Shakshuka has some history. It was thought to have originated in Tunisia but can now but found all over the Middle East and is particularly popular in Israel. It is usually served at breakfast, brunch or lunch but is very adaptable and delicious and I see no reason not to have it for a simple midweek dinner. It’s easy and the basic sauce can be made in advance and reheated its vegetarian!
- 2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
- 2 large red peppers diced
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp Harissa paste
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 800g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 8 large free range eggs
- 120g Greek yoghurt
Some optional ingredients include cooking chorizo, chopped and fried; pancetta lardons, fried; chick peas or cannellini or other beans (tinned dried and soaked overnight); herbs such as chopped coriander, thyme, onions fried with the peppers; artichoke hearts. Topped off with tahini and yoghurt sauce or some crumbled feta.
It’s just very versatile. Here is the basic recipe.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan or flat casserole pan over a medium heat.
- Add the peppers, harissa, tomato paste, garlic cumin and 3/4 tsp salt
- Stir together whilst cooking to soften the peppers. This will take about 8-10 mins.
- Add the tomatoes and simmer gently for about 10 mins until you have a chunky sauce
- Check the seasoning
- Make a well in the sauce and add an egg. Repeat this process for the rest of the eggs.
- It doesn’t matter if the eggs don’t fit the dip. You can gently swirl the whites around in the sauce but be careful not to break the yolks
- Watch carefully because you want to ensure the whites cook but the yolks remain soft. Lidding the pan will speed up the process but without it should take about 10 minutes.
- Carefully lift onto a serving plate and add a dollop of thick yoghurt before serving with some white crusty bread.