This is a brilliant little recipe, and could not be simpler to make. It can be eaten at any time of day, and makes both a fantastic spicy breakfast dish or a quick and comforting supper (despite the fact that it is sometimes called ‘Eggs in Purgatory’ – though that must be a European spin on this Moroccan classic, since Muslims have no concept of limbo…
2 tomatoes, chopped small (or a can of chopped tomatoes)
1 onion, chopped small
1 or 2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp tomato puree
spices: half tsp chilli, half tsp cumin, half tsp paprika
handful fresh chopped coriander
3 or 4 eggs
squeeze of lemon juice
For meat-eaters: 4-5 oz lean mince, rolled into small balls (makes about 10-12)
Crusty bread to eat it with
In a heavy skillet heat 1 tbsp olive oil and cook the onions and garlic in the spices until soft.
Add the tomatoes and the puree and cook for a few minutes. Add a little water (2-3 fl oz) to keep the sauce fluid
Now, for the meat-eaters, add your meatballs into the sauce. They will take about 5-6 minutes to cook through, depending on how brown you like your meat.
Break your eggs on top of the mix – just after you’ve added the meatballs if you want them, or after the tomato sauce has cooked for a few minutes. You can add a lid to the pan to speed the cooking process, but 5 minutes should see your eggs nicely poached. Moroccans like their eggs cooked right through: when you take them off the heat is up to you.
Scatter the chopped coriander over the dish just before serving; add a squeeze of lemon juice if you like a tang.
Traditionally this is a communal dish which is eaten by dipping your bread into the pan and scooping up the meatballs, eggs and sauce. If you’re feeling less sociable, or dexterous, you can serve up onto plates, but it does look prettiest served in a single pan brought to the table. Bon appétit!