Chakchouka with flatbread

This popular North African dish is a perfect supper, I have teamed it with the quick to prepare Socca bread made from chickpea flour which also hails from the Mediterranean and works really well.

We are all very used to cooking with tinned tomatoes, and fresh ones do take a little more prep (but are well worth the effort). If you have a food processor you may want to blitz the whole tomatoes rather than grating, or just lob them in roughly chopped if you aren’t fussed about the skins.

You will need to cover the sauce to cook the eggs so a frying  pan with a lid is preferable but you can always cover with foil if you don’t have anything suitable. If you only have one frying pan, make the flatbread first and just warm slightly in the oven before serving.

  • 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼-½ tsp hot chilli powder
  • Small bunch coriander, leaves chopped
  • 400g tomatoes (5/6 tomatoes) halved and flesh grated
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g gram/chickpea flour
  1. Fry the onion slices in 2 tbsp of olive oil on a low heat until starting to soften (2 minutes) then add the peppers.
  2. Continue softening the peppers for at least 10 minutes, stirring only occasionally until they are really floppy. The thinner you sliced the quicker this will be, so its worth taking a bit of time to do!
  3. Prepare your flatbread batter by slowly combining your flour with 400ml cold water – the batter should be the thickness of single cream. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the garlic and spices to the peppers and stir for a couple of minutes to combine and release their aroma.
  5.  Add the prepped tomatoes and the tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Bubble up for 5 -10 minutes to break down the tomatoes and create a sticky sauce you can make dents in with the back of a spoon.  You can add a little water if it’s getting too dry.
  6. Create 4 dips in your sauce and crack an egg into each one. Add the lid (or foil) and continue to bubble away for 6 minutes (or more if you like your eggs cooked through). The steam is helping to cook the eggs so don’t lift the lid too much to check or it will all escape.
  7. While your eggs are cooking heat a tbsp oil in another frying pan and tip in enough batter to cover the base of the pan when swirled around.
  8. The edges will solidify and you can lift slightly with a spatula to check when its golden brown and time to turn.
  9. Flip the bread and cook the other side until brown removing to a warm plate. Repeat until you have used up the batter (amounts are suitable for 2 x 10″ flatbreads).
  10. Serve on the flatbreads sprinkled with chopped coriander.
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