Tunisians have a love affair with eggs. The smallest number to buy in a cardboard carton is 15 and they go up in 5's from there. Alternatively, you can buy them singly from a big pile and carry them home in plastic bags. They often have a hint of feather or muck on them. Eggs are an ingredient in many of the "fast" street foods. Omelettes, a chapati incredibly spicy sandwich, soup, bricks and ...
|This is a chicken store. Meat on the inside, heaps of eggs on the sidewalk - bags or trays.|
Strangely, it was via our daughter in Canada through her travels in Israel where she had loved a popular Israeli brunch item adapted from a typical Tunisian egg dish that we discovered shakshuka or Tunisian baked eggs. We had sampled them for lunch, homemade by a Berber woman, in the troglodyte home in the Sahara without knowing what we were eating.
|Our lunch on tour. The dish in left upper corner is shakshuka.|
|My variation for dinner. Delish!|
Try this recipe, if you're interested - it's spicy
2 T olive oil
2 T harissa
5 very ripe tomatoes (Tomatoes in Tunisia are fantastic with a rich, fresh taste. If you can only get the hothouse variety, canned tomatoes would probably be better)
1 chopped red pepper (I only had green pepper)
1-2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp cumin
4 free range eggs
You can really add anything you want to the sauce. I parboiled and then fried some cubed potatoes. Spinach would be good. Some kind of bean or chick pea would too.
Heat the oil. Add the harissa and garlic for a few seconds. Soften the peppers and tomatoes. Cook until sauce pretty thick and a well keeps it's shape. Make four wells. Crack the eggs into the wells. Cover for a few minutes checking the yolk. You want a yolk that runs - at least I do. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt.