Moroccan shakshuka (chakchouka) with eggs, khlii and olives
“Bid we maticha” or “BM” (rest of the world knows it as Shakshuka) is an iconic quick and cheap Moroccan all-day fix. In fact, I learned how to make this easy recipe at the age of 8 or 9 years old.
Shakshuka we khlii and olives Meslalla is actually common in Fez and my parents are from there. But for some reason it was my Dad who was best at it. My mother started making it when he passed away only.
Anyway, in his time, this dish was served around 10 am after he was back form the Saturday morning Market. He used to wake up as early as 5 am so the stomach is ready for this after 5 hours..
My grandma who is 90+ years old loves it for brunch,accompanied with mint tea. I remember we also had it as a later afternoon gouter-meets-dinner.
My Dad’s recipe
My Dad’s version of shakshouka/shakshuka or bid be maticha comes with fried green peppers and marinated Meslalla olives along with khlii.
This variation of eggs with khlii was my father’s favourite and although he was requested to follow a strict diet during his last 18 years, he never listened. He was big on khlii and its fat. I tend to omit most of that fatty bit but in this case, you want to keep some to fry the peppers and tomatoes.. I have to say that most of the goodness comes from there.
We also use spicy sausages or merguez in this recipe but you can use Turkish sujuk or chorizo. Alternatively, you can make this meat-free.
I feel like this combo of Khlii, eggs including the spoon or two of fat used in it is way lighter than a standard English breakfast. It even has vegetables in it. It’s a complete meal. And since it’s only prepared once a week, It’s well deserved.
This recipe is more of a guideline, see why:
1- Khlii, put more or less or replace with spicy sausage.
2- Eggs: scramble them or poach them, add more or less eggs.
3- Olives: add more or less olives. If you don’t have Meslalla olives, use pitted green olives.
Prep: 7 min – cooking: 9 min
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup of khlii, cut into 3 cm cubes (replace with spicy sausage)
- 1 tbsp of khlii fat with sediments (replace with 1 tbsp of olive oil)
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1/3 cup of green peppers, chopped (you could use other peppers but green is the favourite)
- 1/3 of fresh tomatoes, chopped (skin and seeds off)
- 1/4 cup of marinated or cured olives Meslalla (replace with pitted green olives)
- 1 chili (optional)
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves
- A good pinch of cumin
- A good pinch of salt
- 1 tsp of sweet paprika
- A pinch of cayenne (optional)
- 1 tbsp of coriander
- 1 tbsp of parsley
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice
- Cayenne or sweet paprika
- On a medium heat, heat the fat in a pan or a tagine (use diffuser if using direct heat and wait for the tagine to heat). Fry in the chopped peppers and the chili for 3 minutes, Add in the tomatoes and garlic, the spices, the olives. If you are using sausages. Add them at this stage, whole or sliced. Cook for another 3 minutes. Help smashing the tomatoes with a spatula.
- Add the bits of khlii, the herbs and the lemon juice. Stir
- Crack in the eggs one next to the other and cover. Poach them or scramble them. We usually fish out the chili before adding the eggs and decorate the dish with it later on.
- Garnish with spices and parsley. Serve hot or warm, not cold, with a good bread on the side.
- We like to serve it with a hot minty Moroccan tea on the side.