In Marrakech we sought out a small kiosk restaurant we had read about, and through a miracle found it. The name of the place was Mustafa’s, and Mustafa himself cooked this dish for us while we sat next to him perched on stools. He placed a battered frying pan on what seemed an ancient (but beautiful) calor gas burner. He then fried chopped onion and tomatoes together, delicately spicing them with cumin and paprika and some fresh coriander. When the mixture became soft, he cracked open an egg and folded it in. The dish was magical! When we returned from our trip we wanted to replicate it, so we described the dish to our Moroccan chef Mohammed. He nodded and said how these were the eggs that his mother cooked and that he ate every day when he was growing up.
Serves 6-8 as a mezze, 4 for a starter or light meal
600g ripe tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 spring onions, trimmed and roughly sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 level teaspoon cumin seeds, roughly ground
a pinch of cayenne pepper or chilli flakes
1/2 teaspooon caster sugar (optional)
4 medium organic or free-range eggs
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (or coriander)
sea salt and black pepper
Peel the tomatoes, then quarter and seed them. If they are large, cut each quarter in half again. Pour the olive oil into a medium frying pan over a medium heat and fry the spring onion, garlic and cumin until they just start to colour. Now add the tomatoes, cayenne or chilli, salt and pepper. You might find it necessary to add the sugar because the tomatoes may not be sweet enough. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes are cooked but not totally broken up. Crack an egg in each quarter of the pan. Ruffle the whites with a fork so they are thinned over the surface of the tomato.
Simmer until the eggs are as you like them (1-2 minutes). Serve with lots of parsley on top and some warm Moroccan bread (see page 33) or pitta bread.
Recipe from Casa Moro.