Saturday, 17 December 2011

Gnewiyah - Tunisian Okra Stew

1 medium sized onion, 1/2 kg meat for stewing (I used veal here), olive oil,
2-3 garlic, salt & black pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne, 3 tbs paprika, 2 tbs 1/ ground coriander,
tomato paste, water
red bell pepper, 1-2 handfuls of pearl onions, 3 cups okra

Brown the onions and meat in olive oil. Add pressed garlic (I grate it, 'cause I haven't found a proper garlic press since I moved here! Only plastic rubbish) and spices. Fry for a few more minutes, then add tomato paste and water to cover.
Cook for an hour or two, until the meat is nearly tender (less in a pressure cooker, which is what I use - I've grown to love it, saves me a lot of time).
Add the pepper, cut in strips, and pearl onions. Cook some more, then add the okra the last twenty minutes (be careful not to over-cook). Serve with bread.

Lablaabi - Chick pea soup

 Ingredients, 4 servings:

2 cans of chick peas (or 1 1/2 cup dried chick peas, soaked overnight and boiled), 5 cups of water, 1 stock cube,
6 garlic cloves, peeled, 1 bay leaf, 4 tsp cumin (freshly toasted and ground), 1 tbs harissa, 4 eggs, 3 tbs olive oil, juice of 1/2 a lemon, chopped parsley

Cook the chick peas in the stock, together with garlic and bay leaf (if using dry chick peas, cook for 45 minutes, add salt and cook another 15 minutes). Add spices and harissa and cook for 25 minutes whilst preparing the garnish (see below for ideas).
Add olive oil and lemon juice. Bring to a fierce boil and crack the eggs into the soup, bring the heat down and poach the eggs, without stirring for approximately five minutes or until the egg whites have hardened.

Garnish with parsley and serve or garnish with some of the suggestions below.

I was really surprised at how lovely this dish actually turned out to be, mashaa Allah! I'm not particularly fond of chick peas, cumin or garlic, but this is an absolute winner!

Egg-free Lablaabi

Lablaabi with poached egg

Tear some old, stale bread into soup bowls to pour the soup over (I won't do this again, the kids gave me minus points for the soggy bread!)
You can serve Lablaabi with, for example, olive oil, harissa, cumin, capers, tuna, olives, garlic, vinegar, lemon or lime juice, cilantro or parsley, and/or spring onions.

Lablaabi served with olive oil, olives, cumin, lemon and tuna.
 PS. there are variants of this soup in other parts of the world too.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


 This is an old picture of Shakshouka, the way I used to make it before.
Below are pictures of today's Shakshouka, that I looked up for my current "Tunisian inspired cooking" week. It tastes the same as the above Shakshouka.

Shakshouka is a kind of vegetarian ragout, similar to ratatouille. A tomato stew with poached eggs on top. There are variants of it in many countries (have a look in Wikipedia)

 It's still cooking here :)

Olive oil
1 large onion
2-3 sweet peppers
8 cloves garlic
2 tbs tomato paste
3 cups water
2 tomatoes
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tbs paprika
Salt to taste
1 egg per person (as we have some with egg allergy in the family, I just took some of the sauce and put aside before adding the eggs, the taste is a bit strong without them but okey)

1. Cut onion and press garlic cloves and saute them in a deep frying pan or pot until golden.
2. Add thinly cut peppers.
3. Add the spices and mix.
4. Chop the tomatoes (I like to peel them as well) and add to the pan.
5. Add tomato paste and water, then bring to a simmer.
6. Add salt to taste.
7. Crack eggs directly into the hot tomato sauce, without breaking the yolks. Put the eggs in evenly spaced. After the eggs have been added, there shouldn't be any more stirring or mixing.
8. Leave it to cook on low heat for about 2-5 minutes more, until the egg whites have cooked through.
9. Sprinkle fresh parsley over the Shakshouka and serve with bread.