I couldn't resist checking out the Moroccan cookery sessions on offer at our hotel in Agadir so I have a few exotic but totally simple dishes to share with you over the next few weeks. The first dish that we were shown was Chakchouka, which is basically the Moroccan version of Ojja that we discovered in Tunisia. Ali, the cook, made it in a traditional tagine on a gas burner with charcoal, but you could make it in a large frying pan. I'm tempted to try this in the slow cooker too.
(The quantities are a rough guide as this was prepared for a big group of people to share - it's very much a throw it all in dish though, so just follow your instincts)
5 tomatoes, chopped (plus the juice)
1 red pepper & 1 green pepper, deseeded & sliced
2 onions, chopped
1 large red chilli (optional - remove before eating)
some spicy merguez sausages, precooked (plus the spicy oil)
spices : salt, pepper, curcuma, cumin, saffron, paprika
a small (1/4 teaspoon) dollop of harissa (chilli paste)
Heat the olive oil in the tagine (or deep frying pan) and add the tomatoes, garlic, onion, peppers and chilli. Put on the lid and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring every now and then, until they are soft. Add the pre-cooked merguez and any of the spicy oil that has collected in the dish. Add all of the spices and the harissa. Continue to cook for 20 minutes, adding a little water if necessary.
Crack the eggs on top and wait for them to cook, spooning over some of the hot cooking liquid to help the topsides to cook. You can sprinkle over fresh parsley to make it look pretty. Serve with bread to mop up all of that lovely sauce.
If you leave out the sausages, this makes a great vegetarian meal.
According to Ali, Chakchouka means mess because it's a dish where you just throw everything in !
I'm seriously thinking of buying myself a tagine at our local market to make it even more authentic.
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