Tunisia - Shakshuka
I just got back from Israel (and I miss it already)! Of course, I was super inspired, especially after having some REALLY good shakshuka at Dr. Shakshuka in Jaffa (Tel Aviv). There’s a really great article about the restaurant over on Tablet Mag.
Anyway, I never knew where this dish came from; so many different countries have their own versions, but my tour guide said that it originated in North Africa, even though it’s extremely popular in Israel. I did some research and yea! Tunisia and Morocco.
This is a very simple breakfast dish to make. And the simmering really helps bring the onions, tomatoes, and spices together. Highly recommend!
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
1 red bell pepper (chopped)
3-4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
14 oz can tomato (diced)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp harissa
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
Salt and pepper
2-3 tbsp parsley (chopped)
Cayenne pepper (optional)
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and fry for about 5-7 minutes, until soft and translucent. You’ll know when it’s ready. Plus, the smell will fill your nose with the best smells ever. Add the bell pepper and fry for another 5-7 minutes, until it has softened. Add the garlic, and stir well for about 1-2 minutes.
Next, add the diced tomato. If you’d prefer to dice your own tomatoes, it’s about 2 cups or 3-4 tomatoes. Also add the tomato paste, sugar, harissa, and spices. Add half of the chopped parsley. The ingredients list 2-3 tbsp parsley, but I love the taste so I added a good handful. You will also use some later to garnish. Mix well and cook for another 5-7 minutes on medium heat. If you like some spice, add some cayenne pepper or chili flakes. The extra kick will elevate it to a new level.
When the liquid has reduced to about half, add the eggs one by one. With the back of your spoon, you can create little pockets for the egg to sit in. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, still keeping the heat on medium. Your egg whites should be fully cooked, with the yolks still being gooey. Turn off the heat, and garnish with the remaining parsley. *Be careful not to overcook the eggs. We want the yolks to still be runny (which makes for the best Instagram moments anyway!).
Serve with some really good crusty bread. That’s how we were served shakshuka in Israel, and it’s a new level of good. It’s even better if you break the yolk with the crusty bread and mix it with the tomato.
Recipe adapted from Spice Traveller.