Shakshuka (Eggs in Tomato Sauce)

This dish has roots in North African, Middle Eastern and traditional Jewish cooking. There are many variations. The one here is fairly easy to cook and makes an excellent brunch served with chunks of bread. NB. It does require 2 large frying pans for 4 people to eat 2 eggs each at one serving. However if you have only got one, cook as stated below serving just one egg each, and provide second helpings by putting the a second batch on to cook whilst eating the first!! The sauce can be made in advance and freezes well.
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
1 14oz / 400g whole tomatoes
4 fl oz / 120 ml olive oil
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
4 peppers, any colour, roughly chopped
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper seasoning
8 eggs
Herbs & Spices
2 Bay Leaves
1/2 tsp Cumin Seed
1 tsp Mixed Herbs
1 tsp Paprika
pinch or to taste Chilli Ground
Cooking Instructions
Place the cumin seeds in a large heavy based saucepan and dry fry over a high heat for 1-2 mins until start to change colour. Add the oil and the peppers. Reduce the heat to medium and fry for another 3-4 minutes. Drain most of the liquid from the tinned tomatoes (reserve) and add the tomatoes to the pan along with the, garlic, sugar and the herbs and spices. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook gently without a lid on for up to 30 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down and the remaining liquid reduced. If the sauce gets too dry add a little of the reserved tomato liquid to prevent the tomatoes catching on the bottom. After 30 minutes break the tomatoes down with a wooden spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste. You should have a fairly dry, lumpy tomato sauce.

Place half the sauce in each of 2 large frying pans and heat gently. Break 4 eggs very carefully (don't break the eggs) into gaps in the mixture in each pan and cover. Cook gently for 10 minutes or until the egg just sets (exactly how much depends on your own taste). Serve with chunks of fresh bread.

Variations include:
adding a chopped onion with the pepper
adding crumbled feta cheese along with the eggs
using hot peppers instead of bell peppers
varying the herbs used, for instance, parsley, coriander leaf thyme.