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Chakchouka Algérienne | Algerian Style Pepper Stew







بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

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Chakchouka is a delicious and colourful North African dish that's quick and easy to make.  Chakchouka (شكشوكة), also called tchoutchouka, chouchouka, choukchouka, mekbouba, tastira, ojja,  shakshuka or shaqshuqa. The word 'chakchouka' is of Berber origin and means "mixture. Chackouka is a phenomenal dish that's prepared not only in North Africa, but all over. This dish originally comes to us from the Ottoman Empire from the dish Menemen. There are several different variations of the dish Menemen all around the world; Chakchouka or Ojja, the dish I am presenting today, Lecsó from my native Hungary , Letscho in German, Leczo in Polish, Lečo in Czeh and Slovak, Huevos rancheros Latin America, Eggs in Purgatory in the US, Ratatouille in France, Piperade in Basque country and finally another spelling of this dish Shaksuka enjoyed all over Arabia from Palestine to Somalia. Chakchouka, as I said before, was introduced to Tunisia and Algeria by the Turks; from there this dish became famous throughout North Africa up until Andalus in Spain. Sephardic Jews took this dish to the area of Palestine and Israel after the Jewish exodus. While there are numerous variants on this dish, it's base it always onions, peppers, onions, and tomatoes.  It can be made with courgettes/zucchini, potatoes, spinach, aubergines/eggplants, pumpkin, green beans, merguez sausage, quedid (dried mutton) and cooks often poach eggs in the sauce at the end. Another favourite preparation of mine is Mechouïa Chakchouka, where you chargrill the vegetables adding another level of deliciousness. That preparation will be coming up very soon!


This dish is vegan-friendly but meats can be easily added to satisfy all the carnivores of your family! Or even just poach a few eggs in at the end, then serve as a hot main dish oor as a dish accompanied by a homemade bread or fries a dish.

The main difference in chackouka dishes is the consistency of the sauce. Some like their tomato sauce very saucy, adding fewer vegetables and more liquid to create eggs that are poached in a soup-like tomato sauce. Other versions are chunky, adding more vegetables and less liquid to create a thicker sauce, heavy on the veggies. Some poach eggs in the sauce, others may scramble the eggs in the sauce. The spices also used in Chackouka do slightly vary region to region. In Morocco, for example, the all famous Ras el hanout is used, while in Tunisia Harissa is the main seasoning.

Chackouka, depending on which region you're in can be eaten for breakfast or brunch as it is in Tunisia and the Middle East, as a light lunch as it's often done in Algeria or even a quick comforting dinner. This dish garnished our tables during the holy month of Ramadan, we eat this dish with a good homemade Kesra, Khoubz el dar or Matlouh bread.

For this recipe, I use cubanelle green peppers. You can alternatively use California green, red or yellow coloured peppers. You will just have to cook it longer as that variety has more water content.


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So let's get started with the recipe.

KITCHEN TIME 🕓 ACTIVE PREP TIME : 20 min |   INACTIVE PREP TIME : 0 min  |  COOK TIME : 20 min  

main dishes | serves  about 6

 CHAKCHOUKA ALGERIENNE
 Algerian braised pepper stew 

‣ 1kg - about 2 lbs mix of coloured cubanelle peppers, sliced
‣ 2-3 hot peppers, or to taste (optional)
‣ 4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
‣ 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
‣ 2 large onions, sliced
‣ 1 large spoon tomato paste
‣ 1 TBS desra (pepper paste)
‣ 1 tsp sweet paprika
‣ generous pinch of ground cumin
‣ Harissa to taste
‣ about 1 egg per person


To serve: chopped coriander and parsley



1. Cut the tomatoes into large pieces. 

2. Deseed and slice all the peppers. Be careful when handling the hot pepper. Use gloves, if needed.

3. Heat the oil in a large pot.  Add the onion into saute for a few minutes, until softened. Then add in the peppers, tomatoes and garlic, then sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes. 

4. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer on low heat for about 10-15 minutes. 

5. As soon as the vegetables are cooked, and the sauce's consistency is a bit thickened, make a well in the pan for each, then add the eggs. The eggs will be poached in the pot. Space the eggs to give them room. Put the lid of the pot on. Wait for the white to set, as long as 10 minutes, depending the size of the eggs. The yolk should be runny.


    Storage
    ⇝ This dish can be stored in the fridge in a food-safe container for up to 4 days. This dish is freezable, with the addition of eggs for up to 6 month. To serve, just thaw out the chackouka on the counter then heat up in a pan.

    Variation
    ⇝ You can vary this dish by adding in merguez sausage or other vegetables such as aubergine/eggplant, courgette/zucchini or fried potatoes or even add in steamed fava beans at the end. 

    Substitutions
    ⇝ You can use California green and red peppers instead of the cuban

     CATEGORIES: ALGERIAN SAVOURY, MAIN DISHES,  VEGETARIAN, VEGAN adaptable, summer, HEALTHY, QUICK AND EASY,



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        Serve this dish with lots and lots of freshly baked bread, like this olive bread or even with this nigella seed bread. And wash it down with this homemade Orangina chilled.

        Or alternatively, browse through the recipe index to get inspired.

          5 comments:

          1. Wonderful and enlightening post Heni! I did not know that this dish came from the Ottomans! but then so many things come from them!
            I would devour both versions you put out here!

            ReplyDelete
          2. I am glad to discover some new recipes here in your blog. This sounds very interesting.

            ReplyDelete
          3. This is very tasty and looks good with the French Fries...thanks for participating and giving us two recipes for the Shakshouka..
            Funny even in Lebanon my mom prepares a similar dish we call it Bayd with Banadourah, Eggs with tomatoes.. I am not a great fan of cooked easy.. I use it a lot in baking.. and that it for me...I should it eat more .

            ReplyDelete
          4. Greetings friends!
            Thanks for viewing and commenting!

            Yes I think so many Med dishes came from Greece and Turkey then travelled all over ...

            ReplyDelete
          5. I really like what you guys are up too. Such clever work and exposure!
            Keep up the fantastic works guys I've included you guys to my blogroll.

            my page ... https://saffronx.com

            ReplyDelete



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