Let's Shakshuka

Let's talk Shakshuka.  Being "issued from immigration," in other words second generation onwards generates a lot of soul searching about identity.

I grew up in France. My parents' marriage were a mixed one. In the late 20's, my maternal family immigrated to France from Essaouira, Morocco, a modern tourists resort

and an ancient fishing port

I am fourth generation. As a child I would never introduce my friends to my mum's family. I was too afraid of being marked for my differences. So I hid them away. 

Then I immigrated and this bought a new set of situations. Three decades in the UK, I now write for the local newspaper and I am still talk to very slowly or in a poor primary school French probably to make sure I understand.
All this was running through my mind when Margot of Coffee 'n Vanilla and I talked about the new "Inheritance Recipes" Challenge. We are both in a different way proud of our roots and equally proud of being active citizens in the country of our choosing. There is a lot to celebrate:

When I think back to my grand-father's kitchen, I can smell the aroma of chargrilled peppers, see honeyed cakes and colourful plates and hear a little chorus of cousins singing "On y va, c'est d'la Shakshuka d'Essaouira".

Shakshuka is traditionally served with eggs. At Pebble Soup HQ we like it with spicy sausages which is a lesser know version.


  • a little olive oil
  • 1 or 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped, grilled and skin removed
  • 6 medium ripe diced tomatoes peel and deseeded, or 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chili powder or 1 tsp of harissa
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika (optional)
  • 1 tsp of tomato paste (for extra colour)
  • 1 big pinch of sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 spicy sausages (or merguez) per person
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional, to look pretty)
Step 1 is to peel the peppers, this doesn't have to be done but the result is nicer with skinless peppers.
           put the peppers on a grill, when the skin has blackened seal them in a plastic freezer bags until cool or run them under the water. When cool enough to handle, peel
In a frying pan or skillet if you have one, add the spices (cumin and chili or harissa) to hot olive oil and cook the onions and garlic gently until the onions are transparent.
Grill the sausages
Add the peeled tomatoes, the peppers, the sugar reduce and cook until it's all thick and shiny. Add the tomato paste if you want to add colour.
Combine the sausages and the base.
Shakshuka base can also be served cold as a salad


I'm submitting this recipe to the Inheritance Recipes challenge that we have just stared together with Margot at Coffee and Vanilla. This month theme is Cool Recipes so please come and join us, share your inherited Summer recipes!

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