Don’t let the name scare you, this one of the easiest breakfast recipe you can think of. To simply put it, Shakshuka is basically poached eggs in a spicy, green pepper tomato stew, alongside onions and other vibrant aromatic spices.
There are many variations to this Middle Eastern dish but I leaned towards a more traditional version. Using paprika, cumin and Chilli powder, which really bring out earthy warm flavors that shakshuka is known and adored for. I also had some leftover tomato paste which I decided to throw into the mix
If you haven’t tried out Shakshuka, for breakfast or even dinner, you’re truly missing out on lifes simple pleasures.
This is actually an Israeli/Palestinian recipe, correct me if I am wrong, served in most middle eastern countries with quite a number of variations. Some add in cheese, ham and many other meats depending on what your tastes and cravings are!
This is a simple recipe that’s also perfect for those that do brunch. Personally, brunch just isn’t my thing, the idea of having to combine lunch and breakfast with the kind of training I do would be torture! I have to have breakfast, then lunch and if I happen to be invited over for brunch, just know that’s me having breakfast as I will be hungry again in a few.
The name “eggs in hell” comes from the fact that the eggs are poached in a spicy, red tomato broth that looks like larva.
As always, I like to keep it simple by using freshly sourced ingredients.
Tomatoes, onions, green bell peppers, ginger & garlic have to be fresh because that’s the base for our sauce and to me, it’s non negotiable.
For my eggs, I used free range eggs ‘kienyeji’.
Chop up your onions and green peppers into small equal sized cubes. This is mainly to facilitate even cooking of the entire mixture and for me, it makes the whole end product a lot more presentable. Who wouldn’t want that? Coz we all know we eat with our eyes first!
Next, you should have fresh coriander leaves or parsley and as I do with most of my cooking I chop up the coriander stems and reserve the leaves on the side to either add at the very end or use them to garnish.
In a pan heat up some olive oil or any cooking oil you prefer over medium high heat. Add in your peppers, onions and coriander stems and fry until the onions are translucent and fragrant.
Add in your minced ginger and garlic. One thing with recipes that take such a short amount of time to cook, is to always mince your ginger and garlic in a grinder so that no one is biting into chunks of ginger and garlic while trying to enjoy their meal. It’s a total mood killer.
Add in your tomatoes and sweat them until they have broken down to a saucy paste. Always use ripe tomatoes otherwise you will end up with a bitter tasting Shakshuka.
Once your veggies have all broken down and are now simmering in their own juices, add in the tomato paste and our ground spices. Depending on your threshold levels, you might want to go easy on the Chilli powder if heat really isn’t your thing or if it’s a meal to be shared by many.
Cook up your spices till saucy. Depending with the tomatoes you used you might want to add a little bit of sugar especially if you used canned tomatoes as I find them a tad bit too acidic and less sweet than fresh ones.
Once the spices have cooked and the broth is now on a gentle simmer.Depending on the amount of eggs you are making,make holes in the tomato sauce and crack in your eggs.
Be sure to have have your sauce on a gentle simmer to avoid having scrambled eggs.The mark of a well done Shakshuka,the eggs will start to sink in as soon as they hit the hot sauce.
This recipe was enough for 5 to 6 eggs and can be done in a large skillet.I used small ones as they are easier to serve and portion out in.
Let the eggs simmer in hell for about 5 to 6 minutes.This will ensure for runny yolks.Cook up for longer to get a perfectly set yolk around 10 minutes.
Remove from the stove top and sprinkle with chopped coriander or parsley.this is best enjoyed with bread and I am drooling over the thought of dipping bread in the runny yolk infused by all the flavors it has been simmering in.Lord have mercy!
I enjoyed my Shakshuka with a simple baguette and need I say more,I shall let the picture speak for itself.These were one ‘eggs in hell’ that tasted like heaven.
If you are looking for a quick recipe perfect for those lazy breakfast ‘brunches’ or dinner.
This is one I will be making again tweaking it in the process and as always,share my experience with you lovely people.
- 5 eggs
- 6 tomatoes
- 2 red onions
- 2 medium green bell peppers
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 inch ginger
- 1 bunch coriander/parsley
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Chilli
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- Salt&pepper to taste
- Chop up your vegetables mincing your ginger and garlic.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and fry up your onions,coriander stems and green bell peppers until the onions are translucent and the veggies softened about 6-7 minutes.
- Add in the tomatoes the tomatoes and fry until they break down sweat and simmer in their own liquid.Around two minutes.
- Add in the tomato paste alongside your spices.Cook this for 2-3 minutes.tase and adjust your spices to liking.
- Make indentations in the sauce using a spoon matching the no of eggs.
- Crack in your eggs to the indentations reduce the heat to low and cover until your egg whites set and the yolks is still runny around 5-6 minutes or longer for set yolks.
- Uncover garnish with coriander/parsley seasoning with salt & pepper to taste.
One thing I have come to learn is that cook time are just but a guide and it’s always advisable to use your eyes instead.Our skillets,stove tops function and operate differently thus me saying your eyes ears and nose are your best timer