Eggs for breakfast? Absolutely! Packed with nutrients, they help kick-start our day with a boost of energy and goodness. They can be scrambled, fried, poached, or boiled to our liking. Yet, from time to time, it is exciting to introduce some variety to our routine. If you tick a tangy and spicy egg dish, then it is time to say `hello’ to shakshuka.
Believed to originate in West Asia and North Africa, this dish holds poached eggs in a spicy sauce of tomato and chilli pepper. The word “shakshuka” is believed to come from the Arabic word “shakshek” which means “to shake or to mix up”. Rightly so, as the dish is all about tomatoes, bell peppers, egg, and onions all mixed up together.
Shakshuka is popular for its rich flavour and simple preparation. Although usually served as a breakfast, it can be savoured at any time of the day.
Stops snacking, aids immunity
As the main ingredient is eggs, the protein in it helps maintain muscle health and keeps one feeling full for a long hours. A 2022 study published in the journal Nutrients indicates that egg protein can decrease appetite (read `unnecessary snacking’) which results in reducing the calorie intake in the following meal. So, that is one way of managing one’s weight.
Tomatoes and bell peppers contain fibre which aids in digestion. Bell peppers are also rich in vitamin C which is essential for immune health. Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant present in tomatoes, may help reduce the risk of chronic health conditions.
The dish is usually made with olive oil which is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that further support our overall health. We will not keep you waiting any further. Do cook shakshuka and let us know in the comments section how it turned out to be.
For the tomato sauce:
- Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
- Tomatoes – 5-6, diced
- Red bell pepper – 1, chopped
- Onion – 1, finely chopped
- Garlic cloves – 2-3, minced
- Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
- Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
- Salt to taste
- A pinch of pepper powder
- Coriander leaves for the garnish
For the eggs:
- 4-6 large eggs
- In a frying pan, heat olive oil over medium flame.
- Put in the chopped onions and stir it for about four minutes or until it becomes translucent.
- Add garlic and red bell peppers to it and stir well until the bell pepper becomes soft.
- Add cumin powder, red chilli powder, pepper powder and salt to the mixture. Mix well and cook for a minute or two to release the flavours.
- Toss in the diced tomatoes with the juice. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 10–15 minutes. Continue to gently stir the mixture from time to time.
- Using a spoon, make small gaps or wells in the simmering sauce. Carefully crack the eggs into them.
- Sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper on the eggs.
- Cover the dish and cook the eggs for about five minutes or until they are done. Typically, the whites are left to set and the yolks are runny. You can also cook it according to your preference.
- Remove the lid and garnish the shakshuka with coriander leaves.
You can have it with rice, paratha or a bread of your liking.
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