Bibbys Kitchen Lentil Shakshuka with Sesame Butter

Although I bought the book in 2019 when it was published, it wasn’t until lockdown, April 2020, that I fully got to explore Bibby’s Kitchen; The essence of good food. And what a wonderful discovery it was!  During an otherwise horrible time, this book was pure delight!

The book is divided into the usual cookbook chapters, breakfasts, salads, soups, dinners, desserts, cakes and small plates. The pantry staples and kitchen basics is a fabulous chapter filled with pestos, sauces and spice mixes. I’m a big fan of homemade versus store bought, and even for the time poor these staples are relatively quick and straight forward to make, with the obvious virtuous benefits of “I made it myself”

The stand out chapter ( for me ) in the book is the bread chapter. I’ve made all the recipes. More than once, and they are easy to follow, and absolutely flawless! The Ciabatta is now a family favourite. I love the chickpea and cumin flatbread ( pictured with the shakshuka) and the garlic-buttered naan, well lets just say I’ve had to double the recipe, because one batch is definitely not enough!

The book is available from most South African book shops, and online from Di’s site

HARISSA LENTIL SHAKSHUKA with foaming sesame butter 

I was intrigued by the title of the recipe, “with foaming sesame butter” and amazingly, it does just that. I’m not sure why the sesame seeds react with the butter and cause it to foam ( watch out for this if you make it ) what I do know, is that is absolutely delicious! Di recommends serving with sesame butter, and so do I, although I will caveat the recommendation with a but. I found the recipe very rich with the butter and the tomato sauce, I now make it with low fat yoghurt ( as opposed to the full cream yoghurt specified in the recipe) and a very big squeeze of fresh lemon, because I think everything can benefit from a squeeze of lemon juice. 

I often make Di’s Chickpea & Cumin Flatbread ( pg 68) which is absolutely delicious with the recipe. Flat bread or store bought pita bread will work well. 

Serves 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes 


For the tomato & lentils

30 ml olive oil 

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 love garlic, minced

40 ml harissa paste ( optional) 

5ml ground turmeric

1 x 400g tin chopped tomato

125ml tomato passata

100ml water 

5 ml sugar

1 x 400g tin lentils, drained and rinsed

4 free range eggs

For the foaming sesame butter 

15 ml white sesame seeds

5 ml cumin seeds

30ml salted butter

5ml smoked paprika

Pinch of sea salt 

For the sumac yoghurt 

250ml Greek yoghurt

2,5ml sumac

Dill to garnish , I also like coriander.

Flat bread to serve

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the harissa paste and turmeric and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped tomato and passata and the water ( I swill the water in the jars or tins from the tomato to get every last bit from them) add the sugar and simmer for 20-25 minutes until thickened, add the drained lentils and heat through.
  3. While the tomato sauce is cooking make the sumac joghurt by coming the sumac with the yoghurt and set aside until serving.
  4. For the sesame butter, dry roast the sesame seeds and cumin in a pan until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add the butter, take care as it will froth, add the paprika and sea salt. Keep warm until serving.
  5. Cook the eggs in the sauce by making indentations in the lentil ragout and gently break an egg into each hollow. Cover with lid a lid or a piece of foil and cook over a low heat until the whites are cooked through, or done to your liking.
  6. To serve spoon over the sumac yoghurt, drizzle with sesame butter and garnish with dill.



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