Eggs cooked slowly in a spicy tomato sauce takes me back to my childhood. My grandmother used to make shakshouka for breakfast, but it also made a frequent appearance for lunch and dinner.
Personally, I prefer my eggs well done, especially with shakshouka, but as you will be making this, the choice is entirely yours!
Feel free to get creative with some of the ingredients. In this recipe, I used silverbeet, but you can use spinach or any other type of greens. Try adding chickpeas or parboiled finely sliced potatoes or carrots or all. Or take it to a different level with the addition of some minced beef…the choice is entirely yours!
The origin of this dish is North African, but it is popular all over the Middle East and northeast Africa. Shakshouka means “a mixture” in Arabic slang. Recently I added cooked beans and realised it had become Spanish huevos rancheros!
Shakshouka (North African Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large capsicum, diced (I used half each of green and red capsicums)
6 silverbeet leaves, finely chopped (or use spinach)
6 tomatoes, diced finely
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp minced garlic and coriander leaves
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 green chilli (this is optional. Dice it if you want some heat)
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
1. Heat up the oven to medium.
2. Fry the onion in olive oil until translucent in an ovenproof pan over medium heat.
3. Add minced garlic and coriander and cook for a minute.
4. Add the greens, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, salt and chilli. Sauté for a minute.
5. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato puree and capsicums and cook until the sauce is thick. This should take about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat and add a little water if the sauce is drying out.
6. Slowly break in the eggs, one by one and drop them in gently. Space them out so that they don’t run into each other.
7. Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes if you like your eggs well done. Otherwise cook for about 5 minutes.
8. Garnish with some fresh coriander leaves and serve with traditional Somali flatbreads such as sabaayad, anjero or any other good bread.