Shakshuka is a North African dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. To be honest, I’d never heard of it until I ran across an article in Better Homes and Gardens, (while waiting to get a haircut). It just looked so dang good. After researching a lot of different recipes, each having similar ingredients, I settled on my own version. Crushed tomatoes, onion, poblano chile peppers, lots of garlic, paprika, cumin, and salt. I also threw in some z’atar for good measure. Oh, and eggs!
The cumin and paprika give the dish an earthiness that when combined with the heat of the poblanos is really flavorful. Although I didn’t use any, many recipes include feta cheese. It’s easy to understand why it is used as a breakfast, lunch or dinner meal. You’ll also want to serve a hearty bread with this to soak up all the juices.
If you use Italian spices instead, you’ll be making Eggs in Purgatory, which is what it’s called in Italy.
When you make shakshuka, you should cook it down a bit to reduce the amount of liquid in the tomatoes…10 minutes or so. And, when you add the eggs, make a little depression with a spoon to pour the egg into. Cover the pan and turn the heat up to medium. Check the eggs after 4 minutes. Shake the pan to see how set the eggs are. If you like runny yolks (which is how it’s traditionally served), take the skillet off the stove a little earlier than you would think. The tomato sauce stays hot for a long time and the eggs will keep cooking for several minutes. Believe me…after setting the skillet up to take a few photos, the yolks were pretty much cooked through, (Boo). So, stovetop to the table and serve is the way to go.
Another thing about this too, is that the sauce will freeze well if you’d like to make extra, just like an Italian marinara sauce. You can freeze up some individual sized portions to cook up in a small pan on short notice. It would make a yummy lunch!
This is a really good, versatile dish that you could serve for any meal. Tasty, satisfying and easy.
Shakshuka-Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion , diced
- 2 poblano chile peppers , diced
- 5 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 28 oz . can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp z'atar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- pepper to taste
- 5 large eggs
- Flat leaf parsley for garnish if desired
- In a large lidded skillet, on medium heat, add the olive oil and diced onion, cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the diced chile peppers and cook an additional 2 minutes
- Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds or so
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and spices and cook on medium heat 10 minutes
- Using a spoon, make a slight depression in the sauce to place an egg, (I broke the individual eggs into a small bowl, then poured the egg into the sauce), continue for all the eggs
- Cover and cook for 4 minutes, then check the firmness of the eggs by shaking the skillet.
- Cover and continue to cook, if necessary, checking every 30 to 45 seconds for firmness.
- Remove from heat and serve right away, garnish with parsley if desired.
- Serve with a good crusty bread
- Some recipes call for crumbled feta cheese to be sprinkled on just before the eggs are dropped. That could be a very yummy additional flavor!