Chachouka (North African Spicy Pepper Stew)

Todays short kitchen tale is one of hangover recovery. This morning whilst I was rounding up and returning misplaced belongings that my friends children had left scattered around the house last night, my neighbour and very good friend invited me in to see what she had cooked up for her breakfast. I could smell the spices as I crossed the hall to the kitchen where she presented me with a small bowl of Chachouka. I accepted it gratefully and, on her advice came home and served it up with some scrambled eggs. Not only was it delicious but the warming spices, oily chorizo and colourful vegetables soon began to heal my sore head and calm my turning tummy.

This is my version of Chachouka which is meat free and has the added iron punch of a handful of fresh spinach.


  • Two large salad onions, finely sliced
  • One clove of garlic, finely sliced
  • Half a red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  • Handful of spinach, torn
  • Teaspoon of cumin seed
  • Teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 400g of tomato passatta or a can of chopped tomatoes

Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry off the cumin seeds for a minute before adding the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes before adding the chilli and pepper. Fry off for a further 5 minutes before adding the tomatoes and paprika. Over a low heat, simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce. Scatter over the torn spinach and allow it to wilt before serving.

Serve with scrambled eggs for breakfast, add some red beans to any left overs for a quick vegetarian chilli dish and enjoy with plain boiled rice, or serve it hot on a slice of crusty bread with a sprinkle of cheese.

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