Shakshuka... Middle-Eastern Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce. I've been seeing "poached eggs in tomato sauce" on a number of blogs/sites recently. But it was this Middle-Eastern version that really made me finally prepare the dish. I love the addition of cumin and coriander. I am sure there are quite a few variations to this basic dish. Some will not use onions, others will not add feta cheese, while yet still others will skip the peppers. In Italy, they have a similar dish where a tomato and basil sauce is used. In Mexico, you have the classic huevos rancheros where a tomato based salsa is used. In France, you have baked eggs over ratataouille sauce. I think you will find quite a few variations to the "poached eggs in tomato sauce"....so it is nice to be able to prepare it according to your taste. If you prefer more spices, you can easily adjust that. In any case, the idea of poaching eggs in a sauce is definitely not new. But it makes for a wonderful meal...be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I like the idea of having some crusty bread that will mop up the delicious sauce. You can use whatever bread you like, in my case I had some homemade naan bread.
This recipe makes enough sauce for about 8 eggs...I chose to use less. I had leftover sauce that I used for another recipe(coming soon:)). I love how you can bring the dish to the table... everyone can help themselves. It is a tasty dish and leftovers are great. I would like to try making this dish with garden-fresh tomatoes. You think it will work? Let me know if you try it and what you think of it. Here is another chance to have eggs for dinner:)...not just for breakfast. Hope you enjoy....
Tip: You can make all the sauce and reserve half of it for the second day. Use half of the eggs for one day with half of the sauce. Warm up the reserved sauce the next day and use a new set of fresh eggs.
2-3 jalapeno chilis, seeded and finely chopped (optional... I used some chile flakes)
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 tablespoon paprika( try using smoked)
salt & pepper, to taste
28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices
1/2 cup water
eggs( however many you need ...up to 8 eggs)
crumbled feta cheese( or you can use paneer)
freshly chopped parsley, or cilantro
flat bread or crusty bread, for serving
Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and carefully crush with your hands until you have small pieces. Set aside
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, when hot add the onions and chilis( if using) and cook until softened( 6-8 minutes). Add the bell pepper and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the chile flakes(if using), garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper and cook for another 30 seconds or so.
Stir in the tomatoes and their juices with 1/2 cup of water. Simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce reduces slightly and thickens. Stir every so often.
Make a small well in the sauce and break the egg in the tomato sauce. Do the same with the rest of the eggs. Continue cooking until the egg whites solidify and the yolks are still slightly runny. You can cover the pot so that the eggs cook evenly. Add crumbled feta cheese, parsley and chives. Serve with bread.