Shakshuka – (Eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce)

shakshuka-eggs-poached-in-a-spicy-tomato-sauceStating the obvious, I know, but weekends are just made for leisurely breakfasts and brunches. Whether meeting friends at a bustling cafe or making something at home, brunch is one of my favourite meals just because it feels so indulgent and decadent in comparison to the usual Monday to Friday grind.

I watched Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Feast when it first aired a couple of years ago (Dec 2012) and  was struck by the warmth and conviviality that he encountered whether shopping in a market, researching in a backstreet or cooking in restaurants with fellow chefs. The food ranged from traditional to modern and always so fresh – it was a fabulous series. (If you are in the UK, click on the link to take you to Channel 4OD to watch the series.) One dish that really caught my fancy was Shakshuka, a Tunisian dish of eggs, poached in a spicy tomato sauce which he dished up in Tel Aviv under the watchful eye of “The King of Shakshuka”. I’ve been making it ever since…

shakshuka-eggs-poached-in-a-spicy-tomato-sauce

My version is not as spicy and lends itself to being easily converted to a vegetarian meal by omitting the chorizo or merguez sausages and substituting these with mushrooms and red peppers. This recipe is so tasty and so simple to make that I hope it will become a firm favourite in your weekend meal repertoires.

shakshuka-eggs-poached-in-a-spicy-tomato-sauce

shakshuka-eggs-poached-in-a-spicy-tomato-sauce

The eggs are poached…

shakshuka-eggs-poached-in-a-spicy-tomato-sauce

I am taking these over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #18 which this week, is being co-hosted by Justine@Eclectic odds n sods and Mr Fitz@Cooking with Mr Fitz . With these two party animals in charge, it is going to be a blast!! Justine has been at the champers since the get go and Mr Fitz has been brandishing those super sharp knives of his when things threaten to get out of control…do take a look at their blogs – you are sure to find much to amuse at Justine’s and much to envy at Mr Fitz’…

Angie’s Fiesta Friday is attended by the warmest, most supportive and incredibly creative bunch of people that it has been my pleasure to (virtually) meet. Do take a look at the entries for inspiration and if you blog, feel free to join in. Not only would Angie, Justine and Mr Fitz welcome you with open arms but so will the crowd!

Read the guide lines here – http://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com/fiesta-friday/

Join the party here – http://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/going-vegetarian-for-fiesta-friday-18/

Shakshuka

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 banana shallots or one medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 75 g chorizo or merguez sliced into ½ cm chunks (or use mushrooms and red peppers for a vegetarian option)
  • 1 tsp tomato paste/puree
  • 1 tsp Harissa paste (adjust this to your palate and substitute with ½ tsp of chilli flakes if you don’t have any Harissa)
  • 1 can of tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dry roasted cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • ⅓ can of water
  • 4 large, preferably  organic/free range eggs
  • handful of chopped coriander/cilantro leaves (I also used some snipped chives)
  • Greek yoghurt and flat breads or sourdough toast to serve

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet, over a medium low flame.
  2. Gently sauté the shallots until they have softened and coloured which should take about 4 – 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and the chorizo or merguez and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring from time to time to cook all sides. I add a splash of water to the pan if I think it’s going to catch and burn.
  4. Add the tomato paste and the Harissa to the pan, stir, and let the rawness cook off for a a minute or so.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, smoked paprika, cumin seeds and thyme leaves and ⅓ of the (tomato) can of water. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any delicious caramelisation that will have occurred and let this bubble away , uncovered, for between 5 -8 minutes, reducing to a thick chunky sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  6. In the meantime, heat up the flat breads or make the toast and set the table…
  7. Make 4 indentations in the sauce and crack an egg into each one. Cover  the pan and turn down the flame to low and cook for between 3 – 5 minutes. The time taken depends on how “done” you like your yolks, how thick or thin the base of the pan is and how hot the element is, so do check on the eggs after the initial 3 minutes are up.
  8. Scatter over the coriander leaves and serve immediately with a dollop of yoghurt and lots of warm flat bread to scoop up the delicious sauce.

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Advertisements

101 thoughts on “Shakshuka – (Eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce)

    • Sadly, I have a problem with Middle Eastern and Indian flavours with pasta – I don’t mind heat with pasta but not spicing…I just prefer the flavour and texture of rice….I am such a purist aka PITA that I refuse to have anything but gentle white christmas lights in the house when the season is upon us…my son as a child was so deprived – all he wanted was flashing coloured lights on the tree – scarred for life!

