A few weeks ago, my sister-in-law had asked me if I had ever tried shakshuka. My first reaction was “Shak-what?” But when she proceeded to describe what I would soon come to know as something spicy and delicious, I knew I had to try it right away. And I did.
So what is in this dish you may ask? Imagine fragrant garlic and spices cooked with onions, sizzling on the stove until caramelized. Add in tomatoes and simmer until a thick tomato sauce forms. Then if it couldn’t get any better, crack a couple fresh eggs onto that bad boy and throw it in the oven until you get perfect runny eggs.
Shakshuka originated in Northern Africa but has become a favourite breakfast dish served in many Middle Eastern countries, including Morocco, Egypt and Israel. Meaning “all mixed up”, shakshuka includes eggs, poached in a spicy tomato sauce combined with cumin, paprika, and chillies. Try adding curry powder or cinnamon, add different chillies or vegetables to make this versatile dish your own favourite meal. It’s healthy, cheap (because we all have these ingredients in our kitchen right now!) and incredibly goooooood. Serve the dish in a cast iron pan along with slices of crusty bread to mop up the spicy sauce.
For this recipe, I roasted fresh tomatoes from our garden in olive oil, salt and pepper and lemon thyme. Once the tomatoes were caramelized in the oven, I roughly chopped them to cook them up in the shakshuka. I topped the baked shakshuka with feta cheese, cilantro and parsley and grilled the bread before serving for extra “ohmygodthisisamazing” flavour.
This recipe is salty and sweet, with a spicy flavour kick. I love my eggs runny so I can sop it up with extra bread (just thinking about it leaves my knees weak!), but just keep the eggs in the oven for a few more minutes if you prefer your yolks cooked!
- 7 tomatoes, sliced in half, deseeded
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp chopped thyme
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, diced
- ½ jalapeno, diced (remove seeds for a milder version)
- ½ red pepper, diced
- ½ green pepper, diced
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 to 4 eggs
- crumbled feta cheese, chopped parsley and cilantro for garnish
- Crusty bread for serving
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Place sliced tomato halves, cut side up, on the baking sheet, leaving an inch between each slice. Drizze with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme over the tomatoes. Bake until caramelized, approx. 50 minutes. Remove from oven, chop the tomatoes and set aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add in onions and cook until softened. Then add the diced garlic and jalapeno and continue to cook until onions brown. Add in peppers and then spices. Cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add in roasted tomatoes, tomato paste and water. Let it simmer until the tomato mixture thickens.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400F
- Crack eggs over the tomato mixture and then place the cast iron pan in the oven for approx.8 minutes (for runny egg yolks)
- Serve with crusty bread for dipping.