mexican: add Roasted Garlic Salsa, Crumbled Cotija Cheese and/or Fresh Baked Crumbled Corn Tortilla Chips. Buon Appetit!