This recipe is (again) from one of our favorite chefs; Ottolenghi. There are actually two (and possibly even more) recipes for Shakshuka. But we’ve chosen the one with the fresh tomatos and herbs, instead of canned tomatoes and tomatopaste as a base. In this case we used a wok, but you can also use a heavy pan or the Dutch Oven. As long as you take it slow, as this dish needs time to fully draw all the flavours in.
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (or ground cumin if you don’t have the seeds in your pantry)
1 3/4 dl olive oil
2 large onions, sliced in rings
2 red and 2 yellow bell peppers, cut in 2 cm wide strips
4 tsp brown sugar (we never use this to be honest)
2 bay leaves
6 twigs of fresh thyme (or 2 tsp of dried thyme)
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped cilantro, plus some extra for garnish
6 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp saffron
a pinch of cayenne
Maximum of 2 1/2 dl water
8 organic eggs
salt and black pepper
Some slices of good quality organic sourdough or another type of artisan bread to dip into the
Toast the cumin (seeds) in a large pan for 2 minutes on a high heat. Add the oil and onions and sautee for 5 minutes. Add the peppers and herbs (and sugar if you want to) and sautee everything 5-10 minutes on a high heat until all the veggies are nicely coloured.
Throw in the tomatoes, saffron, cayenne and a bit of salt and pepper. Reduce heat and let the veggies simmer for 15 minutes. Every now and again add some water to make sure it has the consistency of something like a pasta sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. It should be powerful and slightly spicy.
The original recipe suggests to divide the veggies into seperate small pans for a one person portion, before adding the eggs. We prefer to eat together with our company from the same pan, making it a bit more of a communal dish. Either way, remove the bay leaf and make 8 small holes before adding an egg in each hole. Add some salt to the eggs and cover the pan(s) with a lid. Leave for 10-12 minutes on a very low (!) heat until the eggs are just ready. Sprinkle with cilantro, serve with all the bread you have to your almost angrily hungry husband and save the day.