Tunisian Shakshuka – Eggs Gently Poached in a Harissa-Spiced and Herby Tomato Sauce for a Low-Calorie and Diabetic-Friendly Lunch or Dinner

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If you like eggs, and tomatoes, then you are in for a treat with Shakshuka, which is in its most basic form eggs poached in a tomato sauce. The beauty of this dish is its simplicity and versatility. Simple enough to be whipped up in no time at all, versatile enough to be eaten, like most egg dishes, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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The origins of this dish are definitely Middle Eastern / North African, and like a few things in the Middle East, many in the region claim this dish as one of their own. Some say this dish is Israeli, others say its’ origins are Palestinian, while many purport that Shakshuka is a North African dish, originating in Tunisia and popularised by Tunisian Jews. Indeed, the name Shakshuka is understood to be of Arabic origins meaning mixture.

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tunisian-shakshuka.

Whatever the origins, shakshuka is a one-pan recipe of eggs gently poached in a tomato-red pepper sauce spiced with cumin, paprika and cayenne. It starts with making the sauce, which comes together fairly quickly, and then you gently crack each of the eggs into the pan, nestling them into the sauce.

Like many great dishes, there are many variants of this dish. Starting with the spices – do you use paprika, cayenne, harissa or a combination of the three? I think taste is such an individual thing that I would advise playing around with the spices until you arrive at the combination that works best for your palate.

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Next the tomatoes – Tinned or fresh? I can’t believe I even asked that, but it is a valid question. Some people swear by tinned tomatoes for Shakshuka, but I come from a time and place in Africa that tomatoes when in season, are deep red, luscious, loaded with incredible taste and cheap. Traditionally, you would make this dish with fresh tomatoes, but I find the combination of fresh tomatoes and a tomato sauce from concentrate results in a deeply flavourful and piquant base sauce.

And then there are the herbs? spinach? parsley? cilantro?… Cilantro is basic to my African heart so I am partial to this pungent herb. And of course, there is the also the option of adding no herbs at all. And of course, the option of sprinkling some seasonal herbs on top of the finished meal, as I did (just because  I couldn’t help myself and they were lying around)…

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Some make shakshuka into a heartier meat meal, including sausages in the recipe. Others vary the vegetables, adding spinach, aubergine and/or courgette. Either way, it’s always delicious. And now, here’s my take on this wonderful North African dish!

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tunisian-shakshuka

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Tunisian Shakshuka (Eggs in Tomato Sauce) Recipe
Tunisian Shakshuka (Eggs in Tomato Sauce) Recipe
Print Recipe
Add to Meal Plan:
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Servings Prep Time
3 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Tunisian Shakshuka (Eggs in Tomato Sauce) Recipe
Tunisian Shakshuka (Eggs in Tomato Sauce) Recipe
Print Recipe
Add to Meal Plan:
This recipe has been added to your Meal Plan
Servings Prep Time
3 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Ingredients
Units:
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan or skillet on medium heat and when hot, lightly fry the onion and garlic for about 3 - 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are soft.
  2. Add the red bell pepper, and spices (cumin, cayenne pepper, and paprika), and continue frying for another 3 - 5 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent burning.
  3. Mix in the tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock cube and gently simmer covered on low - medium heat for about 20 minutes. Check occasionally that the mixture does not become too dry. If it reduces too quickly and becomes dry, add a little water to keep it moist.
  4. Shakshuka should be a "dry-ish" sauce so resist the temptation to add too much water. The liquid from the tomatoes and the tomato sauce should provide enough moisture.
  5. Make small wells in the mix and crack the eggs into the pan. Season the egg whites with salt and black pepper. Cover the pan and allow the eggs to poach for about 5 minutes for runny yolks, and about 10 minutes for hard yolks.
  6. Sprinkle the chopped coriander/seasonal herbs and goats cheese over the sauce and serve with granary bread.

 

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Nutrition Facts
Tunisian Shakshuka (Eggs in Tomato Sauce) Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 267 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 25%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 509mg 170%
Sodium 339mg 14%
Potassium 514mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 13g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 6g
Protein 18g 36%
Vitamin A 71%
Vitamin C 147%
Calcium 8%
Iron 22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 


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tunisian-shakshuka

Emem
Afro-fusion Food Lover.
Sustainable Food Advocate.
Completely nuts about Avocado.

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Tunisian Shakshuka - Eggs Gently Poached in a Harissa-Spiced and Herby Tomato Sauce for a Low-Calorie and Diabetic-Friendly Lunch or Dinner