Shakshuka comes in many shapes, sizes and variations. The dish is likely of Tunisian or Yemini origin, and the name is thought to originate from either Arabic or Amazigh (Berber) for “mixture.” However, it is also very commonly served in Israel.
Like all countries in the Mediterranean basin, Tunisia offers a “sun cuisine,” based mainly on olive oil, spices, tomatoes, seafood and meat (primarily lamb). These foods all have great health benefits, and olive oil especially, as it’s known to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps ease arthritis, and reduces the risk of heart disease.
In shakshuka, the benefits of olive oil are added to by the endless benefits of eggs, which are high in protein, contain all nine essential amino acids, are a good source of choline (which helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system), are great for your eyes, and may also help prevent blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks. What’s more, the tomatoes in shakshuka are a good source of vitamins A, C, K, folate, and potassium, and have been linked to a reduced risk of several cancers, including throat, oesophagus, stomach, colon, prostate, and ovarian cancer.
This fantastically simple and healthy dish is budget-friendly, waistline-friendly, and no-time-to-cook friendly. While the presence of eggs may make people think of it as a breakfast dish, shakshuka is popular for any meal, and once the sauce is made, it only takes a few minutes to finish. While being enjoyed, shakshuka is often accompanied by pita or crusty bread.
¼ cup olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon paprika
1 can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
2 fresh tomatoes – chopped
A can of red kidney beans
2 fresh bell peppers (any colour)
Salt, to taste
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
Warm pitas, for serving
Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, nutmeg, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes. Add the fresh bell peppers to the skillet
Put the canned and fresh tomatoes and their liquid into a medium bowl and crush with your hands. Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with 1/2 cup water and the red kidney beans, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt.
Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set about 5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk. Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with pitas.
Quick to make, healthy and economical 😀