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Shakshuka is everywhere!
I remember more than about half a dozen blog posts about Shakshuka during the last months… time to deal w/ it from our viewpoint: how to prepare it quick & easy!
I learnt from Wikipedia that Shakshuka originated from North Africa & made its way into the Middle East – especially to Israel where Shakshuka is well known to any tourist as THE Israeli breakfast (this comes from reading some posts about recent journeys to Israel). There seems to be a variety of Shakshuka recipes idling in the internet…
…& I studied the recipes… & I found an approach…
Let’s begin w/ the „classic approach“ – as far as definable:
- fresh chili peppers
As far as I can assess it there seems to be a lot of chili peppers involved… My better half isn’t so fond of chili (& for me a light chili flavour is fine!): therefore I reduced the chili factor considerably – instead I used bell peppers.
So we need:
- spring onions
- beef tomatoes
- red bell peppers
- tomato purèe
- cumin, coriander & sweet paprika
- … & eggs!
In the beginning there is some serious chopping work to be done.
We start w/ chopped spring onions & pressed garlic in olive oil: stir & fry!
We add chopped red bell peppers & stir & fry.
We add chopped tomatoes & stir & fry.
We add tomato purée & stir & fry.
We add the spices (incl. maybe a pinch of ground chili!) & stir… & start letting the mess simmer… Gradually we add some water… the mess shouldn’t get too firm nor should it get too runny.
Add salt & pepper to taste… & a pinch of sugar…
Up to now about 25 min have gone: w/ a tablespoon we form some depressions & crack an egg in each.
We put a lid on it & let it simmer for 5 min… to get some soft eggs…
…or we let it simmer for another 5 min – i. e. 10 min altogether – for some firm eggs.
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 5-6 spring onions
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1-2 fresh chili - optional
- 2 bell peppers
- 2 beef tomatoes
- 1 small can tomato purée 70 g
- a pinch of sugar
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground chili - optional
- 50 - 100 ml water
- 5 eggs
- fresh parsley
- salt & pepper
- Chop the spring onions, the bell pepper & the tomatoes.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan & add pressed garlic & spring onions.
- Optional: add chopped fresh chili.
- Stir & fry until starting to get soft i. e. 3-4 min.
- Add chopped bell pepper & continue stirring & frying.
- Add tomatoes, tomato purée & sugar & continue...
- Add spices (cumin, paprika, coriander).
- Optional: add ground chili.
- Stir until well combined & let it simmer for about 10 min.
- Add salt & pepper to taste.
- Add water - step by step: the mess in the pan shouldn’t get too dry nor should it get too liquid.
- Let it simmer for about another 10 min.
- With a spoon make holes in the mess.
- Crack an egg into each hole.
- Cover the pan & let it simmer for about 5 - 10 min depending how soft you like the eggs.
- Add chopped parsley before serving.
Serve w/ some chopped parsley – not only for decoration, but also for additional fresh flavour!
(You may substitute parsley by fresh coriander if you like.)
So let’s compare the egg varieties:
- soft & runny
If you like soft eggs you should eat Shakshuka at once; if the eggs are more of the hard-boiled style you may store Shakshuka in the fridge for up to 2 days (at least!).
…& Shakshuka isn’t only for breakfast: you may also have it for lunch or dinner or whatever… There’s a lot of spices in the mess caring for an intensive flavour!
Coming now to the shortcut:
What to do to reduce preparation time?
- Start w/ chopped spring onions & pressed garlic in olive oil…
- Add canned Italian tomatoes already chopped & crushed…
- Add spices & salt & pepper…
- Let it simmer & reduce to a thickly mess…
- Add eggs…
Overall it shouldn’t be longer than 20 min for preparation!
…& there are some varieties:
- You may also add more vegetables to Shakshuka like courgettes, aubergine, fennel, carrots, beans…
There’s no limit to your preferences resp. fantasy!
- If you happen to have some leftovers i. e. already cooked vegetables this will work fine!
It encourages our „shortcut“…
The businesswoman w/ too many office hours thinks
I’ll definitely prefer the shortcut w/ some spices – lots of spices… & some leftover vegetables! This will be fine for dinner in summer together w/ some fresh crispy bread!