After only being introduced to this dish late last year (HungryCityHippy mentioned it on twitter and eventually I actually tasted the dish at Waterloo Tea in Wyndham Arcade) it has quickly become one of my all time favourite things to cook and eat. It has its origins in the Middle East and North Africa and to me is a bit of an elixir. No, seriously. This dish of eggs cooked in a spicy tomato and pepper sauce will make you happy when you are sad, make you feel better when you are ill and it just so happens to be the ultimate hangover cure. When looking into different recipes for shakshuka there is a vast array based on different regions. So this is my take on shakshuka....Cardiff style.
Shaksuka - Feeds 4 to 6 people
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium sized red onion sliced
- 8 good sized tomatoes roughly chopped
- 1 yellow pepper sliced
- 1/4 tsp of dried chilli flakes
- 1/4 tsp ground paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 to 4 sprigs of thyme
- Pinch of saffron
- 100ml of water
- Salt and pepper
- 6 medium sized free range eggs
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the onions and fry for about 5 minutes until softened and lightly coloured. Do not burn the onions.
- Add the spices and cook in the oil and onions for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes, peppers, thyme and bay leaves and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
- Turn down the heat at this point to low and add the water, saffron, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and allow to cook down for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes have broken down and the yellow pepper has softened. If the mixture starts to get too dry you can add some more water.
- Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves from the mixture and create six shallow wells in the mixture to crack the eggs into. Crack six eggs into the pan in the wells you have created. Cook for another 10 minutes. I finished this dish under a low grill just to make sure the top gets some heat and the eggs were cooked.
Take the pan to the table and serve up with some fresh white bread. Heaven. Ideally the yolks of the eggs should still be runny so they ooze into the spicy mixture below when cut into. Of course you don't have to make such a large amount but even if you do, I'm sure it will not hang around for very long. This is such an easy dish to make and I urge you to give it a try. You will not regret it.