Tunisian Chakchouka is typically a summer dish in this North African country. It features the super-intense flavor of the ripe red tomatoes that the Mediterranean basin is world famous for. Rich and complex in flavor and texture, Tunisian Chakchouka is nevertheless a rather easy dish to prepare.
Note: Traditional Tunisian Chakchouka is a very hot-spicy and intense dish. You can customize it to your tastes by adjust the amounts of harissa paste, garlic, and hot chili peppers. As long as those are ingredients are included, at least in some measure, your chakchouka will still be the real authentic Tunisian cuisine experience.
Tunisian Chakchouka Recipe-
- 4 large ripe, red tomatoes, rough chopped
- 4 large eggs
- 4 canned sweet piquant peppers, rough chopped
- 2 medium-sized white or yellow onions, peeled and chopped medium fine
- 1 or 2 Scotch bonnet hot chili peppers, chopped fine (for extra hot, leave seeds in; for less hot, remove seeds)
- 1 full, large bulb of garlic, all cloves peeled and chopped fine
- 2 tbsp. concentrated tomato paste
- 1 tbsp. harissa paste
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- dried thyme, to taste
- salt, to taste
- extra virgin olive oil
- French bread, for serving accompaniment
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium flame. Use plenty of oil, because traditional Tunisian chakchouka features the flavor of olive oil in its complex and sumptuous bouquet.
- Add and stir in the garlic and onion, and sauté until soft and fragrant. As they start to brown, add in the cumin. When the cumin is stirred and blended in, add the peppers, harissa paste, tomatoes and tomato concentrate, and salt, to taste. Last into the skillet goes the thyme and bay leaves.
- Adjust the burner to just a lively simmer, and cook, uncovered, until the vegetables are cooked tender.
- When the vegetables are cooked, and the consistency has thickened, add in the eggs, spaced evenly apart into the skillet. Cover the skillet and cook for anywhere from 12 to 15 minutes, or until the egg whites have set up firm, but the yolks are still bright yellow and soft – even runny, if you are going for true authentic Tunisian style.
- To serve your Tunisian Chakchouka, ladle a generous portion of the veggies and sauce into each serving bowl. Carefully scoop an egg out of the skillet and place it in the center of each serving. Tastes great and is traditionally served with some French bread, sliced and ready to dip into the chakchouka sauce.
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