I don’t always eat eggs, but when I do, I eat shakshuka. This Northern African/Israeli dish was introduced to me one night while living in Berlin. Not having heard of this dish, we all gathered eagerly at my friend’s flat, drinking beer, and enjoying the fall weather as we climbed out the window onto the fire escape for an occasional cigarette.
Still a meat eater then, I really didn’t care for eggs, but the dish intrigued me, and I didn’t want to be rude, so I tried some, and my life was forever changed. You would not think such a simple dish would pack so much flavor, texture, and tastiness, but it is the most satisfying, and budget friendly egg dish I have ever had, and the name is ridiculously fun to say, Shak-Shu-Ka!
Since then, I have made shakshuka for myself and for others, and it has always been a hit. The baby I watch absolutely loved it, and even let me feed it to her on a spoon which is rare nowadays considering her newly found independence, and insistence on doing everything herself. Besides the baby, the rest of the family enjoyed it to their surprise and eagerly asked for the recipe.
So what is shakshuka anyway? It is poached eggs over a spicy tomato sauce topped with chives and served with bread. How in the world is this so delicious? This recipe incorporates a few interesting spices to liven it up, including cumin, and paprika, and the runny yolks of the egg combine with the wonderful sauce, which is all sopped up by some crusty bread. A perfect dish for anytime of the day, it works for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner! Just try it, you, and whoever is with you at the time, will be astonished, and your lives will be forever changed, as mine was.
- 1 yellow Onion
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1 seeded Jalapeno Pepper
- ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional for extra spice)
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tbsp Paprika
- 2 cans/boxes Crushed Tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
- 6 eggs
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp Chives (for garnish)
- Bread (for serving, optional)
- Chop the onion and saute with cooking oil over medium heat in a frying pan for 4-5 minutes.
- Add in chopped jalapeno and minced garlic. Allow to cook another 2 minutes.
- Add in seasonings, and cook for another minute or so until mixture is fragrant.
- Add tomatoes, and tomato paste, and cook at a low simmer for about 20 minutes, adding in a tbsp of water at a time if the sauce becomes to thick. Here add in some salt and pepper and adjust as needed.
- Once the sauce has been prepared, carefully break eggs over the dish.
- Cover with a lid, and allow the mixture to simmer another 6-7 minutes, until eggs are set and yolks are slightly runny.
- Sprinkle some salt, pepper, and chives over the eggs.
- Serve with bread, or eat as is and enjoy!