Posts Tagged ‘cumin seeds roasted’

Recently discovered this traditional North African favourite in Ottolenghi’s sumptuous vegetable cookbook  Plenty.

It is commonly served in individual cast iron pans, which I imagine adding to the pleasure–one pan and ALL for ME!

It makes a pretty summer picture on the plate with a few green beans (gift from our neighbours, Hervé and Maite) to the side.

for 2

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds–dry roasted in a medium pan

1 large onion–red or yellow–sliced

80ml/1/4 cup olive oil

2 red peppers--washed, deseeded and sliced thin

1 bay leaf, thyme leaves from a few sprigs, 2 tablespoons of parsley

3 large fresh ripe tomatoes or tinned–roughly chopped with the juices

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and a pinch–a few strands–of saffron

1/4 cup/60 ml water

2 or 4 egg 

salt and pepper

  • Dry roast the cumin seeds for a minute or two, taking care not to burn them.
  • Add the oil to the pan, then the onions and over a medium high heat cook them for 5 minutes to soften them.

  • Add the peppers and the three herbs, turn everything over thoroughly.

  • Cover the pan for 5 minutes to start the softening of the peppers.

  • Cook a further 5 minutes uncovered.
  • Add the tomatoes, the water–little by little to avoid diluting the sauce–and the two spices and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 15 minutes on a low heat–covering for a short time if you think the peppers need further softening.
  • The result should be a lightly spicy sauce in which to poach the eggs.

  • Carefully break the eggs ( 2 or 4–your choice) into the sauce–leaving space between them.

  • Cover the pan and cook, over a lowish heat, until the eggs are cooked to your taste.

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