I was first introduced to this dish at Artichoke, one of my favourite dining establishments in Singapore. There were raving reviews about their Lamb Shakshuka – a Middle Eastern dish consisting of two eggs poached in spiced tomato sauce with kashkaval cheese and lamb, topped with pistachio dukka and served with bread. The description alone sounded so wonderful and I knew I had to try it for myself. It sure didn’t disappoint. The stew was really delish – perfectly poached eggs nestled among generous chunks of tender gamey lamb, the accompanying bread dying to be soaked in the rich hearty tomato sauce.
While I was re-planning my menu for a brunch party, I came across this recipe at Smitten Kitchen and was immediately reminded of the crazy delicious version I had at Artichoke. As most of my guests are not big meat eaters, this lighter vegetarian option was perfect. The ingredients were easily available at supermarkets, the instructions look easy enough, and most importantly, it looks presentable and crowd-pleasing (who doesn’t LOVE EGGS?!). True to my expectations, the dish was very well-received. Every morsel of the dish was wiped clean. Breakfast food at its best indeed!
Shakshuka (Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce): adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Serves 4 to 6
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, cubed
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp of ground chilli (the recipe originally called for jalapeños)
1 tbsp paprika (I used sweet paprika, but smoky paprika should work too)
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained (I used Hunts Whole Peeled Plum Tomatoes)
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley or coriander
1) 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 the red bell pepper, garlic, cumin, chilli and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.
2) Put 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, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt.
3) Before serving, 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. Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with bread.
For a meaty version, check out onedishcloser’s lamb shakshuka with chargrilled aubergine and garlic yoghurt
For green shakshuka (a version with spinach/kale as base instead of tomato sauce), check out dollyandoatmeal’s green shakshuka with smoky socca bread