Eggs are my favorite go to breakfast option. I love eggs in breakfast in any form. Scrambled, omelettes, french toasts, sunny side up, poached or even plain jane boiled eggs with toasts, truly any form you could think of them. But there is one more preparation of eggs which is rather more exciting than any other preparation. Shakshuka, which has eggs poached in spicy tomato gravy is a revelation for us all egg lovers.
Eggs are softly cooked in a fiery spicy tomato sauce in a skillet sometimes on a stove top or sometimes in oven. The silky smooth texture of poached eggs leaves you wanting for more. And the spicy richly thick tomato gravy is amazing to dunk in your healthy loaf of multigrain bread. Though the origin of this wonderful luscious egg breakfast is somewhat unsure, it is a staple of Tunisian, Libyan, Algerian, Moroccan, and Egyptian cuisines.
Despite whoever claims to have invented the recipe, and however big fights would have been fought over it’s origin, it deserves to be my most loved eggs recipe. I somehow can relate to the beautiful flavors it has to offer. The spice route connects me well to this simple yet heart winning egg dish.
Good thing is you can play with the ingredients too, as long as you keep the basics intact, whole eggs poaching in rich tomato gravy. The dish is really forgiving and gives you the liberty of utilizing all those leftover vegetables you have stocked up in your fridge. It’s one humble dish to be enjoyed with your family and friends, so don’t make this in small proportions. Trust me, you’d gonna love this!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 – 1 chili pepper (or to taste), deseeded and finely minced
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 kg ripe tomatoes
- 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced thinly
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, sliced thinly
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 100 gm feta cheese, cut in bite-sized cubes
- 4 to 6 eggs
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, hull the stems from your tomatoes and slice a shallow "X" in the bottom. Fill a bowl with ice and water and set it next to the stove.
- Drop tomatoes into the boiling water. Poach them for around 2 minutes and then transfer them into the iced water. Once cooled, transfer the tomatoes to a cutting board. Use your fingers or a paring knife to peel back the tomato skins.
- Puree half of the tomatoes in a blender and chop remaining half of the tomatoes. Mix both and keep aside.
- In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and the garlic and cook for 5 minutes, until soft and wilted. Add the chili pepper, the salt, pepper, and spices. Cook for a minute, stirring constantly, to release their fragrance.
- Add the red and yellow bell peppers and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and vinegar, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
- Turn off the heat and press the cubes of feta into the tomato sauce. With the back of a spoon, make 6 indentations in the sauce. Crack an egg into each indentation, then drag a spatula gently through the egg whites so it mingles a bit with the tomato sauce, being careful not to disturb the yolks.
- Turn the heat back on so the sauce is at a gentle simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes, taking some of the tomato sauce and basting the egg whites from time-to-time. Cover, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
- Serve with lots of crusty bread.