I have always believed that you don't need to spend a lot of money to eat well everyday. Regular everyday meals don't have to be boring or dull neither do you need exotic ingredients to make it exciting. The secret lies in having a few oddities in the pantry amongst regular stuff. Think good quality oils, smoked paprika, saffron, some wine vinegar, perhaps some coconut sugar; ingredients that elevate your regular into exotic. Sending a few extra amount on special condiments, or as I call them the accessories of food, are well worth it. They literally lift the dish to the next level. So, on holidays I will always traipse around gourmet stores, local markets and spice bazars to pick up oils, spices, herbs, salts, smoked chilies, and vinegars.
Chickpea Shakshuka is a wonderful heartwarming dish. Food historians claim that it came from Yemen and travelled to Ottoman Empire. Whatever the history maybe, it became very popular around the world and, rightly so because it is so easy to prepare and so so delicious. During the past few months, when lockdown turned regular life upside down and accessibility to produce was limited, I relied a lot of chickpeas to create dishes that were tasty and easy while being nutritious. We hardly ate animal protein and I found the joys and deliciousness of keeping boiled chickpeas at hand.
This dish can be made without the addition of the eggs and tastes just as fabulous. If you love eggs like I do then, boy! The silky creamy egg yolk along with the spices and tangy tomatoes and chickpeas and scoop up with some sour dough bread is heaven on earth. Thats why I added only one egg! This dish is to savoured in a relaxed unhurried manner. If you are going to be in a rush, please refrain from attempting to make Shahshuka!
You can add some greens too if you fancy, I love the intense smoked flavours of the chilies in the tomato sauce. I have used green bell peppers, that is what was available in the kitchen, although the original recipe calls for red bell peppers. What is home cooking if we can't substitute a few ingredients while recreating the same flavours!!
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