A dish of tomatoes and eggs that can be made as soupy or dry as you wish, shakshuka is a classic in many parts of the Middle East. We tend to make ours hot and to alter the texture based on how fresh our bread is. With fresh bread, we make a dry shakshuka, cooking it until the sauce is quite reduced before adding the eggs. This then becomes the filling for hot pocket sandwiches. When no food has arrived for a few days, a wetter shakshuka helps soften pieces of bread thrown into it in our bowls.
- Two or three onions, chopped
- Several cloves of garlic, minced
- A few green peppers (not the hot ones), coarsely chopped (red bell peppers would work well, too)
- Two small hot green peppers or more to taste, minced (chili flakes can be substituted)
- ground cumin – at least 1 tbsp but more to taste if desired
- ground chipotle (optional) – 1tsp
- 10-12 ripe tomatoes (canned work fine if you don’t have good fresh tomatoes)
- 6 eggs
- a few tablespoons oil
bread to accompany
Slice the tomatoes in half and gently squeeze out most of the seeds. Dice the tomatoes. Heat the oil – we did this over an open fire in the wind, so while medium heat is perhaps ideal, very variable heat is no problem at all. Fry the onions until they are soft but not yet golden. Add the garlic and both types of peppers and continue cooking until they are soft. Add the spices and stir to coat the onions and peppers. Add the tomatoes and a splash of water. Cook, stirring, until you have a fairly thick tomato sauce. Shakshuka benefits from somewhat long cooking, so if you have time to keep it simmering for half an hour or more, adding water to keep it from sticking, it will be better. Add salt and pepper to taste. Crack the eggs into the tomato sauce. Let them simmer for about a minute, then stir them into the sauce. Continue simmering it all together until the now scrambled eggs are entirely cooked and no longer runny. Taste again for salt, and serve with bread.