My love affair with Shakshuka began when I visited Israel. I have never had an issue eating gluten free while traveling, and in this case, being gluten free introduced me to one of my favorite dishes~ Shakshuka.
While I was in Israel there was a lot of falafel, hummus, and pita. This could have been an issue for some. Instead, I used it as an opportunity try local cuisine I otherwise might not have ordered. After 5 days of eating hummus with Israeli salad, one of our Israeli soldiers introduced me to Shakshuka. We were at at hole-in-the-wall restaurant when he described to me what was in it. I thought he was joking when he told me this was a traditional Israeli dish. Garlic, onions, tomato sauce, vegetables, with eggs poached in it…. these are a few of my favorites things!! After years of questioning my Jewish heritage, I was a believer.
After Birthright ended, I extended my visit for another week. During that week I learned how to make authentic Israeli Shakshuka in my soldiers home. I was unable to get all of the exact spices he used due to the language barrier. (Do not be mistaken, he spoke better English than me. However, certain spices were hard to translate as I am sure you could imagine). Overall though, I have been told from numerous people (Jews included) that my recipe is the real deal!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 – 1 whole medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-3 cloves garlic, halved
- 1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 28 oz. can organic crushed tomatoes
- 1 6 oz. can organic tomato paste
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes (if you like it spicy)
- 1 tsp organic sage honey
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4-6 eggs
- 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (for garnish)
- Heat a deep, large skillet or sauté pan on medium-low. Slowly warm olive oil in the pan.
- Add chopped onion and garlic, sauté for a few minutes until the onions turn translucent.
- Add spices and bell peppers, sauté for 5 minutes until tender.
- Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste to pan, stir till blended.
- Stir well and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes till it starts to reduce.
- At this point, taste the mixture and adjust spices according to your preferences.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, honey for a sweeter sauce, or red chili pepper flakes for a spicier shakshuka.
- Crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture, making sure to space them evenly over the sauce. I usually place 4-5 eggs around the outer edge and 1 in the center.
- The eggs will poach “over easy” on top of the tomato sauce. Cover the pan.
- Allow mixture to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked (by turning white).
- After 10 minutes, turn off the stove and let the pan sit for 5 minutes, the eggs will continue to cook in the sauce as it sets.