Smokin' shakshuka

I adore this fiery North African brunch/breakfast dish, consisting of chopped tomatoes, herbs, spices and poached eggs. Place the pan in the middle of the table and share with loved ones as you scoop up the sauce with toasted flatbread and sip on hot coffee.


  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely sliced

  • 1 red pepper, diced

  • 1 green pepper, diced

  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 2 tsp sweet paprika

  • ½ tsp cumin seeds

  • ½-1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 800g tinned tomatoes (or ripe tomatoes in season)

  • 2 tsp sugar

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 4-8 eggs, depending on hunger

  • Small bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large lidded frying pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook until golden, then add the peppers. Fry until both are soft, then stir in the garlic and spices and cook for another couple of minutes.

  2. Pour in the tomatoes and roughly mash.

  3. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, adding more liquid if necessary. Taste and season, adding more cayenne if you prefer it spicier.

  4. Make 4-8 divots in the sauce and break in the eggs. Season them lightly, turn the heat right down as low as possible, cover and cook for about 10 minutes until they’re just set. Sprinkle with coriander and serve.

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