Shakshuka: the perfect dish for any occasion

Have you ever wondered where shakshuka comes from and what makes it such a popular dish all around the world? Read this article to find out more!
Shakshuka is served in a cast-iron pan at Dr. Shakshuka in Jaffa. Photo: courtesy

Shakshuka is a classic Israeli dish that is usually eaten as a breakfast. It is a dish made of poached eggs in tomato sauce, olive oil, onions, peppers, and garlic, but it can be served in a variety of different ways. Because it is such an affordable, easy, and delicious meal to eat and make, it is now a popular dish that can be found almost anywhere.

Shakshuka originates in North Africa, but it has many connections to Middle Eastern places such as Turkey and Egypt. It is not only popular now in North Africa and Middle Eastern countries, it has now become a popular dish in the United States, especially New York. Although shakshuka did not originate in Israel, it has become a popular dish in many Israeli households, and it is common that it is served at least once a week and has become a staple dish in many Israeli homes. Because it has been enjoyed by so many people from all different places and cultures around the world, it has gained popularity around the globe.

Although the original Israeli dish is known as shakshuka, there are many different names for it around the world. Some people might know this dish as “eggs in purgatory” or “menemen” (which is the Turkish name for this dish). The name “shakshuka” actually means all mixed up in Tunisian dialect, which explains the recipe for this comfort food.

In this article, we will go through some of the different variations of shakshuka and how it is enjoyed differently by people all around the world. My favorite version is…

Shakshuka. Photo courtesy Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels
  1. Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a delicious dish that can be served at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is made by eggs poached in a tomato sauce with olive oil, peppers, onions, garlic, and topped with a seasoning like paprika or cumin. Depending on the toppings one chooses to use, the dish can be red or green, but it is almost always added with some cheese on top. One can find shakshuka almost anywhere. It is served at many restaurants around the world, but the best part is, it is a quick and easy dish that can be made at home.

2. Eggs in Purgatory

Eggs in purgatory is the Italian version of shakshuka and is enjoyed by many. It is the same thing as shakshuka, but with a different name, because it is a dish made of baked eggs surrounded by tomato sauce, with toppings such as red pepper flakes and onion. It is the perfect meal that can be served at any time of the day. Because of the variety of ingredients in the dish, it is quite a filling and delicious meal.

Overhead shot of shakshuka. Photo courtesy Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

3. Menemen

Menemen is a Turkish dish that is referred to as shakshuka. It is also a dish made up of eggs, tomato sauce, and a variety of vegetables and spices; however, it is often served at lunch or dinner rather than at breakfast. Many people enjoy menemen with a side of toast or sour dough bread. It is the perfect meal to enjoy with family and friends.

Photo of Menemen. Photo courtesy Kübra Doğu from Pexels

4. Indian Style Skillet

Indian style skillet is of course the Indian version of shakshuka. Many people enjoy this meal for breakfast, as it is a filling meal with just the right amount of spice and sauce. This dish has a combination of delicious flavors all mixed into one, which is why it is the popular dish that is served almost everywhere around the world.

Shakshuka. Photo courtesy Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

As you can now tell, shakshuka is a delicious meal that people know and love. The different variations and names of this dish allow for it to be enjoyed all over the world. Next time it is your turn to take a dish to a party, think about bringing shakshuka; the guests will love it! Check out this recipe below to make the perfect shakshuka and also feel free to watch this video for a step-by-step tutorial for how to make this delicious dish!

Shakshuka recipe:

Ingredients:

¼ cup olive oil
½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
½ green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 hot pepper (or less), finely diced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 small cans crushed tomatoes (1,200 grams)
¾ teaspoon salt
1/8th tsp. black pepper
¼ teaspoon Moroccan paprika
½ teaspoon cumin
Heaping ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic, or fresh (2-3 cloves)
8-9 medium eggs
150 grams feta cheese, optional
Fresh cilantro and parsley for garnish
Pitas for dipping

Instructions:

  1. Roughly chop parsley and cilantro for topping. Slice feta cheese if using.
  2. Fry onion, and peppers in olive oil. Add salt.
  3. Add tomatoes and season to make a sauce.
  4. Turn down heat, add eggs, then cover and simmer for 17 minutes.
  5. Top with feta cheese, then cover and let them melt from the residual heat.
  6. Top with herbs and serve with fresh pita.

Groundbreaking Israel content is developed by ISRAEL21c’s Digital Ambassadors.

My name is Micaela Wenger and I am a senior at the University of Miami. I am majoring in communication studies and minoring in both religious studies and education. I would love to work for a Jewish organization when I graduate in the spring and am enjoying my time with ISRAEL21c so far. I am part of the Arts and Culture team where we create and share content about food, travel and the arts. I hope you enjoy our work!

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