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No doubt you have already seen Shakshuka on the menu at one of your favourite cafes or maybe it has already made it to the top of your go-to brunch favourite (sorry bacon and eggs).  What you may not have discovered yet is just how incredibly quick, easy and cheap it is to make at home!

The word Shakshuka comes from Arabic, meaning, “a haphazard mixture” or “all mixed up.”  Shakshuka is a popular Middle Eastern and North African dish that may date back all the way to the Ottoman Empire. You’ll find it in Libya and Tunisia, and it’s become a staple dish in Israel.  While our Aussie cafes might like to serve it as a breakfast/ brunch meal we ‘mix it’ up, as the name suggests’, and serve this one for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The basic Shakshuka recipe features poached eggs in a hearty, spiced tomato and capsicum sauce but you can really make it your own by adding in additional veggies, proteins and topping with cheeses or sauces. Feel free to play around with the spices to suit your preferences as well.

Serves: 4-6 (depending on the number of eggs used)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large red capsicum, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, reduce or omit if sensitive to spice
  • 1 large can (400g) crushed tomatoes
  • 4 to 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander or flat-leaf parsley

For Serving

  • Additional coriander or parsley leaves for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • Crusty bread or pitta bread

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Warm the oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the onion, capsicum, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are tender and turning translucent, about 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, paprika and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until nice and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the crushed tomatoes with their juices and add the coriander. Stir, and let the mixture come to a simmer. Reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook for 5 minutes to give the flavours time to meld.
  4. Turn off the heat. Use the back of a spoon to make a well near the perimeter and crack the egg directly into it. Gently spoon a bit of the tomato mixture over the whites to help contain the egg. Repeat with the remaining 4-5 eggs, depending on how many you can fit. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the eggs.
  5. Turn the heat on low and cover with a lid. Cook on low for 8 to 12 minutes, checking often once you reach 8 minutes. It is done when the egg whites are an opaque white and the yolks have risen a bit but are still soft. They should still jiggle in the centres when you shimmy the pan.
  6. Top with the crumbled feta, fresh coriander leaves, and more red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve in bowls with crusty bread on the side.

Recipe and image courtesy of Cookie + Kate