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How to make North Africa's Shakshouka

Updated: Aug 17, 2020

Shakshouka is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, often spiced with cumin. Its present egg and vegetable-based form originated in North Africa. It is popular in the Middle East and North Africa.


3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 large bell pepper, de-seeded and sliced thinly

3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

800 grams (28-ounces) canned diced tomatoes with juices

salt and pepper, to taste 1 to 1-1/4 cups crumbled feta 6 large eggs cilantro or basil, for topping pita bread or other bread of choice, to serve

Here’s how to do it:

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and bell peppers, and cook until very soft and aromatic, anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes depending on how thinly they are sliced. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so until fragrant. Stir in the spices and cook one more minute to allow vegetables to absorb the flavors.

  2. Pour in the canned tomatoes, then season with salt and pepper. Stir until combined with the other vegetables and let simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the feta cheese until fully combined.

  3. Gently crack in the eggs evenly around the pan over the sauce. Top them with a little salt and pepper, then simmer until the eggs are just set, around 10 minutes or less. Sprinkle cilantro or basil leaves on top, then serve with lots of warm toasty bread to mop up the sauce.

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