Shakshouka, the delicious native dish from the Maghreb region, is made by creating a stew of tomatoes, onions, garlic and spices.  Eggs are then added and poached, with sprinkled feta cheese and cilantro for an extra layer of flavor, with bread served on the side.

There are variations to the dish that can alter the taste to be sweeter or spicier.  Some may add lemon, cheese, spicy sausage, lamb, yogurt or other spices to elevate the dish.

The dish dates back to the Ottoman Empire within Northern Africa (16th century) when tomatoes became a staple ingredient. 

This is a staple dish in Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and a few others.

Many English speaking countries serve shakshouka for breakfast considering it includes eggs, but in the Arab World, including countries like Israel, it is served for dinner as well.

If you want to make this recipe for yourself, follow the steps below! 

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm the oil in a large, oven-safe skillet  over medium heat. Once simmering, add the onion, bell pepper, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are tender and turning translucent.
  2.  Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, paprika and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until nice and fragrant.
  3.  Pour in the crushed tomatoes with their juices and add the cilantro. Stir, and let the mixture come to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4.  Turn off the heat. Use the back of a spoon to make a well near the perimeter and crack the egg directly into it. Gently spoon a bit of the tomato mixture over the whites to help contain the egg. Repeat with the remaining 4 to 5 eggs. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the eggs.
  5.  Carefully transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 8 to 12 minutes, checking often.
  6.  Transfer the hot skillet to a heat-safe surface like the stove. Top with the crumbled feta, and fresh cilantro. Serve in bowls with crusty bread on the side.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 5 to 6 large eggs
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • Crusty bread or pita, for serving

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