Hailing from the Barbary Coast off Northwestern Africa, this dish of Tunisian? or Maghreb origins was first mentioned by my daughter when she made it for her brunch.
Capsicums or bell peppers are not my cup of tea, only because of my body’s reactions to it. As much as I like eating it, it doesn’t agree with my innards and sometimes my hands get tingly when I work with them. However, this dish calls for bell peppers (green specifically) which is an even bigger No-No for me. I used the red bell pepper and diligently peeled the skin off as well as removing the membranes & seeds – to no avail, sad me. Next time, I will probably try using roasted peppers which does not seem to have as big an effect when consumed.
Bright side – it is a lovely and easy dish to prepare with minimal fuss. Best eaten with homemade Herman breakfast loaf or sourdough or rice.
I’ve also changed the original recipe from The Mediterranean Dish to better suit my fussy tummy. I’ve added sugar to tone down the acidity of the tomatoes and added Sumac or Za’atar’ for that slight citrusy flavour.
Shakshuka (African Poached Eggs)
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper/capsicum (stalks, membranes & seeds removed)
2 tomatoes, chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon sumac (optional)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 teaspoon (1 tablespoon) sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
extra virgin olive oil
- Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a skillet/saucepan and fry the onion, garlic & red peppers. Fry till the onion has turned translucent.
- Add the tomatoes (fresh & canned), water, spices (paprika, cumin, sumac, coriander) and sugar. Allow to boil & simmer for about 5 minutes. Do remember to stir to mix it up.
- Create a ‘well’ and crack an egg into it. Create other ‘wells’ for the balance of the eggs in a similar manner.
- Cover with a lid and allow the eggs to poach in the tomato stew.
- The dish is done when the top of the eggs turn white.
- Sprinkle with some chopped fresh mint or coriander or parsley before serving.
- Serve each egg with the tomato stew individually with rice or bread or whatever you prefer.