This is not a quick breakfast, but if you have an hour to spare on a quiet Saturday or Sunday, it’s a rewarding one.
The spicing is inspired by a recipe in the Cook section of the Guardian. The Kitchen Cooperative calls for a tablespoon of ‘baharat’ spice mix, also known as Lebanese seven-spice mix, in its Helda beans and peppers with garlic yoghurt.
History isn’t my strong point, but I believe shakshuka originated in the Middle East so the mix of allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and coriander seems appropriate. I have skipped the cloves – I don’t want the faff of grinding them up – but I have included a little smoked paprika.
Some chunky slices of halloumi, scorched on the griddle and softened in the sauce add some saltiness to the sweetly-spiced dish.
A good handful of coriander and some pungent garlicky yoghurt (thanks again, Kitchen Cooperative) finish it off. For mopping up, I suggest challah (from Roni’s).
Serves 2 (hungry) people
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 400ml can tomatoes
8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 slices halloumi, 1 centimetre thick
1 handful chopped coriander leaves
3 tablespoons full fat yoghurt
2 cloves garlic, pureed
Heat the oil on a medium heat in a shallow pan which you’re happy to serve the dish in. Add the onion and garlic and a good pinch of salt. Cook gently for a couple of minutes then stir in the spices. Continue cooking until the onion is soft, but not browned – about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the pureed garlic with the yoghurt and set aside.
When the onion is soft, add the tinned tomatoes then fill the can halfway with water, swirling to catch the residual tomato, and pour in to the pan. Stir and break up the tomatoes. Tip in the chilli and cherry tomatoes, bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and leave for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, if the sides of the pan look a little dry, add a splash of water. Stir and season the sauce to your taste.
Create four shallow wells in the sauce and put an egg into each. Don’t worry if the eggs spill out of their wells. Cover the pan and leave on a low heat for 15 minutes until the whites are set.
Rub the halloumi slices with a little olive oil and sear on a hot griddle pan. Once they are well marked, add them to the pan with the eggs.
Sprinkle the fresh coriander over the eggs and serve the dish from the pan with the garlic yoghurt sauce on the side and some toast or bread.
*Made and eaten in West Hampstead