As any brunch savant knows, there are myriad ways to enjoy your eggs—scrambled, poached, sunny-side up, the list goes on—but there's one method that's sure to impress anyone at your kitchen table. We're talking about shakshuka. For the uninitiated, shakshuka (pronounced shahk-shoo-kah) is a staple dish in many Middle Eastern countries. (Legend has it that it was invented by the Ottomans.) It consists of sauteed vegetables and tomatoes with eggs artfully cracked over the top.
And not only does it look great (see the photo above for evidence), but it's extremely easy to make. This simple recipe comes courtesy of Egyptian-American chef Suzanne Zeidy's new book, Cairo Kitchen: Recipes from the Middle East, Inspired by the Street Food of Cairo ($28; amazon.com), which, in addition to the mouthwatering egg concoction, includes a variety of other home-style fare inspired by her native city. Read on for the scrumptious recipe.
2 tbsps olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 fresh hot chili, seeded and finely chopped
1 medium red or green pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground allspice
6 eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, to serve
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. In a deep frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, chili, and pepper together for about 5 minutes until softened, but not browned.
2. Chop the tomatoes, then add them to the frying pan and reduce the heat to a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until the tomatoes soften, adding a little water if necessary to make a thick sauce. Add the cumin, paprika, and allspice and stir.
3. Crack the eggs evenly over the tomato and pepper and continue cooking for about 6 to 8 minutes until the whites are set.
4. Season to taste with the salt and pepper and serve hot, scattered with the chopped parsley.