Algerian Poached Eggs (Chakchouka)

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins

These eggs are poached in a delicious in a pepper ragout. This dish, with many variations, is a popular breakfast in North Africa, especially in Algeria and Tunisia. Most recipes include the eggs, but they can actually be left out as well for Vegetarians that do not eat eggs. VARIATION: Sometimes fresh shrimp or a spicy lamb sausage called merguez is added to the simmering peppers along with the eggs.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add cumin seed to the hot oil for about 15 seconds before you add the paprika. Stir in paprika and let cook slightly to color the oil, about 10-15 seconds.
  2. Add the onions and garlic (add optional harissa here) and sauté until onions are translucent and wilted but not browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and bring to a rapid simmer. Add peppers (also add seeded and diced chili peppers here if using) & potatoes, water and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes. Add more water as needed.
  4. Form four small indentations in the simmering peppers to hold the eggs. Crack eggs, one by one, into a small bowl and slide each egg into an indentation. Cover and simmer another 10 minutes or so until eggs are cooked through.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro and optional black olives and capers.
  6. Serve with crusty bread or rice.
Most Helpful

When you take four of my favorite ingredients (eggs, peppers, onions and cumin) and combine them what's not to love. I did not add chili peppers to mine as the Tunisian harissa I purchased in Fez provided sufficient heat. Watch the eggs carefully as they remain soft for a bit then quickly go hard. Some crusty bread, a salad and some extra harissa and this was a suppertime nirvana.

justcallmetoni August 13, 2007

I made this about a week in a half ago and now have to remember what I did... Spanish smoked paprika replaced part of standard paprika. The potatoes were added at the same time as onions. The bells (not green however) were added the last 10 minutes of cooking time. I garnished the eggs with all those garnished suggested. Yum! Served with freshly steamed asparagus and green beans, Iraqi Rice (Timman), crusty bread and Shredded Beets With Thick Yogurt Delicious meal! Thank you, NcMS!

COOKGIRl April 12, 2012