Shakshuka – it is not just any poached egg, but an utterly delicious one! The traditional or the most common version of Shakshuka is poached eggs in a flavorful tomato based sauce. It all comes together in one skillet ! Easy cooking and easy cleanup – makes for a happy cook.
This dish is said to originate in North Africa but has become a staple in Arab and Israeli cuisine. It packs a punch with just few pantry staples. When available make it with fresh produce for an incredible burst of fresh flavors.
- Few very common inexpensive ingredients
- Easy to cook
- Utterly delicious
- Easy cleanup
I love this dish – it is easy, simple and made with ingredients that are usually around in my kitchen. Any time you are short on breakfast/dinner/brunch ideas or time to cook just raid the pantry and chances are you will have everything you need to make Shakshuka. There are many variations of Shakshuka recipe. Once you start making it you will make your own version of it – I am sure of it .
This mix of poached eggs , vegetables , and a few spices becomes a whole healthy and satisfying meal when served with a slice of bread / be it crusted , soft or flat.
Lazy Sunday mornings – those ones when no body wants to wake and start cooking and or put on something decent and go out. This is the perfect dish for those days – wake up late head to the kitchen , whip up a batch of these and call it brunch ! Afterwards if you feel up to it go for walk aka shopping or just relax …
This is an easy dish to make at home , and home made with fresh ingredients tastes heavenly. When there are fresh tomatoes and peppers that is what I use , but canned ones work well too. With fresh ingredients the shade of deep red will change depending on the produce, but the flavors will be just incredible.
A well season skillet – preferably cast iron is what works best for this recipe. Sauté onions, garlic and chili with spices. Once these are soft add chopped and bell peppers (red ones are my favorite here) and tomatoes (ripe ones) and cook till the sauce becomes like a thick stew.
Crack the eggs right on top of this thick stew – and cook over low heat !
Use the back of a ladle to make depressions on the stew and crack the egg into it. This helps the eggs form spreading out and each one ends up being in its own small stew nest.
I like to make Shakshuka with fresh tomatoes , but must warn you , the fresh tomatoes takes a little longer to cook. Fortunately we get good quality fresh produce here almost year round. When not available one 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and jarred bell peppers will work well too.
The traditional version of Shakshuka - poached eggs in spiced tomato sauce .
- 6 Eggs Large
- 6- 8 Tomatoes Medium (Notes)
- 1 Yellow Onion Medium
- 1 Bell pepper Red
- 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 Green Chili Optional (Notes)
- 1 Tsp Sweet Paprika
- 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
- Salt and Pepper To Taste
- 1 Tsp Sugar Optional , if needed
- 2 - 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste If Needed
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley Chopped
- 1/4 Cup Olives
Cut the tomatoes crosswise and remove the seeds. Chop into small pieces and set aside. Remove the seeds and ribs from the bell pepper and the green chili (if using). Chop green chili, pepper, and onions into small pieces. Finely mince the garlic .
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. When the oil is hot add onions, chilies , garlic and salt . Saute over medium heat for a few minutes until the onions become soft. Add the spice powders and mix well.
Add the chopped bell peppers and saute for two minutes. Add the chopped fresh tomatoes, stir and cover with a lid. Cook for 5 minutes.
Uncover , the tomatoes would have softened by now . Mix gently mash the sauce with the back of the spoon. Cook for a few more minutes until the mix looks less watery.
Taste and adjust salt and pepper. If too sour add a little sugar to balance the flavors. Mix in the tomato paste if the sauce is still very watery and lacking tomato flavors.
Reduce the heat. Make a small indentation in the sauce with the back of the spoon and break an egg into it. Repeat until all the eggs are used up. Space the eggs a little away from each other.
Cover and cook over low heat until the egg whites are set.
Uncover and sprinkle the chopped parsley and olives on top. Serve with bread - challah, pita , any crusty bread .
- Use ripe but still firm tomatoes.
- I like a touch of heat in this recipe, hence the green chili. Use serrano or similar. Remove the seeds and the ribs to reduce the heat.
I like to serve it with Challah – may be because it reminds me of the bread and poached egg curry from long back in my mom’s kitchen ..
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