      Like

  1. Pingback: Going Vegetarian for Fiesta Friday #18 | The Novice Gardener

  2. Two servings? For me and ME! :D So selfish of me, Selma! You should make another batch… and another… and another! I’m glad you are finally here. This dish is worth the wait. ;) Thank you for sharing this and have a wonderful and amazing FF and weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this, Selma, so much! As much as I love the name, Shashuka. Pretty name for a dish, isn’t it? Your photos and presentation, as always, are top-notch. They beckon, and I’m going and getting closer. Wish I had this in front of me right now. :-)

    Like

    • Thanks Angie – Jake actually asks for this, usually on a Sunday. Today he told me that the smell of the sauce cooking just made him hungry – this was in reply to my question asking if he was bored of having it! I’m a bit late to the party this week – just feeling a bit under the weather – but I made it!

      Like

  4. What a totally brilliant recipe, Selma. It ticks all my boxes – ease and deliciousness and adaptability. Thank you. Have also just bottled some lemons as per your instructions on making your own lemon oil. :)

    Like

  5. Angie is right, Slema – your pictures and staging are always awesome, and you’ve come up trumps again!
    Thanks for the tip about how to view Ottolenghi – I will be looking that up as I missed the original series but love his books. This recipe sounds great – relaxed and megga tasty – I can smell the sauce from here, and will be trying it this week!
    Happy Fiesta,
    Emma ;-)

    Like

    • Thanks so much, Emma – it’s all about the light…the more natural light the better and a few nice, inexpensive props like napkins make all the difference. Did you find any lights btw? And just click on Mediterranean Feasts and it will take you straight to the series on 4OD. They also still have the one he did after – Mediterranean Island Feast or something like that – enjoy!

      Like

      • Selma, I nearly splashed out on some expensive lights… then wondered if less expensive ones with a light box would be better… then remembered the advice about being outside, and so have used the sun recently, which has made such a difference – so embarassed about my earlier kitchen light photos, but it’s a record of my learning journey! More advice gratefully received on the light dilemma…
        I will look 4OD up too. e :-)

        Like

        • My pics from the first few posts are so horrible but you are quite right, it is a record of the journey we are all making…the other thing to remember with natural light is that it can be a little harsh which shows up a big shadows or the white blowing out in the picture. I have muslin that I hang up over the curtain rail to diffuse the light but if you have a small kitchen window say, then just stick up some white baking paper to the window and it will diffuse the light…

          Like

          • Gosh, you are so right – this explaines why the pictures I took in the garden today have such big shadows! So the kitchen window is the best place.
            It’s been lovely being on half term, as I’ve had time at home during daylight to experiment – doesn’t usually happen! I will keep experimenting, and thank you again for your nudges in the right direction – it’s so interesting!
            Best wishes to you Selma, Emma.

            Like

  6. I keep looking up shaksouka recipes, I so want to make it!!! It looks fab ☺️ And I’ve got the merguez and chorizo spice mixes that go into the sausages so maybe I could add some of one of them to mine? X

    Like

    • Aww, thanks for noticing Kloe! The only thing I don’t like about it is that you cannot choose a photo to feature and I am not sure how it decides which one to feature when sharing the link on FB or Twitter. Other than that I love because it is simple and I also much prefer this font too…

      Like

      • Actually I don’t add veggies just tomato and egg and I like to grate cheese in top like manchego which I always have in hand but I thought recently haloumi might be nice I like the idea of mushrooms though and will try that next time. I like spicy but can’t eat it anymore.

        Like

        • Cheese sounds like a great idea Suzanne. I will remember that for next weekend! I like spicy (hot) too but struggle with it these days so I have really toned down the heat which seems to ramp up the flavour!

          Like

  7. Ohhhhh this is soooo cool, I didn’t know you could poach eggs like that!!!! I love spicy stuff too, this looks REALLY good….. I’m like you, brunch is my favorite. Actually my husband and I love both do. We do date nights every Friday and we went to a Diner last night and got breakfast, ha! So this definitely caught my eye right away, YUMMM… thanks for sharing, I’m definitely going to make this for the hubs!

