Updated: Jan 11
Shakshuka, a tomato based dish of Middle Eastern/North African origin, is a dish I make every couple of weeks- sometimes for breakfast, and just as frequently for lunch or dinner. As with most things, you can play around with the spices to your liking, and add in vegetables like peppers, zucchini, eggplant, etc. It's perfect without beans, but if I have cooked or canned beans on hand, they're a nice addition, especially if you'd like to make the dish stretch further for leftovers. My main requirement for shakshuka is to serve it with toasted sourdough, or homemade tortillas to soak up all the rich tomato broth and egg yolk. To temper the acidity from the tomatoes, I like to add coconut cream or raw heavy cream from the farm, but neither are crucial. If you're adding heavy cream instead of coconut cream, use 1/4-1/2 cup depending on your preference.
The spices in shakshuka can vary, my recipe below lists the spices I usually add. Occasionally, I omit the yellow curry powder (which is not traditionally found in shakshuka, I just enjoy the flavor), and add 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika instead. Once you make shakshuka once or twice, you'll find what spice profile you enjoy best. A spicy harissa paste is also a delicious addition- if I'm using harissa, I add it alongside the tomatoes.
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 gloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, finely grated
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups garbanzo beans, cooking or canning liquid drained
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, if desired
cream from the top of a 13.5 oz. can of full fat coconut milk or 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
eggs- however many you'd like
fresh, torn herbs: mint, parsley, dill, cilantro, etc.
lemon or lime wedges
toasted sourdough, tortillas, or naan
In a large saucepan over medium/low heat, saute onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. If you're adding chopped peppers or other vegetables, add them now, and saute over medium heat until the vegetables are tender. Add garlic and ginger, stirring well to prevent the garlic from sticking and burning. Add a few large pinches of salt, coriander, cumin, curry powder if using, turmeric, and chili flakes, plus another drizzle of olive oil to help the spices coat everything. Cook over low heat for another minute, until the spices are sizzling and fragrant. Stir frequently to ensure nothing burns.
Add canned tomatoes, including the juice in the can, using your hands to crush each tomato into small pieces. Stir the bottom of the pot well to release any stuck spices, the tomato juice will help with this. Season with salt to taste. Add drained beans if using. Simmer for about 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. This simmering period is important, as it allows the sauce to thicken nicely, which will help support the eggs when you add them later. After about 15 minutes of simmering, add coconut cream skimmed from a can of full fat coconut milk (save the liquid at the bottom of the can for another use), or heavy cream.
If you're serving the shakshuka with eggs, simply crack however many eggs you'd like right on top of the simmering shakshuka, leaving an inch or so of space between eggs. Continue simmering over low heat, with a lid on, for a couple minutes, checking the firmness of the whites and yolks frequently. Because the eggs will continue to cook even after you remove the skillet from the stove, err on the side of cooking the eggs a touch less than you normally would. When the eggs are cooked to your liking, scoop the shakshuka into bowls, scatter fresh herbs on top, and add crumbled feta if desired. Serve with plenty of toasted, buttered bread, or a warmed, buttered flatbread.