“Disclaimer for Non-Middle Easterners”- Shakshuka is a very popular dish here in Israel, typically made from eggs poached in a tomato sauce, and served for breakfast.
In Israel everyone has their “own” Shakushuka recipe. There are those who like it with red bell peppers, those who add feta cheese; there are so many versions for this dish that I’m offering my version as a base for you to jump off of and add your favorite toppings.
Every time I go an eat breakfast at a restaurant and order Shakshuka, I’m always disappointed from the dish, but somehow redeemed knowing that my recipe is much better (according to me, of course).
This recipe is a combination of knowledge and experience of two proud descendents of Tripoli (the believed origin of the dish). The first, my ex’s father, he taught me the base with the number one rule that “without a half a cup of oil and a half a loaf of bread, there is no meal”. I stuck with the half a loaf of bread, but made slight changes to the half cup of oil. The second, a friend of mine, gave me an amazing trick that I use in this recipe, that I think makes all the difference.
And now for the secret: During preparation, you don’t add any spices or seasonings. In a small bowl, I mix together all of the seasonings with a bit of oil and I keep it aside until I’m ready to add the eggs. Then I pour the seasoning mixture over the dish and slightly stir and then add the eggs. The result: A super poignant, aromatic Shakshuka.
I like to make Shakshuka for a weeknight dinner. It answers all of my family’s’ needs, and my two little ones love it. I make it using a large skillet that ends up being the serving platter in the middle of the table. No plates!
Would love to hear if you have an interesting version of Shakshuka- I’m always up for new ideas!
Ingredients for 4 servings:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 medium tomatoes, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup water or vegetable stock
For the seasoning:
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon garlic, minced (from about 2 cloves)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat and add the onion. Saute until golden, about 7-10 minutes, and then add the garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the seasoning and set aside.
3. Add both tomatoes (regular and cherry) and the tomato paste and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat, adding water gradually when the liquids evaporate and the mixture looks dry.
4. Add the seasoning mixture and stir to combine all ingredients.
5. Carefully crack each egg (keeping it whole) into the mixture and continue to cook, for about 8-10 minutes, until the egg whites are fully cooked and the yolk is still runny.
6. Serve warm with a fresh loaf of bread.
-If you don’t have cherry tomatoes, you can replace them with 2 regular tomatoes. I like to use roma tomatoes as well.
-If you are not a great “egg cracker”- then first crack all eggs into a medium bowl, make sure there are no egg peels, and add them, one at a time, to the dish.