Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Easy Shakshuka Recipe - My Style

Let me begin by saying that I am not a pro cook. I like to stick to basic recipes which are quick & easy to do. But the foodie in me needs them to taste yummy too. Last week Monday evening, saw me wanting to try out something new in the kitchen, and with the food I had in stock, I decided to try out Shakshuka. It's easy to make plus it’s a one-pan wonder, which always makes me happy.
We (my husband & I) knew it was going to be our new favourtie as soon as our first bite was followed by yummy food noises. (mmmmmmmmm.....)
And since we have made the dish at least 4 times in the last 10 days, I just knew I had to share it with you! You need to give it a go if you haven't already. 

Easy Shakshuka Recipe, Easy Shakshuka Recipe india, Shakusha recipe for beginners

The word shakshuka comes from Arabic, meaning, “a mixture” or “all mixed up” and traditionally features poached eggs in a spiced tomato and pepper sauce. But of course there are many variations of the dish. From what I have read up, it's popular in the Middle East, Isreal & North Africa. And you can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

I have seen a lot of recipes use canned tomatoes and that would be easier, but I like to use fresh tomatoes. 


Here's what you need : 

  • 1 medium onion 
  • 1 bell pepper - red bell peppers are preferred, but you can use the green ones too. They taste just as good. 
  • 4 medium tomatoes.  I use 2 varietes - 2 Roma tomatoes & 2 indian/desi tomatoes. 
  • 6-8 garlic cloves (small) - this number will depend on the size of your cloves. Use less if the clove size is large. 
  • 1 medium green chilli (optional)
  • tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • A pinch of sugar (optional)
  • large eggs
  • Salt & Pepperto taste
  • Cheese (cheddar/feta or whichever variant you like) (optional)
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter (optional)
  • Coriander or Cilantro - to garnish (if you have them on hand)

Easy Shakshuka Recipe, Easy Shakshuka Recipe india, Shakusha recipe for beginners

Serves : 2-3 people

Prep :
  1. Peel the onion & deseed the bell pepper. Dice the onion, bellpepper and tomatoes into medium sized pieces. 
  2. Finely chop the green chilli. 
  3. Peel the garlic cloves & crush them well. I find that crushing garlic always releases more flavour than chopping them. 
Cook :
  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add a bit of butter if you want to make the dish more yum. 
  2. Add in the chopped chilli into the pan & let it crackle a little.
  3. Add diced onion, bell pepper & crushed garlic. 
  4. Saute till the onions become translucent.
  5. Add diced tomatoes. Use your spoon/spatula to smush the tomatoes a bit. 
  6. Season with salt.
  7. Add all the spices - cumin powder, smoked paparika, sweet paparika, chilli powder & sugar. 
  8. Add a splash of water. 
  9. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, till the water reduces and the vegetables are cooked. You will see that the mixture has thickened. This is your chunky sauce.
  10. Make 3 small wells in your sauce mixture using a spoon and crack the eggs into each well. 
  11. Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper on top of the eggs. 
  12. Cover the pan and cook until the eggs are done to your liking (can take 5-8 minutes depending if you want to keep the yolk runny or well done).
  13. Sprinkle some small bits of cheese around and cover for another 30 seconds until the cheese melts. Garnish with chopped coriander/cilantro. 
You can find the video of me making this recipe on our Instagram. I recommend you to take a look at it once :)

Easy Shakshuka Recipe, Easy Shakshuka Recipe india, Shakusha recipe for beginners

Tips: 
  • Try and be careful when you crack the eggs in the wells. It will be nice if the yolks are intact in their round shape. But if they do break and bleed, do not fret. Just let them be. They will set in the well space you created and the end result will be the same. 
  • Space out the wells. Try not to keep them too close together. 
  • Do not overcrowd the pan. A medium 20" pan can fit 3 eggs comfortably. If you are cooking with more eggs, choose a bigger pan. 
  • While shakshuka is usually served with pita bread, I enjoy mine equally well with a slice of toasted buttered sourdough and even plain toasted bread.
  • I highly recommend using Smoked paprika. It gives a lovely smokey flavour to the dish. 
  • I like using 2 kinds of tomatoes - The Roma tomatoes which are juicy and sweeter and have denser flesh which contributes to keeping the sauce chunky. The traditional indian tomatoes (aka desi tamatar) have a sweet-sour taste and I find them to be more pulpy. They soften and break down easily and help to make the base of the sauce (since I do not use canned or pureed tomatoes). 
  • Take the pan off heat just a little bit earlier than where you need the eggs to be. The eggs continue cooking with the residual heat. So keep that in mind. I take the pan off heat about 30-40 seconds before. I like my eggs to be cooked well but not to be over cooked. 
  • You can use the bell pepper you have - green, red or yellow. Or use all 3!

Easy Shakshuka Recipe, Easy Shakshuka Recipe india, Shakusha recipe for beginners

Do try this recipe sometime. It is simple yet has bold flavours, it is filling and takes roughly 10-15 mintues to make! 

xoxo,
Swati