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Welcome to my food world. With today’s post, I start what I hope will be a long and satisfyingly delicious journey.

You know what my favourite meal is? Brunch. I love what it signifies as much as the wide variety of foods that can be included in this one meal. Brunches immediately bring a lazy weekend morning to my mind. You’ve had a lovely sleep-in, you’ve spent some time lingering over the morning chai and are happily contemplating the rest of the free day at your disposal. THAT is when brunch comes in. And it means you don’t have to cook twice – its two meals rolled into one!

Today’s dish is called Shakshuka Eggs. Its a Middle Eastern breakfast dish and while I haven’t the slightest idea if what I made would pass for the real thing, I can assure you that for all quick-sunday-morning-brunch purposes, it doesn’t matter. It is yummy and entirely satisfying. And its as easy as butter on a warm toast.

The recipe I followed called for ‘red chili – the spicy kind’. When I went to the supermarket for some, all I found were some jamaican hot peppers. Well, to cut a long story short – they weren’t kidding when they said these were ‘hot peppers’. And with my Indian arrogance at being able to handle hot peppers, I put in not one, but two. Despite never having used any jamaican hot peppers. Ever. What can I say! One morsel and we had smoke coming out of our ears. But, and this is important, we finished it and not because we had to. Despite the super spiciness, the underlying taste was awesome and I served it with a bun smeared with roasted garlic flavoured hummus and a glass of orange juice to dull the heat.

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Here’s the recipe without further preamble.

Prep time : 20 – 25 mins
Serves: 2

WHAT YOU NEED:

4 Eggs
1 Spicy red chilli (don’t you make the mistake I made. Use only 1. Or half!)
1 Green bell pepper/capsicum, diced
1 or 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
2 Medium sized tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup water
1 tsp Parmesan cheese (optional)
Corriander/cilantro – a few branches
Salt to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a non stick frying pan.
  2. Add the chopped garlic and chilli. Saute for about a minute.
  3. Add the diced bell peppers/capsicum. Mix and cover for a minute till it gets a little tender.
  4. Add the tomatoes, chopped corriander/cilantro and enough salt for the veggies. Mix well and add the water. Cover and let it simmer for 5 mins. It should have the consistency of a gravy with lumpy tomatoes.
  5. Crack the eggs over this chilli tomato sauce, season the eggs with salt and sprinkle the parmesan on it. Cover and cook for 3-4 mins till the egg white is firm and the egg yolk is cooked, but  slightly runny.
MY NOTES:
Skip the cheese if you want to keep it low fat.
Cook for an extra min or two if you prefer the egg yolk to be firm and fully cooked rather than runny.

Update (19/11/2011) : I read somewhere that while preparing Jamaican hot peppers for cooking, the seeds should be discarded. That probably reduces the heat a bit.

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