Chakchouka – Spicy Vegetable Mix

Chakchouka - Spicy Vegetable Mix

This tasty dish is the Moroccan reply in Frenc’s well known ratatouille. It is similar to the French dish only better if you let it mature a few days in the refrigerator. The flavours go together making a firework of tastes.

Preparation time: Approx 35 min.
In addition, 20-30 min. draining the aubergine. See [1]
Can be frozen, see tip below.
2 servings

Ingredients
1 small aubergine, ca. 300 g [0,65 lb]
salt
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
about. 250 g [0,55 lb] firm tomatoes
1 onion
1 small fresh chili pepper or
a pinch chili powder or cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons oil, preferably olive oil
1 finely chopped garlic clove
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Approach

[1] Cut aubergine into thin slices. Place the slices in a colander and sprinkle plenty of salt between the layers. Place a plate on top for preasure and set the aubergine aside for 20-30 minutes or longer.

[2] Skin the peppers. Place them on a rack and bake under grill or at 275° C / 525° F. Turn them frequently, grill them until the skin is dark and blistered. Take them out and wrap them in a paper towel. Put them aside until they have cooled.

[3] Skin the tomatoes. Cut a cross through the skin. Place them in boiling water for about 10 seconds until the skin loosens. Rinse them under cold water and pull the skin off. Chop the tomatoes.

[4] Clean the onion and cut it into thin slices. Chop the fresh chili and remove seeds and stems. Cut it into thin strips.

[5] Rinse the peppers under cold water and remove the skins. Cut them in halves, remove seeds and stems and cut the halves into strips.

[6] Rinse the aubergine slices under cold water. Dry them on a rough paper towel.

[7] Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and fresh chili, if you use ithat. Fry under stirring for about 5 minutes until the onion is glossy and soft. Add the eaubergine, tomatoes, salt, pepper and chili powder if you use that. Mix well and let the vegetables simmer over low heat under a lid for about 20 minutes. Stir frequently.

[8] Add the bell pepper strips and boil for 5 minutes. Season with more seasoning if necessary. The dish should be well seasoned.

Serving

Server this intriguing vegetable dish as an accompaniment to roasted or grilled meat or boiled fish. Chakchouka can also be served as a separate dish with fried eggs or hard boiled egg wedges and bread.

Cooled, this dish can be served as an appetizer or lunch. Serve it with fresh bread and butter.

Tip

When the vegetables are affordable one should make up a large batch of  Chakchouka and freeze in portion packs. In this case leave out the garlic. Garlic withstands freezing poorly and the dish can easily get a slightly bitter taste. You should rather add the garlic after thawing.

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