Shake that Shuka!


29 Feb Shake that Shuka!

As promised (drum roll please)… shakshuka!! Some of you may know it, some make it, others have no idea what it is. But one thing’s for sure, everyone should add it to their recipe book. Shakshuka, or Shakshouka, is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, often spiced with cumin. It is believed to have a Tunisian origin. It’s a staple recipe in the Israeli home (as well as Tunisian, Libyan, Algerian, Moroccan, and Egyptian), can be found in most restaurants in Israel, and has many many variations. And here are just a few, those of which we often make at home.

Basic shakshuka

The simplest of the bunch. It’s got just a few ingredients, which makes it a real life saver when short on time or when you realize your fridge is practically empty.


  • 1 onion

    Basic Shakshuka

  • 1/2 jar Pasata (crushed tomatoes)
  • heaped tsp tomato paste
  • 2 Chopped ripe tomatoes or 2 handfuls cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh parley or other fresh/dry herbs (one of our favorite is the Provence mix)
  • Optional: ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Maple syrup or honey, to break the sourness
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh farm eggs (two per person)
  • Stale or good old farm bread to serve
  • Optional: sour cream/hummus/tahini to serve

Fry the onion in a bit of butter, add chopped tomatoes and keep stirring until softer. Add about half the parsley, pasata, tomato paste, maple, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Taste to check flavor, then add the leftover parsley (you can reserve a bit for serving too) and mix. When the sauce is bubbly and hot, take a big serving spoon, and try to make a hole in the sauce. If too thin, just place the spoon in the sauce, and break the egg over it. While takin out the spoon, push the sauce away a bit, so that the egg ends up in the sauce rather then on top. Do the same thing with the rest of the eggs, and work as quickly as possible. As soon as all the eggs are in, cover, and let cook to your liking. We love it when the eggs are pretty runny. If you like them rather cooked through, you can have the sauce on middle heat rather than high. Another way to go about it is to preheat the oven. Then when all eggs are in the sauce, pop in the oven, on the top rack.

We love eating our shakshuka with sour cream, hummus, or tahini spread on bread while we dip in this delicious goodness.


With kale. Yum!

Additions and variations

Add the following to upgrade your shakshuka to the next level:

  • Cube an eggplant, drizzle with olive oil and pop in a hot oven. Take out when golden and cooked through, and add to the tomato sauce. If you’re a feta cheese fan, break some in there as well for extra flavor.
  • Chop some sun dried tomatoes and fry with the onion.
  • Add jarred smoked peppers for a lovely flavor. Goes really well with the eggplant and feta, or just on it’s own.
  • Add Harissa or fresh chopped chili for a nice kick.
  • Add red and/or yellow peppers to the onion. Soften before adding the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add spinach/kale/swiss chard to the basic tomato sauce for a lovely and quick upgrade.
  • Chef Yotam Ottolenghi adds cumin seeds, peppers and lots of fresh herbs such as bay leaves, thyme, parsley, coriander and even saffron, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Green Shakshuka


  • 1-2 onions OR 3-4 spring onions OR 1 large leek
  • 3 garlic cloves (or more if you love it as much as I do)
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • 500g spinach
  • 250g kale (and/or swiss chard, beet greens, collard greens etc)
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • Heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • optional: chili powder or chili flakes
  • optional: Feta cheese

In a bit of butter and olive oil, fry the onions (or spring onions/leek) until soft, adding the garlic half way through.
Add any leafy greens you decide on, with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon. Mix well and let the greens shrink in size.

When the greens are cooked, add the heavy cream and season well. If using the feta cheese, add just before adding the cream. Let boil, and then make space for each egg (you might have to do it one at a time). Break in the eggs, trying hard to keep the yolk in tact. Now cover the pan and let the eggs cook until the whites are cooked through (you still want the yolk to be runny, so don’t over cook).
Serve with bread and fresh veggies on the side, and enjoy!


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  • Masha Ellis
    Posted at 14:56h, 08 March Reply

    wow! great post! we have tried the basic one a while ago, but the green one sounds much better for us – Munchkin is not a tomato sauce fan – very exciting!

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