Shakshuka: Poached Eggs with Tomatoes and Peppers

A new dish has come into my life recently.  I mean, it’s an old dish, maybe very old, and maybe you’ve been eating it for breakfast or dinner all your life, but I’ve only gotten to know it in recent years.  And I’m a little obsessed.  It’s called shakshuka.

It’s a Tunisian dish, or an Israeli or a Libyan dish, depending on who you ask.  All I know is that I’ve been loving a version from my local bagel shop (which also inspired that caramelized onion hummus recipe).  Shakshuka is a mildly spicy stew of tomatoes and peppers, adorned with a poached egg.  In this recipe, adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, the eggs are poached right in the tomatoes and peppers, making for a one-pot meal of the most delicious sort.Shakshuka (adapted from Plenty): Toast 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds in a wide, heavy pan over high heat for two minutes.  Add 1/4 c. vegetable oil and 2 thinly-sliced large onions and saute for five minutes.  Add 4 large peppers of various colors, sliced into 3/4″ strips, along with 4 tsp. dark brown sugar, 2 bay leaves, the chopped leaves from six sprigs of thyme, 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley, and 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro.  Continue to cook over high heat for 5-10 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peppers begin to brown.

Add 6 roughly-chopped ripe tomatoes along with 1 tsp. ground cumin, 1/2 tsp. saffron threads, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and saucy, 15-30 minutes.  (Ottolenghi says you may need to add a bit of water to reach a saucy consistency–I didn’t–but don’t add more than a cup.)  Taste and adjust the seasonings; the stew should be very flavorful.

Remove bay leaves and make eight deep indentations in the peppers.  Carefully crack an egg into each.  Sprinkle a pinch of salt on each egg.  Cover the pan and cook over very low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.  Sprinkle with cilantro and feta cheese if desired.  Serve with bread to sop up every drop of the sauce.


21 thoughts on “Shakshuka: Poached Eggs with Tomatoes and Peppers

  1. Terry Roy

    MMM, I’m there with everything but the cilantro (unfortunately I am one of those people to whom it tastes and smells like soapy gasoline). Must make this soon!

  2. ieatthepeach

    I recently discovered shakshuka too, and love it an awful lot! I think my favorite part about it is that it’s a pantry-and-fridge kind of recipe, so I know I always have a fabulous dinner in my back pocket.

  3. Allison

    I just made an Indian version of shakshuka this weekend! (From one of Anjum Anand’s cookbooks.) Soooo good. Poached eggs and tomatoes are two of my favorite things ever, and combining them makes for even easier egg-poaching, and a super delicious dish.

  4. Robyn Painter

    We have an Israeli friend here in Atlanta who makes a delicious version of this dish and I have yet to get the recipe from him. Now I won’t have to! How did you know I’d be needing this recipe??? Thanks, Em!!! xo, r:)

  5. cheriblevy

    Its so popular here in Israel and even though I’ve been here for 9 years, I am still nervous to taste it! You make it look so tempting – Kudos! I may even try it one of these days – thanks!

  6. Hannah

    I love Eltana’s shakshuka! And their tahini cookies are the best! I haven’t made this in a while so thank you for the inspiration. It’s always a dinner hit with my family.

  7. leroywatson4

    I love shakshuka, I think its an Israeli dish (according to friends) and I ate it all the time in India. This is a seriously gourmet recipe, mine is very basic. Great to know that you have a bagel shop nearby! Have fine times, lee

  8. leroywatson4

    Reblogged this on the beach house kitchen and commented:
    Shakshuka is a seriously good breakfast that we have been meaning to put on the BHK for a while. Here is Emmy’s version, via Yotam and yowzah is it a gourmet version. Sounds delicious, but we will struggle with the saffron element. Big YUMx

  9. musingmar

    Another recipe I must try! I’ve been looking for ways to dress up eggs. I’ve seen a variation of this dish somewhere and have always wanted to try it. And thank you for reminding me that I want to explore more egg recipes on my blog (that would be in addition to the one whopping one I’ve blogged about in a year!).

  10. Pingback: How to Make the Perfect Poached Egg on Toast, A Very British Breakfast. « PsyKdeliaSmith's Kitchen

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