Here is a recipe I wasn’t really intending to post but a few requests from friends have brought it to the blog. It’s an easy but indulgent egg-dish I like to make for breakfast once in a while – like when I am taking a break from Nachomlette. So, pardon the lack of and poor quality of photos. I took these for myself when I made the last batch without planning to pop them on here.
Shakshouka is spelled in various ways and there are even more numerous claims as to its origin and makeup. Persian, Turkish, Middle Eastern, even North African – with harissa, with berbere, with paprika. . . . capsicum or no capsicum (bell peppers to you my North American friends). . . . its forms are endless. Bottom line, it is a flexible recipe and you can make it your own depending on what you have at hand and what tickles your fancy. Here is my take.
You will absolutely love it – the spiciness, the unctuous eggs and the freshness of the herbs. It is simply delightful.
Shakshouka – makes 8 / serves 4
This recipe is Banting friendly and can be made to suit Paleo diets by omitting the feta.
You will need
- 3-4 Tablespoons ghee/ olive oil
- 6 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1 large red onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 hot green chillies minced – I used Thai green chillies
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon berebere or hot paprika (optional)
- ½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
- salt to taste
- 8 fresh eggs, preferably free-range/pastured
- 1 block of smooth feta (I use Danish feta) – omit this if avoiding dairy
- ½ bunch fresh coriander leaves, cleaned and chopped
- ¼ bunch fresh mint leaves, cleaned and chopped
- ¼ bunch fresh dill, cleaned and chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground sumac
- 3 Tablespoons dukkah (optional) – I used hazelnut and sesame seed dukkah with coriander
- extra olive oil for drizzling – I used garlic infused olive oil
- In a heavy bottomed pan (large enough to hold all eggs twice over*), melt the ghee on medium heat.
- When the fat is hot, add the onion and stir well. When the onion becomes translucent, add the garlic and stir again. Cook till golden but do not let the mixture brown.
- Add the tomato and minced chillies. Stir in the cumin, turmeric, black pepper and if using, the berebere/paprika. Season to taste with salt.
- Turn down the heat and allow to break down, giving everything a good stir every now and then. It is important the tomato cooks well and a good way to tell when it is ready is the oil will eventually separate from the mixture (about 10-15 minutes). Loosen the sauce with a little hot water if it is too thick (it should be pasta-sauce like). Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Use a wooden spoon to make 8 little wells in the spicy tomato mixture. Gently crack an egg into each well and then cover the pan with a lid. Allow to cook on a very gentle heat until just set. You want the yolks to be gooey!
- Take the pan off he heat and crumble the feta over the eggs. Sprinkle the fresh herbs and sumac over it all and give the top a drizzle with good quality extra-virgin olive oil. I love to add a bit of dukka for additional texture and flavour.
- Enjoy with a spoon or without.
PS. Grain eaters will enjoy dipping bread into the oozing yolks and scooping up the flavoursome sauce with some crusty sourdough. I don’t condone this but I won’t stop you either.
*alternatively, you can make individual portion sized shakshouka using small tapas plates or ramekins
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