Ojja – Eggs in Harissa Tomato Sauce
If you’re looking for something simple, delicious, down to earth, and easy to make for your next breakfast, this classic Tunisian dish could be for you. Tomato sauce, spiced up with some of the harissa from the Mahjoub family, laced with ribbons of scrambled eggs. In an Italian context ojja could be described as a Southern Mediterranean version of the dish “eggs in purgatory.”
Recipe help and photo courtesy of our friends at Zingerman’s!
INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
3 tbsp Les Moulins Mahjoub Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 can tomato puree or canned chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp Les Moulins Mahjoub Harissa Spread
pinch cumin, pinch caraway
salt to taste
Start with a good bit of extra virgin olive oil, two or three tablespoons. Slowly sauté a bit of minced fresh garlic until soft and golden. Add tomato purée or chopped canned tomatoes and cook for a few minutes. Add salt to taste. Spoon in a good bit of the harissa, a bit of ground caraway, and some ground cumin. You can adjust the amount of harissa to match your desired heat level. Simmer for ten minutes or so, stirring regularly, to bring the flavors together.
While the sauce is simmering, beat some eggs together (2 per person). You may also leave the eggs whole and cook them in the sauce that way. When the sauce is “ready,” reduce the heat to a low simmer. Then slowly stir the beaten eggs into the tomato sauce. It should only be mixed very delicately, so you still have visible ribbons of eggs showing. Cover the pan, and cook slowly, gently stirring just once or twice, until the eggs are lightly cooked. You should end up with noticeable “rivers” or at least “streams” of egg that wend their way visibly throughout the sauce, with the red of the tomato still the dominant color of the dish.
Turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes. Serve the ojja warm with bread, or refrigerate and eat it cold the next day. For context, this is one of Majid’s kids’ favorite foods, so at least in Tunisia it’s a fairly accessible everyday dish. It’s an easy to make, healthy meal and a delicious way to brighten your cooking on a cold winter evening.