Author Notes: This one-pot dish is served throughout Israel, although legend says it comes from Tripoli. I’m sure every country would like to take credit for this one. It’s the perfect combination of Italian and Northern African cooking, eventually perfected in Israel. There’s even a famous restaurant in old Yaffo named after this dish. They make it over an open flame in individual pans and then straight to the table, still sizzling.
The ingredients are usually on hand so its a meal you can make anytime. I’ve made this innumerable times at the beach or camping out. No forks needed, just a cutting board, a pot and some bread.
If you’re missing an ingredient, don’t worry, it’ll still turn out fine. It’s a very forgiving dish. Likewise, feel free to add more stuff like chick peas, feta, sausage, etc, as long as you can swoop it up with a piece of bread.
Easy to make, and fun to eat, this recipe’s heat can be adjusted to taste although hotter is better in my humble opinion. —Superyalda
cup Olive oil
pieces Cloves garlic, sliced
Medium onion, chopped
Red bell pepper, chopped
Or more spicy green pepper, sliced
Very ripe tomatoes, chopped
tablespoons Harissa or see substitute below
Loaf fresh bread or pita
cup Fresh cilantro, chopped
- Heat a large, deep pan over medium high heat. You’ll need a cover for it later.
- Add olive oil
- Add paprika and garlic and stir for about two minutes
- Add onions, bell peppers and spicy peppers
- Continue cooking over medium high heat, stirring every so often, until peppers are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add Harissa.
- Add chopped tomatoes
- Continue cooking and stirring until tomatoes are very soft and the sauce is somewhat reduced, about 15-20 minutes.
- Now the fun part: adding the eggs. You can just break and drop them in separately, spacing them equally around the pan. I find that it’s easier using a ladle. Press the ladle into the sauce where you want the egg to go. Break the egg into the ladle, then just roll the ladle out so that the egg rolls gently into the same spot.
- Lower the heat to medium low, cover the pan, and cook for about 10 minutes until the egg whites are cooked but the yolks are still runny. Granted this is my preference, although you can continue cooking if you really can’t stand runny yolks.
- There you are. Shakshuka, ready to plate
- Gently spoon two eggs onto a plate or soup bowl with some of that delectable sauce and sprinkle with fresh cilantro
- Traditionally, this is eaten by using the bread as your utensil. Dip, scoop and swipe to your hearts delight but don’t feel bad if you need a fork.
- Great to serve with some good middle eastern olives and pickles on the side
- Options: Substitute a can of chopped tomatoes if you dont have fresh ones. Add pieces of spicy sausage to the sauce. Crumble some feta on top before serving.
- Feel free to turn the heat up or down by playing with the spicy peppers and Harissa. If you don’t want it spicy at all, substitute a small green pepper for the spicy one and make the Harissa without the chili powder.
- If you can’t find Harissa, this will do in a pinch: 2 T tomato paste, 1 t sweet paprika, 1/2 t cumin, 1/2 t ground coriander seed, 1/2 t ground dried chili peppers, 1/2 t ground dried cardamom, 1 garlic clove put through a crusher