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Shakshuka

Try your hand at this delicious Middle Eastern dish and impress your friends at brunch time!

Shakshuka is another Middle Eastern dish that has made its way to several restaurants around the world. The name shakshuka is said to have come from the Arabic word “shak” meaning to combine things together, and this combination of hearty tomatoes, spicy chilies, and oozy eggs are sure to please.

While one would automatically assume this is a breakfast dish because of the eggs, growing up we had it for lunch or dinner more often than breakfast. It is the perfect brunch dish and is great for a crowd because you can make the tomato base ahead of time and then add the eggs before it is time to eat.

Many believe the dish originated in North Africa and spread from there, and nowadays almost every Middle Eastern country makes a version of it. There are so many variations of this dish, with most poaching the eggs in the tomato base, but there are some who scramble the eggs with the chopped onions, tomatoes and peppers, like the Turkish version menemen. I am making the most basic version but feel free to add spices to yours, such as cumin, paprika or coriander.

This is best served with pita bread toasted on the hob, but sourdough or any crusty bread works. You want a bread that will mop up the sauce nicely. Yum!

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1-2 chili peppers, optional

1 small bell pepper

500g baby plum tomatoes, halved or any tomatoes, chopped

4 large eggs

salt

pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan and add the onions. Add a dash of salt and cook until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, chilli and bell peppers. Lower heat and cover until soft.
  3. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the tomatoes have softened and can be broken apart with a wooden spoon.
  4. Taste to check seasoning then make wells in the tomato mixture. Crack an egg in each well, season each egg, lower the heat and cover until cooked. Make sure the whites are cooked all the way through and cook the yolks to your liking.
  5. Serve with bread, I prefer pita, and enjoy!

Breakfast idea: Kubbeh Scotch egg

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