Golden saffron eggs with peppers is satisfying in so many ways: it looks and smells wonderful and it is filling too. This recipe is an adaptation of Hugh Fearnley Wittingstall’s Chachouka with Duck Eggs served with bread, in his delightful book, River Cottage Everyday Veg. In my version, I’ve added butternut squash which soaks up the juices and adds substance to the dish, so no bread is needed.
Creates 3-4 servings
- 1 heaped teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 onion sliced thinly
- 1 small clove of garlic finely chopped
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 or 2 pinches of saffron
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes (ensure additive free)
- 3 bell peppers – 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange – chopped
- 1 sweet bell pepper (the long thin ones) chopped
- ½ butternut squash (400–450g)
- optional ½ fresh small red chilli or half teaspoon of crushed chillies
- 3–4 eggs (1 per person)
- Rock or sea salt and ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 180–200°C, gas mark 5-6.
Fill a medium saucepan half full of water and add a pinch of salt. Meanwhile, peel the butternut squash and cut roughly into 2cm cubes. When the water is boiling, add the butternut squash and boil for 5 minutes. The flesh should still be fairly firm. Drain.
In a large saucepan or a frying pan that can be transferred to an oven (see notes below if you don’t have one), heat the coconut oil. Sizzle cumin seeds for 30 seconds to bring out the flavour. Add onion and garlic then cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the peppers and cook, stirring regularly until they begin to soften – 3-5 minutes. Now add the paprika, saffron, tomatoes and cooked butternut squash. Add pinch of salt and grind in some black pepper. Stir well and keep cooking until the tomatoes sauce is bubbling.
Turn off the heat. With the back of a large spoon, mould 3 or 4 shallow dips in the top of the mixture. Crack open each egg and drop into each dip. Transfer pan to the oven and bake the dish for 6–7 minutes – until the eggs are just cooked.
Eat straight away! Golden Saffron Eggs is a really filling dish that doesn’t need much else. I really like it with a small green salad. If you are not wheat intolerant, a small piece of bread would go well. Left overs keep well in the fridge for 24 hours, but it does not freeze very well.
Eat Well. Be Well 🙂
Notes: If your saucepan/deep-frying pan is not suitable for transferring to an oven, then after placing eggs on top of the mixture, spoon some of the tomato juice over them. Turn your hob down to its lowest setting and allow the eggs to coddle until firm.
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