Shakshuka. A dish you’ve never even heard of but you have to taste. This vegetarian Tunisian masterpiece is hot, mouth-watering, and will forever change how you cook eggs. Take this opportunity right now to change up your breakfast, lunch, and dinner options by bringing North Africa to your table.
Shakshuka For Beginners
It wasn’t until a trip ages ago that I found myself on the Mediterranean coast at a little off-the-beaten track restaurant that I first encountered shakshuka. The menu was all beaten up but the description of this dish peaked my interest. My partner and I politely asked the waitress for this shuk-shi-ka thing (only later did we find out it’s pronounced shak-shoo-ka, but that’s beside the point!)
Around 20 minutes later and my nostrils smelled the simmering pot. My stomach roared and my eyes glistened with pleasure. My senses were overwhelmed but my taste buds were ready to consume this hot mess of vegetables, unpoached eggs, fresh herbs and spices, plus a loaf of bread to dip and enjoy the sauce with. The waitress said to be careful as the chilies were hot, I began to eat with caution but soon find myself devouring the dish, throwing caution to the wind. I was hooked.
How Can I Make It?
Preparation Time: 10 minutes ** Cooking Time: 30 mins ** Serving Size: 6
– 6 eggs
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped (preferably 1 red and 1 yellow)
– 1 chili pepper, finely chopped
– 1 onion, peeled and chopped finely
– 4 cups red cherry tomatoes, diced
– 1 teaspoon cumin powder
– 1 teaspoon hot paprika
– 2 tablespoon, fresh chopped coriander
– salt and pepper (to taste)
Heat a large skillet, add chopped onions along with the oil. After it begins to simmer, add garlic. When the onion and garlic get a shiny look and look yellowish, get the red and yellow peppers ready. Add the peppers and chili peppers, then sauté for around 5 to 7 minutes.
At this point, the vegetables in the pan should softening, meaning it’s time to add the tomatoes. Throw them all in. Also you can add the cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix it all before closing the pan for an additional 5 to 7 minutes on medium heat.
Open the lid to check how the vegetables are getting along – note that they should be soft and also the mix should be watery. Taste the dish to check if more spices are needed. Are you ready for the fun part? Let’s get to it: Crack open just one egg at a time and very carefully place them in between all the vegetables, make sure that you don’t pop the yolks. Continue to add the eggs until they’re all in the pan. Add salt and pepper. Finally, cover the pan and let it cook on medium heat.
It’s up to you when to remove the shakshuka off the heat, depending on how you want you eggs. Runny, semi-runny or hard, each option is finger-licking delicious. I tend to wait around 10 to 15 minutes, just make sure that you’re not opening the lid too much as you want to keep the heat trapped inside of the pan. Shakshuka is best served with bread, hummus or tahini, and a fresh salad – and if you can, enjoy this dish while basking in the Mediterranean sun. Bon appétit, my friends! Better yet, as they say in Tunisia – shahiat jayida!