Easy, Serves 4, Prep time: 35 mins.
The shakshouka is a Mediterranean dish of eggs, poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, and spices, that has the potential to transport a sullen, quarantine breakfast table to a Moroccan souk (or marketplace), filled with the aromas of spices, and vibrant textiles.
Here’s my hassle-free recipe for easy shakshouka, minus the rest of the market.
- Eggs, 6 nos.
- Red bell pepper, large, 1 no.
- Tomatoes*, medium, 6 nos.
- Onion, medium, 1 no.
- Garlic, 4 cloves
- Cumin powder, 1 tsp
- Paprika powder**, 1 tsp
- Salt, 2 tsp
- Ground black pepper, 1 tsp
- Olive oil, 2 tbsp
*We used fresh tomatoes, but you can replace them with canned tomatoes. The rule of thumb we like to follow is 3 fresh tomatoes (peeled) for one 14.5-ounce can of tomatoes.
** If you don’t have paprika, substitute 1 tsp paprika with 1 tsp black pepper and 1/2 tsp red chilli powder.
- First, remove the stalk of your tomatoes and place them on a chopping board. Using a paring knife, remove the pith from the top of the tomato and score a 1-inch size ‘X’ on the bottom of the tomato. Cut just enough to pierce through the skin, but not too deep into the flesh.
2. Bring a pot filled with water to a boil. On the side, keep a bowl ready with ice-cold water in the meantime. Once the water has come to a boil, add your scored tomato to the pot. After 30 seconds*, remove the tomato and immediately immerse it into the bowl of ice cold water. Let it remain submerged for at least a minute before peeling. Use your fingers to peel off the skin of the tomato from the scored end.
*For larger or less ripe tomatoes, you may need to blanch them for an additional 20 seconds
3. Chop the onion, bell pepper and peeled tomatoes into small dices and keep aside. Mince the garlic.
4. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium flame. Add the chopped onions and garlic and cook until the onions turn translucent. Stir in the diced red bell peppers and let them sweat for 2 minutes. Add the cumin powder, paprika powder, salt and ground pepper, and mix well.
5. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook for 15 minutes to retain the perfect amount of moisture. We like to take the pan off the flame for the next step. Make 6 roughly equal sized “wells” in the mixture with the help of a spoon.
6. Crack the eggs into each well and don’t forget to season them with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 4-7 minutes**, or until the eggs are done to your liking.
** We did ours for a good 6 minutes and were left with much firmer yolks.
And there you have it! Quick and easy Shakshouka (with a garnish of chopped mint), ready to serve.