I’m a breakfast gal. I love sleeping in on the weekends, waking up past 9 am (a luxury when you have small children) and having a vanilla latte before I get breakfast going. Coffee first, right? One of my favorite breakfast dishes to make is Shakshuka.
Being Palestinian, you’d think I grew up eating Shakshuka for breakfast. But, the first time I tried this dreamy dish was in Jerusalem with my sister-in-law in 2008. It was love at first bite. I’m obsessed with poached eggs and really enjoy allaya (a Middle Eastern sauce of stewed tomatoes with garlic and jalapenos). When I tried the two together, it was heaven.
Shakshuka, which means ‘all shaken up’ in Arabic, is originally a North African dish, but it’s first footprints are thought to have descended from the Ottoman Empire. Nowadays, the luscious tomato-y and egg dish is devoured all over the Middle East and most recently, has made a splash in the West.
There are so many variations and ways to make Shakshuka. This simple and very easy recipe is my go-to. I paired the Shakshuka with Labeneh, a Arabic strained yogurt that is thick and creamy, which adds a beautiful richness to the dish. You can find Labaneh (or labneh) in specialty or Middle Eastern Eastern grocery stores.
As we say in Arabic, Sahtain o Hana! [enjoy in bliss]
- ¼ cup evoo
- 5-6 large roma tomatoes, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 4-5 thin slices of jalapeno or banana bell pepper, deseeded
- A handful of mint (cilantro or parsley work too), chopped
- 4-6 eggs
- 6-8 dollops of Labaneh
- Baba’s Pita Puffs
- Salt and black pepper (to taste)
Step 1: In a large pan (I like to use deeper skillet), heat oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes, garlic and jalapeno. Sprinkle with salt (to taste) and bring to boil. Lower heat and allow the tomatoes to simmer covered for about 15 minutes in their own juices until tomatoes are fully cooked.
Step 2: Once the tomatoes are cooked, form little holes and crack the eggs in the hole. Make sure to create room between each egg. Cover pan and cook until eggs have a thin layer of white over the yolk (be careful not to overcook the eggs, you want them to still be runny). Season your eggs with salt (and pepper if you prefer).
Step 3: Top your Shakshuka with dollops of Labaneh. Garnish with mint and serve with Baba’s pita puffs. Sahtain!