Shakshouka was first created somewhere in North Africa a long time ago. It traditionally consists of eggs poached in a spicy sauce of tomato, onion and chilli, and whatever other spices they would have at hand. Cumin would’ve been in there for sure.

Shakshouka means “a mixture”, which I would assume is derived from the eggs getting mixed up in the sauce. There you go, some “could be facts” from your friends right here at foodisthebestshitever.

Where ever it has come from and what ever it may have contained, I love it. I am a huge fan of a spicy breakfast and this, my friends, is a good spicy breakfast. Full of aromatic spices and other good shit. it has been on my breakfast menu for the last five years ever since it was introduced to me by an online dating service… or maybe it was introduced to me by my good friend and fellow chef, Toodles… and it shows no signs of disappearing any time soon.

It should also be noted that for the past five years I have been calling this dish shakshulka… that is clearly not it’s name. But you know what? It hasn’t failed me yet, so shakshulka it is. Enjoy.

My shakshulka…or Todd’s… Well the Israeli guy who showed it to him really. See. I told you recipes get around. Most people tweak or tease them like a prostitutes nipple and, if you pay your dues, you’re sure to get your turn too.

Yeah that does look delicious

Yeah that does look delicious

If you can keep the yolks soft you're doing really well...

If you can keep the yolks soft you’re doing really well…

SHAKSHULKA

Base

2 large eggplant, charred whole, flesh scooped out and roughly chopped

2 brown onion, diced

4 capsicum, diced

2 zucchini, cut in half length-ways and pan fried until golden, then cut into large dice (the helps keep the zucchini firmish but maximises flavour)

1 long red chilli, seeded and chopped

5 cloves garlic, crushed

2kg really ripe tomatoes (or tinned equivalent), blitzed in a food processer or chopped

2 tablespoons each each ground coriander, cumin, sumac, smoked paprika

1 pinch cayenne

1 tablespoon castor sugar

eggs, parsley and flat bread to serve

  • With the help of a pot on a good splash of olive oil, sauté everything except eggplant, zucchini and tomato… If it seems a little dry add another splash of oil
  • Once soft and just starting to colour add tomato and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Add zucchini and eggplant and simmer for a further 10 minutes
  • Check seasoning and POW! You have the base for your shakshulka
  • It should be noted about now that this will be enough to feed quite a few people, so this is the point where I freeze some of the mix so I’ve got it on hand for breakfast, or as a great stand-by garnish for a nice piece of something lamb-y. If you are feeding a lot of people – maybe you and all of your friends are hungry after the all night orgy – disregard the note about freezing and continue with method below.

To serve

  • Take 1.5- 2 cups of the shakshulka base per person
  • Heat shakshulka in a pan that has a lid or a plate that will fit it
  • Once it is starting to simmer make a small indent in the shakshulka for each egg. Add 1-2 eggs per person, depending on appetites, and then cover
  • Simmer on a low heat for 4-5 minutes then check. Eggs should be cooked softly – if there is uncooked white snot give it a gentle mix with a spoon, taking care not to break the yolks. Add a splash of water and simmer for another minute or two
  • Serve in bowls (or straight out of the pan if you eat like a boss!) with heaps of parsley, olive oil, flat bread and all of your favourite North African condiments. Za’atar would be cracking, as would hummus