Shakshuka is a typical dish from the Middle East. And although in the West it can be considered appropriate for breakfast, it is consumed at any time of the day. The name "Shakshuka" literally means "all mixed up." The origin of this dish is unknown, and the story of why Shakshuka became a favorite food of many Middle Eastern peoples, particularly the Israelites. Now it is very popular in Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Algeria, and Israel. Some historians claim that this recipe originated in Yemen. However, there is another version that ensures that the Shakshuka is older and comes from the Ottoman Empire. For sure, for Israel, this dish comes from Northeast Africa. The Israelis soon adopted this dish as their own, because it is easy to make, and its ingredients are cheap and easy to find. This dish is essentially poached eggs in tomato sauce and peppers. On some occasions, cheese or aromatic herbs are added, but it is not mandatory. First, the sauce will be prepared, and when it is ready, the eggs are added and cooked poached in the sauce.
How to serve the Shakshuka?This dish is cooked in a thick iron skillet. And it is usually served in the pan where it was prepared, very hot. This pan is placed in the center of the table, pieces of pita bread are placed near the pan. The idea is to dip the pieces of bread into the sauce with a boiled egg. This is a meal to share.
These days, there are many variations of this dish, including all sorts of levels of spiciness, vegetables, herbs, cheeses, and sausages. We recommend our Halal sausages if you wish.
- Red or Classic: This is the original version of the recipe. It is prepared with a sauce based on tomatoes, peppers, and spices. The eggs are then poached in the sauce and served in the same pot.
- Green: it is a variation of the classic Shakshuka but the sauce is made with spinach, instead of tomatoes.
- With sausages or cheese: it is prepared exactly the same as red Shakshuka, but in addition to the eggs, sausages are added. The use of the Merguez sausage is very traditional. This is a Moroccan lamb sausage, garnished with North African seasonings.
- Other countries have their own versions of Shakshuka, which are probably adaptations of the Israeli recipe. For example, Mexicans prepare eggs drowned, which are eggs cooked in a spicy tomato sauce. Similarly, there is another recipe for eggs with tomato in Italy, called "Eggs in Purgatory." And the Turkish recipe for menemen.
Recipe of Shashuka, eggs with tomato sauce from the Middle East.
4 medium eggs
1 medium white onion
1 red bell pepper
4 tbsp of tomatoes paste
4 tbsp of olive oil
8 ripe tomatoes
¼ cup fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
½ cup feta cheese (optional)
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp of sweet paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel the tomatoes, extract the seeds and cut into cubes. Peel the onion and cut it finely. Remove the stem, seeds, and veins from the paprika. Cut it into small squares.
Put the oil in a thick skillet, where you prepare the Shakshuka. When hot, add the garlic, onion, and paprika. Cook for three minutes until the onion turns transparent. Then add the tomatoes and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. The tomatoes will turn dark red.
Add the tomato paste and stir. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered until thickened, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Uncover, and place the eggs, one by one, on the tomato sauce. Gently break up the yolks with a fork. If you add feta cheese, and/or parsley, it is time to sprinkle them on top.
Cover and continue cooking for three to four minutes, until the eggs are done.
Serve in the pan directly to the table. Accompany with bread.