Shakshuka may be at the highest point of an egg-based recipe, although in Israel it is a breakfast food, a bright, spicy start to the day, with a pile of pita or bread next to it. (This is also a good quality brunch or lunch food.) This is a single recipe for eggs baked in tomato red pepper sauce prepared with cumin, paprika and chili.
First of all, the sauce you make will soon gather on top of the stove, then you gently put each egg into the pot and put them in the sauce. Move the pan into the oven to complete. Shakshuka originated in North Africa and like many delicious dishes, many versions of the chef love it. This deviates from the traditional renditions by adding broken cheese and softening it into a creamy mass in the heat of the oven.
3 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 red peppers, cut into long slices
2 green peppers, cut into long slices
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp caraway seeds
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp tomato or red pepper purée
2 x 400g tins tomatoes
1 small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 small bunch fresh parsley, roughly chopped
8 free-range eggs
85g/3oz feta, crumbled
8 tbsp thick natural yoghurt or labneh
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large, lidded frying pan. Add the onions and peppers and season with salt and pepper. Cook on a medium heat until just softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the cumin and caraway seeds and the cayenne pepper. Stir in the tomato or red pepper purée and cook for a couple more minutes until the paste starts to separate. Add the tomatoes with a splash of water.
Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, until reduced a little. Taste after 5 minutes and add a little sugar if you think the tomatoes need it. Keep an eye on the texture – you don’t want it runny, but it mustn’t get too dry, either. Add another splash of water if necessary. When the sauce is reduced, stir in the herbs.
Make 8 small wells in the sauce. Break an egg into a cup and drop carefully into a well, repeat with the remaining eggs. Cook for a few more minutes until the whites are just set and the yolks are still runny. Sprinkle over the crumbled feta. Serve with yogurt or labneh on the side.