About 15 years ago, when I was 18, I embarked on my first round the world travel trip. I was young and naive as we all were at that age, with little realisation about the incredible international foodie delights that were awaiting me. Travelling alone I often found myself bumping into other solo travellers and then travelling along with them. And surprisingly many of them were Israeli.
I first tasted Shakshouka in a hostel in Costa Rica when it was made by an incredible Israeli couple I once met. Quite simply it blew my mind as I had never eaten eggs in this way, and never for breakfast!
Shakshouka means ‘a mixture’ in Arabic but it is potentially from an old Berber word meaning a ragout. It is the perfect combination of vegetables, tomatoes, eggs and spices all cooked in a way that melts them altogether in one skillet.
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Total Cooking Time: 30 Minutes
Heat a deep, large pan or skillet on medium. Dry roast the spices and add the oil, onions and sausage and cook until they have softened. Add garlic, pepper and bay leaves and sauté for several minutes over medium until softened.
Add tomatoes, sugar and tomato paste to the pan, cook for several minutes until nicely blended. Add salt and pepper and chilli to taste.
Making some holes in the mixture, crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture. I usually place 5 eggs around the outer edge and 1 in the centre.
Cover the pan. Allow mixture to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked and the sauce has slightly reduced.
Garnish with the chopped parsley and coriander as desired. Ideal served with warm crusty bread or pita.
Using a combination of fresh and dry spices really do help keep the chicken tender and moist. Make sure to use chicken thighs as this cut is harder to dry out.
This recipe gives you baseline quantities for fresh ginger and chilli. After you make the first batch you can change the quantities to your own liking.
If you don’t have a BBQ simply bake in the oven!