Eggs poached in stewed tomato, roasted red bell pepper and harissa! A great tasting classic Tunisian egg recipe!
By far, Tunisian shakshuka is one of the most delicious and healthy breakfast egg recipes that there is. Harissa is a paste made from fresh hot paprika chiles, roasted paprika and mild paprika chile peppers. Hot paprika is not exactly spicy hot by western standards, but describing chile pepper spicy heat is relative to spicy hot tolerance levels. Those with sensitive taste buds may describe chile pepper heat differently than someone who eats the hottest chile peppers everyday. All paprika varieties are very mild and much less spicy hot than a jalapeno pepper.
The flavor of harissa is deep and rich. Harissa is commonly used in North African cuisine, especially in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Harissa can be made with dried ground paprika too. I posted a recipe for that type of harissa a few months ago.
The tomato, roasted bell pepper and harissa stew in today's recipe is slowly simmered and it develops a very rich paprika and tomato flavor that is perfect for eggs. The seasonings for shakshuka can differ in regional Tunisian variations of this recipe. The tomato harissa stew is usually only lightly seasoned, no matter what spices are used. Olive oil is a big part of this recipe, so use a good quality virgin olive oil. Shakshuka is usually served with white bread or khubz arabi (pita bread). The shakshuka is placed on the bread and eaten with finger Arabic style.
The best way to make this recipe is to start the stew in a saute pan and then transfer it to an oven proof casserole dish. The casserole is not baked! The casserole is slowly simmered on a burner over low heat while covered with a lid, till the eggs poach. It is best to shield the casserole dish by placing the dish on a saute pan on the burner.
Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
Add 3 ounces of virgin olive oil.
Add 1/2 cup of chopped onion.
Saute the onions, till they become tender and clear, but not browned.
Add 1 minced garlic clove.
Add 1 plum tomato that is cut into thin wedges.
Add 1 coarsely chopped roasted red bell pepper.
Add 4 tablespoons of harissa. (Canned harissa is perfect for this recipe. Canned harissa looks like a thick red tomato paste, but it is made with fresh paprika peppers and roasted paprika peppers. Try to use a harissa that is not salty in flavor.)
Add 1/2 cup of canned crushed plum tomato.
Add 1/2 cup of water.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 1 pinch of cinnamon.
Add 1 pinch of cumin.
Add 1 pinch of coriander.
Add 1 pinch of turmeric.
When the stew comes to a boil, reduce the temperature to low heat.
Slowly simmer and reduce the stew.
Stir the stew occasionally.
The stew is ready when the flavors meld and the stew reduces to a medium thin sauce consistency.
Add 3 pinches of coarsely chopped Italian parsley.
Pour the tomato harissa stew into a shallow heat proof casserole dish.
Set the casserole dish on a saute pan that is placed on a burner set to medium low heat.
Place 2 raw eggs in the stew.
Cover the casserole dish with a domed pot lid.
Try not to remove the lid to check the eggs too often. The steam from the stew that builds up under the lid will poach the eggs.
When the eggs become poached, then the shakshuka is finished cooking.
Place the shakshuka casserole dish on a serving platter.
Sprinkle a little bit of finely chopped parsley over the shakshuka.
Warm a pita bread in a hot oven. (Khubz Arabi)
Cut the warm pita bread into triangle shapes.
Place the pita triangles on the serving platter.
Garnish the platter with Italian parsley sprigs.
Shakshuka is one of the tastiest and healthiest egg recipes that there is! Shakshuka can be served for breakfast and it can be shared as an appetizer. The very mild flavors of the roasted red bell pepper and harissa combine with the tomato and olive oil in a very nice way. Placing the shakshuka on the pita bread triangles and eating with fingers is one of life's great simple pleasures. This is a tasty Tunisian egg entree! ... Shawna