Shakshuka...

The heavenly 15 min. one pot recipe from the Middle East. This dish has rocked my world lately, and I wanted to share my version of it with you. Reasons to love shakshuka: 1) the name.. right?!.. 2) it is super filling, warming and nutritious. 3) It takes very little time and effort (15 min, hallelujah). 4) It feels exotic and new to our western european habits, so it makes a great variation on your usual go-to dinners and it can easily surprise your non-foodie friends coming over for dinner.
A little history on this dish: it is originally from North Africa, but it is most commonly known as breakfast food in the Middle East! We all have become familiar with it in Europe due to Yotam Ottolenghi's amazing cookbooks, and in the UK it is already widely popular... Shakshuka means 'to shake it up'... And that properly describes the recipe...You can get quite creative and still call it shakshuka! Though there are many different versions the common thread is : tomato, some mix of sautéed veggies and eggs poached in the mix. In my 'Full of Joy' version I add sweet potato, this makes it a full meal ( you don't need extra bread to fill you up) and I just love the extra touch of sweetness to it!

 

==> Yields 4 portions

 Ingredients

- 2 yellow onions chopped

- 2 garlic cloves

- 2 tsp grounded cumin 

- ground red chili pepper

- sea salt and pepper

- fresh cilantro

- 2 green, yellow  or red bell peppers (or a mix of colours to make it beautiful)

- 1 zucchini

- 1,5 big sweet potatoes

- 4 big juicy tomatoes

- 1/2 lemon juice

- 1/2 cup tomato sauce

- 6 large eggs

 To make the Shakshuka


 

 

 

Traditionally it is made in a cast iron skillet, but if you don't have one of those, a plain big nonstick pan does the job too.

1) prep: Cut all veggies + sweet potato in small bits.

2) Put your pan or cast iron skillet on the fire with 3tbsp of olive oil.

3) Add the garlic cloves, ground cumin, sea salt, pepper and chili pepper to the oil and mix with a wooden spoon. Heating up the spices in the oil activates them and opens up their taste to the fullest.

4) After 2 min (don't burn the spices!!) , add the onions. 

5) Once they are turning a bit soft and seem glazed, add the other veggies with the fresh tomatoes at the end. 

6) Mix well, add more spice if needed and then add the tomato sauce.

7) Let simmer on medium fire  for +- 8 minutes

8) TASTE (I always say you can't cook without tasting), check what flavour it needs more off and add this (oyu may need more sea salt). Then add the lemon juice and taste again.. Is it the right mix of spicy, sweet and sour?

9) Put the pan on low fire. Make some space in the pan between the veggies with your spoon and add the 6 eggs in each of them. Let simmer slowly until the white of the eggs has set well. It is the most delicious when the egg yolk is still a bit liquid!

10) All done! Turn of the fire and add the freshly chopped cilantro.

Extra killer effect:

Serve with fresh mint, sour cream, sprinkle some feta cheese over it and add some dark bread.

 

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