If you enjoy something a little spicy in the morning, you should definitely give shakshouka a try.
Pronounced shahk-SHOO-kah, the word literally translates to “a mixture” in Maghreb Arabic. Lately it has been making appearances on menus in popular cafes across the world, but the origin of the dish has been hotly disputed. Some food historians say that the dish originated in the Ottoman Empire, spreading throughout the Middle East and Spain. Others say it originated in Tripoli, spreading to other Maghreb states over time.
There are a few varieties across the gulf of this spicy egg dish. The traditional version includes a rich tomato sauce that has been slow cooked in a cast iron skillet. It will almost always include hints of chili and cumin, with some people adding additional vegetables like green peppers and onion. Once the sauce is cooked, eggs are added and slow poached in the sauce. The dish is then served hot, sometimes with the addition of feta cheese. Bread is used to mop up the delicious sauce and the runny egg yolk.
Served on Mexican tables, Huevos rancheros is a similar dish to shakshouka, but with the addition of extra chillis, bay leaf and Mexican cheese. The dish is served hot from the oven with tortillas. Yum!
In Spain, the dish is served with the addition of spicy chorizo sausage, beans, smoked paprika and occasionally corn.
Although shakshouka has typically been served in the morning, the dish isn’t restricted to the breakfast table. Who wouldn’t want to eat this for lunch or dinner? Or both?