The Shakshuka is originally from North Africa and got his popularity all over the world mostly as a breakfast dish.
shakshuka is served as a cold or a hot entrée simply a healthy quick and easy dish full of flavors that screams North Africa with the blend of the trio of fresh coriander, cumin, and paprika. A harissa sauce (chili paste) can be added to add a kick to your dish. It is a sunny dish with the cracked eggs on it to represent the truly Mediterranean cuisine and the sunny weather.
This simple dish is very satisfying and has its way to get the attention of all the categories vegan, vegetarian, children and adults.
Shakshuka without eggs is a base for several dishes and can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Diced medium onion
- 1 Grilled red or green bell pepper
- 1 fresh chopped chili or pinch of chili flakes you may skip this
- 2 peeled & chopped cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 4 to 6 ripe diced tomatoes
- 4 eggs
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander & parsley
- 1/4 feta cheese if you like
- Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add in onion and stir fry till the onions get transparent.
- Add bell pepper, chili, and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add in garlic, paprika, and salt tossed for 1 minute.
- Poach the tomatoes in boiling water in a pot for less than a minute
- Take it out and remove the skin and dice it.
- Add the diced tomatoes and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
- Add the cumin.
- Why add cumin last?
- Cumin is a spice that has a very powerful taste, and it has to be used properly, my grandmother always says cumin powder add bitterness to the dish and loses his taste when it’s cooked as a powder, so leaving it at the end with complement our dish and take it to the other level.
- With a spoon Create 6 nests or wells in the tomato mixture to hold the eggs.
- At this stage, it is your choice if you want to add the cheese preferably the halloumi or feta cheese, so it will melt while cooking the eggs.
- Crack gently the eggs into prepared holes.
- Cover the skillet on low heat until the egg white is set. Or you transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and cook until egg whites are set about 8 to 10 minutes.
- The cooking time is depending on your taste how want your eggs to be, runny, medium, or hard.
- Uncover and sprinkle with fresh coriander and parsley before serving. Serve hot with sliced bread or flatbread.
- Bon Appetit!
- Note: When you add cheese, make sure to reduce the salt in the shakshuka to control the taste.
Samosa around the world
Samosa is believed to have originated from central & south Asia, but they are also super popular in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and some parts of Africa.
The Indian Samosa is a very popular street food accompanied by chutney.
In The Middle East are called Samosa or Samboosek. They are the nicest appetizer year-round, mostly associated with the fasting month of Ramadan.
In Spain and South American are called Empanadas.
The filling is usually savory that can be cheese, veggies, or cooked minced meat with onion and pine nuts.
The samosa can be made with the dough as we prepared or with a filo dough that we have to brush with olive oil or butter to avoid the dryness of the dough, same way can be fried or baked.
In Morocco, the sweet version called “Briwate” with the almond filling, sugar, Arabic gum (mastika), and orange blossom, fried and dipped in pure honey served as a prestigious delicacy cookie mostly in Ramadhan or on very special occasions.
In Crete island in Greece and Cyprus, they do also the sweet version which is called “Bourekia” by preparing the little triangle with the filo dough stuffed with little tangy cream cheese or mixture of with the local Anari cheese, fried and drizzled with honey or sprinkled with powdered sugar.
How and when to serve shakshuka?
There are no rules on how you want to eat your shakshuka, it is enjoyable in the way that likes it and suits you.
- As a cold or hot entrée to accompany your main dish.
- Mostly known as breakfast or brunch dish topped with egg and or cheese to be richer.
- As base sauce to any dish to be prepared
- Add your tiny meatballs or sausages on it and top it with cracked eggs and serve it for a rich and impressive lunch.
- The samosa dough can be substituted by a filo dough or spring rolls dough.
- The filling can be cheese, veggies, minced meat, or fish.
- You can spice up or down your samosa as your preference.
- A samosa can be served as a snack, side dish, or a hot appetizer.
- You can replace the cheese with any other kind you like:
- Mozzarella with other similar melty cheese.
- Halloumi with any white cheese.
- Feta can be dismissed and use the seasoning.
The shakshuka is the perfect dish that however you turn it, shines, surprises you, and impress your visitors.
- It can be a sauce that makes a great foundation for the gazpacho.
- Can a base sauce:
- To prepare a stew, chickpeas or white beans stew.
Shakshuka can be reheated in a pan over medium-low heat when prepared as a base without eggs and believe me, it tastes even better because all the flavors are well soaked and absorbed.
The main ingredient of the shakshuka is good, ripped tomatoes but diced tomato cans can do also.
Grilled smoky pepper can be substituted by a fresh diced pepper if you don’t like the smoky taste.
For the garnish, you feel free to use any greens you want to top with (parsley, coriander, mint…).
Modern variations of shakshuka
- his simple dish has got many variations nowadays to suit all the tastes.
- Green shakshuka: using spinach or kale in state of tomatoes.
- Carrot shakshuka: using a blended carrot to the tomato sauce to include vegetables silently for our children.
- Potato shakshuka: using the slices of potatoes with the tomatoes.
- Curry shakshuka: is perfect for winter day with lentils and coconut milk.
- Black beans shakshuka is a perfect vegan dish full of protein.
You have to try the classic Shakshuka to love it, it is the compulsory dish in my fridge and I’m sure that will be yours as well!