Shakshouka means „a mixture“ in Arabic slang. It is likely that it was first known as chakchouka, a Berber word meaning a vegetable ragout, although according to a cookbook about Jerusalem cuisine, the name is derived from the Hebrew verb leshakshek, „to shake.“ This dish is very popular in North Africa (and a common Tunisian surname) and can be eaten any time of the day. The ingredients and spices vary, some add beans or artichoke hearts or crumble feta on top. We served this easy backpacker recipe with salty full fat yoghurt and some lemon hummus.
Ingredients (serves 2)
1 ts cumin
2 ts sugar
1ts cayenne powder
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 big onion, in rings
handful of parsley leaves
handful of coriander leaves (optional)
pepper and salt to taste
In a large saucepan, dry-roast the cumin on high heat for two minutes. Add the oil and sauté the onions for two minutes. Add the peppers, sugar, part of the parsley and coriander (keep some for garnish), and cook on high heat to get a nice colour.
Add the tomatoes, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes, adding enough water to keep it the consistency of a pasta sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning. It should be potent and flavoursome. (You can prepare this mix in advance).
Place the sause on medium heat and break two eggs into the pan, pouring into gaps in the mixture. Sprinkle with salt, cover and cook very gently for 10-12 minutes, until the egg just sets. The egg should be still a bitt runny. Serve with fresh (pita)bread.