I first had shakshuka while on a trip to Abu Dhabi and my good friend deema took me to the cutest little local cafe where she ordered this along with million other dishes, in true Arabic fashion. When I got home I just had to make it, it’s the best thing for lazy Saturday brunch with lots of warm flat bread.
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium brown or white onion, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped
4 cups ripe diced tomatoes, or 2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp chili powder (mild)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more to taste– spicy!)
Pinch of sugar (optional, to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)
- Heat a deep, large skillet or sauté:/frying pan on medium. Slowly warm olive oil in the pan. Add chopped onion, sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic and continue to sauté till mixture is fragrant.
- Add the bell pepper, sauté for 5-7 minutes over medium until softened.
- Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan, stir till blended. Add spices and sugar, stir well, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes till it starts to reduce. At this point, you can taste the mixture and spice it according to your preferences. Add salt and pepper to taste, more sugar for a sweeter sauce, or more cayenne pepper for a spicier shakshuka (be careful with the cayenne… it is extremely spicy!).
- Crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture, making sure to space them evenly over the sauce. I usually place 4-5 eggs around the outer edge and 1 in the center. The eggs will cook “over easy” style on top of the tomato sauce.
- Cover the pan. Allow mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked and the sauce has slightly reduced. Keep an eye on the skillet to make sure that the sauce doesn’t reduce too much, which can lead to burning.
- If you want to make your shakshuka a meat eater delight then add some chorizo or diced bacon. Chorizo is really good with this dish. Serve with hot pittas.