Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a delicious and comforting Middle Eastern one pot dish that is healthy and very tasty. This dish can be enjoyed at any time of day, breakfast, noon or night. It is easily adaptable for your diet, for a completely vegan version simply remove the eggs. This can be enjoyed with a warm crusty slice of bread on the side to dip in and mop up that amazing tomato sauce.


Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp mild chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste (careful, it's spicy!)
  • Pinch of sugar (optional, to taste)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4-6 eggs (1 per person)
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley, coriander or basil (optional, for garnish)


Method

  1. Warm the olive oil in a deep, large frying pan on medium. Add chopped onion, saute for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic and continue to saute until the mixture is fragrant
  2.  Add the diced bell pepper, cook for 5-7 minutes still on a medium heat until softened.
  3.  Add the tomatoes and tomato paste to the pan, stir well. Add spices and sugar, stir, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until it starts to reduce.
  4.  At this point, you can taste the mixture and spice it according to your preferences. Add salt and pepper to taste, more sugar for a sweeter sauce, or more cayenne pepper for a spicier shakshuka (be careful with the cayenne... it is extremely spicy!).
  5.  Make little wells in the sauce as best you can, this can be difficult if the sauce has not reduced enough, but you just want to make a little cradle for the eggs to sit in by pushing the firmer ingredients away from the centre of your well.
  6.  Crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture, making sure to space them evenly over the sauce. I usually place 5 eggs around the outer edge and 1 in the centre but this depends on how big your pan is. The eggs will cook "over easy" style on top of the tomato sauce.
  7.  Cover the pan. Allow mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked and the sauce has slightly reduced. Keep an eye on the pan to make sure that the sauce doesn't reduce too much, which can lead to burning.
  8.  Some people prefer their shakshuka eggs more runny. If this is your preference, let the sauce reduce for a few minutes before cracking the eggs on top-- then, cover the pan and cook the eggs to taste.
  9.  Garnish with your chosen herb, chopped parsley, coriander or basil if desired.