    Like

    • Thanks Stephanie! It is really easy to make and so tasty. I was a little worried about the eggs the first time I made it but they worked out perfectly. They were slightly overcooked today because I was deciding on how I was going to photograph it and couldn’t find the prop I wanted but my son said he preferred the yolks less runny…Just keep tasting the sauce as you go along to get the spiciness you like.. How lovely that you had a date night and ordered breakfast – love that!

      Like

  8. Being the vego I am, I’ve come across many recipes for shakshuka, Selma – but I must say that this one looks terrific. I shall give it a go during the week – many thanks !

    Like

  9. Another Ottolenghi winner . . . although I have not made it yet. Shakshuka is red hot right now in restaurants in LA where I live. I love your photo, too . . . how one egg is white and the other is “yellow” (from the oozing yolk). Yum!

    Like

    • Thanks Sue – I think I am slightly besotted with him! The eggs are from chickens which are raised in a bio-dynamic manner – whatever that is, however the outcome is some of the best eggs I have ever eaten. They remind me of my childhood in Kenya..my son commented on how yellow the yolks were too.

      Like

      • Amazing the differences we can notice! For some reason when I think of Kenya I don’t think of dairy much but of course I have never been. The most amazing eggs I have ever eaten were in Paraguay at a family’s home which was on a farm . . . and believe me it was no opulent farm, and the cows looked pretty mangy, almost anorexic. But oh my goodness the yolks of the eggs were bright orange and tasted like salty butter.

        Like

  10. Oh Selma, your Shakshuka is perfect and looks so tasty with all the spices . I wish I could have this plate for my lunch. We love Shakshuka at home with the spicy merguez and with flat bread like you mentioned :) I love the simplicity of this dish.

    Like

    • Thank you so much! This has become such a favourite weekend breakfast in my home and I am very pleased too, that we have a Mediterranean butcher who is a 5 minute walk away. He makes his own merguez so we have this all the time!!

      Like

  11. Hi Selma.. now that is just the ticket… brilliant… how could you though even suggest leaving out the meat? sheesh! … thanks for bringing this to FF18… and thanks for bringing this to our house..x

    Like

  12. Ahhhh, there you are Selma, and even the name sounds sexy! :). It looks amazing, and I’m sure tastes just as good. Oddly enough, I don’t believe Ottolenghi has caught on across the pond, I could be wrong. All the same, that’s a mighty good breakfast to wake up to! Cheers!

    Like

  13. This looks amazing! Beautiful pictures and I think I have almost all of the ingredients on hand. Thanks for the recipe! :)

    Like

  14. The pictures are really appealing, even though I do not eat eggs (I am allergic, actually). I think I would like to try it just as a base for a curry. Looking up the recipe for making harissa paste, I have never seen it around here. Do you make your own?

    Like

    • Thanks Apsara. Sorry to hear that you are allergic to eggs. You have probably become an expert at reading labels and knowing which prepared foods include them as an ingredient. I have a local deli who makes a lovely fragrant Harissa which is what I use most often. There are recipes for it all over the internet though. Let me know what you think of it if you make some.

      Like

  15. Wonderful dish. Made me nostalgic. My mom would make it for break fast sometimes. Almost the same except she would not add tomatoes. Brought back wonderful memories :)

    Like

  16. This is indeed so mouthwatering, Selma. I need to make this immediately.
    I am thankful for FF so much as I have met many amazing blogger friends, including you :)
    (This is Pang, btw – I change up my avatar a bit)

    Like

    • Hi Pang – I did have to check twice before I realised it was you! How is the move to self hosting going? Thank you for your lovely comments – I feel exactly the same way. Through Angie and her Fiesta Friday, I have met some wonderful and creative people, you included. Your creativity is just breathtaking! xx

      Like

  17. Pingback: Shakshuka – (Eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce) | BlogMyLunch

  18. Pingback: Zaalouk + shaksouka = foodbod’s zaalouka | foodbod

  19. Pingback: Shakshuka - Eggs Poached in a Spicy Tomato Sauce - Best of Blogging

  20. Pingback: In My Kitchen – February 2014 | Selma's Table

  21. Pingback: In My Kitchen – February 2015 | Selma's Table

I would so love to hear from you - please do leave a comment! (Your email address will not be visible.) Selma

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s