Originally a Tunisian dish, Shakshuka is now served throughout the middle east and most popularly in Israel. There are many Israeli and Palestinian restaurants that serve Shakshuka, a rich egg and tomato dish which is traditionally a breakfast food (although I eat it just about any time of the day!).
The ingredients are surprisingly simple and despite its popularity through the middle east, it rarely strays from this simple recipe of eggs, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper. In order to make it as authentic as possible, you will need a nice cast iron pan to cook and serve it.
The way I like to make Shakshuka is actually quite a bit healthier, as I cut down on the oil by a lot. You can also cut calories and cholesterol by using only egg whites or taking half of the yolks out. Being that I don’t eat it very often, I usually keep a whole egg and just lower the olive oil. It still tastes delicious. I also love that it is traditionally vegetarian, so there are no substitutions necessary to experience the authentic meal. In order to make this vegan, all you would need to do is omit the eggs and substitute a tofu scramble.
Healthy Authentic Vegetarian Palestinian/Israeli Breakfast: Shakshuka
Cast Iron Pan
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup chopped sweet peppers
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon whole cumin
Pinch of salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil in cast iron pan over medium heat. Once the oil has coated the bottom of the pan, add the onions and garlic. Allow to sauté until translucent and starting to caramelize. Add the sweet peppers and mix until they begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and sauté for another few minutes until they begin to break up. Add the tomato paste and spices, stir to incorporate. Allow to simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring gently. Once the mixture is fragrant, gently drop the eggs onto the top of the mixture to poach in the juices. Remove from heat and serve in the cast iron pan.
This can be served as is, or more traditionally with white flat bread. Enjoy!