Nanna (my two daughter’s grandmother) is in London visiting from Australia. Kapunata was the first Maltese meal she made us when she arrived. Variations abound but this is one of the ways we love to eat kapunata.
I have never known this dish as kapunata and I still am not sure if it technically is, however, we just love it. Kapunata is technically a version of Italian caponata which is made in a similar way to how I make it. The difference is that I add courgettes/marrows, I don’t add sugar or vinegar (although I sometimes I do), and I didn’t add capers, olives, or anchovies. I sometimes do add olives though…Perhaps this is more of a ratatouille but I still think most Maltese associate this as being kapunata.
To make things more confusing for me, my nanna used to also add dried Maltese gbejniet, and sometimes even potatoes! When we sometimes make this version of kapunata we add eggs, as I have done here, so this makes me now lean towards it being closer to our North African neighbour’s shakshuka. If we don’t add eggs, we usually serve this with bread, or meat, and sometimes like to cook it on the bbq! We also eat it hot or cold.
Whatever you call it, it is enjoyed by many and in many different ways!
- 2 large onions sliced
- 2 large aubergines halved length ways and sliced
- 4 red peppers sliced
- 2 courgettes sliced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 5-7 large ripe tomatoes chopped
- Mixture of chopped herbs - basil, mint, parsley, dried or fresh oregano
- 4 eggs (optional)
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- In a large heavy fry pan add 2 -3 tablespoons olive oil. Make the temperature as high as possible.
- Once the pan is very hot add the onion and aubergine. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and mix together.
- Fry for about 5 minutes.
- Add peppers, courgettes and garlic. Add pepper and more oil and salt if necessary.
- Fry until softened. About 10 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and fry for another 10 minutes.
- Mix in the herbs and fry until all vegetables are cooked (approximately another 10 minutes).
- Crack in 4 eggs on top of the kapunata if you wish. Reduce the temperature and fry until the whites are cooked but the yolk is still runny.
- Serve with crusty bread!