When I say Shakshuka, you might be tempted to say “bless you”, or duck, for fear of a karate chop. Shakshuka, however, is a savory dish of eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce – Tunisian in origin, but hugely popular in Israel. Israeli food has long appealed to me – think pita, hummus, falafel – but this savory egg dish was a revelation.
I was first introduced to Shakshuka here in Tulsa, for Miranda Kaiser offers a delicious version at her Brady District restaurant, Laffa, but I now crave it at home, and can’t always make the trek downtown. I have created my own version (adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, ‘Jerusalem’, by Yotam Ottolenghi. I serve this for breakfast, lunch or dinner, paired with a simple green salad and warmed pita bread.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 – 2 tablespoons harissa (add more if desired)
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 2 large red bell peppers, seeded and diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 – 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 28-ounce cans of diced or crushed tomatoes
- 6 eggs
- Chopped fresh cilantro and/or flat-leaf parsley, for serving
- Crumbled feta cheese, for serving
- Labneh or Greek yogurt, for serving
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the harissa, tomato paste, red peppers, onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, turmeric and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers and onions have softened slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes longer. Make six little indentations in the sauce and carefully crack an egg into each. Simmer gently until the whites are gently set and the yolks are still wobbly; this will take around 10 minutes. Keep watch, for the eggs can go from being undercooked to overcooked rather quickly. Remove the skillet from the heat and let stand for a few minutes. Serve the eggs in the sauce, topped with cilantro and labneh.