time: 20 minutes / $3.36 per portion / best for: Saturday morning indulgence
3 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 red peppers, cut into long slices
1-2 green peppers, cut into long slices
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp cayenne pepper
4-5 whole tomatoes
1 small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-4 free-range eggs (depending on serving size)
1 can of chickpeas (rinsed and dried) - vegan option
Feta, crumbled (optional) - thumb size/to taste
8 tbsp thick natural yoghurt or labneh (optional)
1. Heat the olive oil in a large, lidded frying pan. Add the onions and peppers and season with salt and pepper. Cook on a medium heat until just softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the cumin and the cayenne pepper. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a couple more minutes until the paste starts to separate. Add the tomatoes with a splash of water.
2. Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, until reduced a little. Taste after 5 minutes and add a little sugar if you think the tomatoes need it. Keep an eye on the texture – you don’t want it runny, but it mustn’t get too dry, either. Add another splash of water if necessary. When the sauce is reduced, stir in the coarsely chopped coriander and parsley. Once combined add rinsed and dried chickpeas.
3. Make 8 small wells in the sauce. Break an egg into a cup and drop carefully into a well, repeat with the remaining eggs. Cook for a few more minutes until the whites are just set and the yolks are still runny. Sprinkle over the crumbled feta. Serve with yogurt or labneh on the side.
4. Stir in the peas and prawns, replace the lid, and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until hot through (optional).
5. Season to perfection, then chop the parsley leaves, scatter them over the paella, and serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over.