I am sure you’ve all had “kafteji” before. If you haven’t, you must have heard of it. And if you don’t know what I am talking about, then you are definitely missing out! Kafteji is a VERY popular Tunisian side dish. It consists of pumpkin, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggs. It sounds healthy, right? Except, I should mention that all ingredients are deep fried! You can imagine the fat content of this dish. Don’t get me wrong, it tastes really good. I mean, really, really good. However, in my opinion it is not worth it for two reasons.
First, nutritionally it isn’t the best thing to nourish your body. Vegetables are so important for our health and well-being, but fried vegetables aren’t. You lose a lot of the vitamins and minerals because of the high temperature of frying, and you add a lot of fat to the food, specifically trans fats. Consuming high levels of trans fat is linked to many diseases such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Second, you make a mess in the kitchen, and it is very time consuming to fry all of these chopped veggies.
So to enjoy KAFTEJI without sacrificing the taste, your health, or your time this is a healthy version of it. All veggies are roasted in the oven and sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil. And the side dish is then seasoned with coriander and caraway. So yummy!
What are you waiting for? You have to go make it! This dish is perfect for summer; you can have it as a side with grilled protein. Just add a fresh green salad, and you’ve got yourself a perfectly balanced meal.
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled
- 12-14 thin slices of pumpkin
- 4 tomatoes
- 6 medium peppers (sweet or spicy depending on how you want it)
- 3 eggs
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Ground coriander & caraway
How to Cook Kafteji:
- Preheat oven to 220 C. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper or coat with olive oil
- Cut the potatoes into thin circles
- Cut the pumpkin into thin slices
- Cut the tomatoes in quarters
- Remove the seeds of the peppers and cut in half lengthwise
- Place all vegetables on the baking trays, drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle some salt & pepper. Roast in the oven for 35-45 min or until the vegetables are cooked through. Once ready, let it cool.
- In the meantime, cook three eggs. you can sauté them in a little bit of oil so you don’t have to fry them.
- Then, using scissors, cut all veggies into thin strips/pieces. Place all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt, pepper, coriander and caraway powder, and olive oil. For the eggs, you can either decorate the salad with it, or you can cut them into strips and mix with the vegetables.
- Serve warm or cold with some bread.
Hope you enjoy! Happy & healthy cooking.
This Kafteji recipe is part of the #TasteTunisia initiative launched by Carthage Magazine. In search of Tunisian cuisine, through a series of articles/videos, Carthage Magazine offers a window to the Tunisian food, recipes and how they are prepared.
The Taste Tunisia initiative is supported by Carthage Magazine and led by international registered dietitians-nutritionists from Tunisia, making it the ultimate initiative that celebrates and promotes Tunisian cuisine.
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