All good things come to an end at some point, try as we might to hold on to them. I have thoroughly enjoyed my break from work (it was 17 whole days, guys), but sadly I must return to the grind from tomorrow. I know that some people in the working world grumble about the seemingly long holidays teachers get, but a quick glance at any teacher at the end of an academic term would explain it all (frazzled, sleep deprived and up to the ears in deadlines). I now feel refreshed and ready to tackle any challenges in the new term. We shall just have to wait and see how long that lasts for…
But before the Monday blues kick in, why not make the most of your Sunday by enjoying this North African influenced dish for brunch? This dish is inspired by Shakshouka, a spicy tomato and eggs dish that is popular in Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Morocco. I’d call it an interpretation because it does not have quite as much liquid as more traditional versions, and also uses sweet potato. I guess you could say it’s somewhere between Shakshuka and a breakfast hash, so the best of both worlds.
Spiced with cumin and smoked paprika, it’s packed with flavour. The sweet potato provides, as the name states, a sweet contrast to the heat and a lift of freshness comes from spoonfuls of yoghurt and corriander. I also added some Merguez sausages, having been inspired to try them out by an instagram post from Umm Hamza of Halal Home Cooking. They’re not always the easiest thing to find, but I was out one day and spotted a North African butchers who made and sold their own. I bought chicken as they were sold out of the lamb. I was actually surprised by how spicy there were, not overpoweringly so, but there was a definite kick from the addition of harissa and garlic. If you can’t get your hands on Merguez, any other sausage is fine, or you can just omit it for a vegetarian (vegan without the yoghurt) friendly version.
If you serve this with some nice, crusty bread, it should be enough to serve 2-3 people. If you’re watching the carbs and omitting the bread, it will serve 1-2.
North African Style Breakfast Hash
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
by Abida at The Red Lychee
1 Medium sized onion, sliced.
1 tbs olive oil
1-2 large tomato, chopped
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1 sweet potato, peeled, cubed and left to soak in water
2-4 Merguez Sausages, chopped
Half a Bell pepper, sliced
2-3 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
Handful of coriander to garnish
Salt to taste
A few tablespoons of water
1) In a skillet or frying pan, add oil then add onions. Allow to gently saute so that onions soften. Then add in the paprika and cumin. Allow spices to cook for a minute or two, then add the tomato, Cover and allow to simmer on a medium to low heat to allow the tomato to soften.
2) Drain sweet potato and add to the pan. Add a few tablespoons of water to allow the potato to soften. Cover and allow to cook on a medium to low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the sweet potato has softened.
3) Uncover pan and add in the chopped sausage. Stir to coat in the spices. Cover and allow to cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Turn every now and then to ensure the sausage is browned on all sides. Add in sliced bell pepper and stir.
4) Once sausage and sweet potato are cooked sufficiently, make wells in the middle of the pan using you spoon. Crack eggs carefully into the wells. Lower heat and cover with a lid to allow the eggs to steam cook for about 3-5 minutes, depending on preference.
5) Once eggs are cooked, season with black pepper. Add salt if necessary, however merguez sausages usually have quite a bit of salt. Remove from heat and spoon Greek yoghurt around pan. Garnish with coriander and serve.