Shakshouka, also known as shakshuka or chakchouka, is a traditional Middle Eastern and North African dish that has gained popularity around the world for its delicious and comforting taste. The dish consists of eggs poached in a flavorful tomato sauce, making it the perfect breakfast or brunch option.
The origin of shakshouka is uncertain, with some sources suggesting that it was brought to the region by Jewish immigrants from Spain and Portugal, while others claim that it has been a staple in the area for centuries. However, it is most commonly associated with the Maghreb region of North Africa, including countries like Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, and Israel.
Making shakshouka is relatively simple and can be done with a few basic ingredients. The foundation of the dish is a flavorful tomato sauce, which can be made by cooking diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, and spices such as cumin, paprika, and cilantro. Once the sauce has simmered and thickened, small wells are made in the sauce, and eggs are cracked into them. The pan is then placed in the oven or on the stovetop to poach the eggs until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny.
One of the great things about shakshouka is that it is a very versatile dish and can be customized to your own personal taste. You can add different vegetables like bell peppers or zucchini, or even some meat like chorizo or ground lamb to make it more hearty. Some people also like to add a little bit of harissa, a North African chili paste, to give it a bit of heat.
Shakshouka is typically served in the pan it was cooked in, and is often accompanied by a side of crusty bread to dip in the sauce and eggs. It can also be garnished with fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro, and a sprinkle of feta cheese.
In conclusion, Shakshouka is a delicious and comforting dish that can be enjoyed at any time of the day, it’s a great way to start your day or for a lazy brunch. It’s easy to make and can be customized to your own personal taste. Give it a try and see how it becomes one of your favorite dishes.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and garlic, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper (if using) to the skillet and stir to combine. Cook for another minute until fragrant.
Pour in the canned diced tomatoes, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it cook for about 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
Use a spoon to make 4 small wells in the tomato sauce. Carefully crack an egg into each well.
Reduce the heat to low and cover the skillet with a lid. Let the eggs cook for about 5-6 minutes, or until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro, and serve with crusty bread if desired.