SHAKSHUKA Serves 2 (by Samantha Elkrief, LMSW)
This is a flavourful and rich dish eaten in North Africa, Israel, Iran, and other Middle Eastern countries (though it has different names and varieties). It’s usually eaten for breakfast, but it can also serve as a light lunch or dinner. The great thing about this dish is you can individualise it as much as you like. The basics are tomatoes, onions, peppers, cumin, garlic, water, salt, pepper, and eggs. Other than that, it’s up to you. You can add paprika, or sometimes I cook it with a dried pepper like chipotle to give it a smoky kick. You can add hot sauce or whatever herbs you like. I personally use green peppers as that’s the way they do it in Northern Africa, but in Israel they often use more tomatoes and red peppers. It’s very versatile.
– 2 tablespoon olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 yellow onion, diced
– 1 green pepper, diced
– 1 teaspoon cumin
– 1 teaspoon paprika
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 3 tomatoes, I prefer plum, large diced
– 1/4 cup water, more as needed
– 4 eggs
Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Once the olive oil is hot, sauté the peppers and onions over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic after about 5 minutes, as you don’t want it to brown. Then add cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and cook for one minute. Add tomatoes and the water. Cover the pan and let it all cook for about five minutes. Add more water if it gets dry.
Once the veggies have cooked down a bit and start to look saucy, make three indentations in the pan with the back of a spoon and crack the eggs into them. You want to keep them separate. Add a little salt and pepper and cover. You are basically steaming the eggs in the tomato sauce. I cook them until the yellows are slightly cooked, about 10 minutes. For a true shakshuka, cook just until the egg whites have set.
Serve on it’s own, with a side salad, pita or bread. Add chopped herbs at the end (cilantro is a good match).