The Ultimate Shakshouka

August 23, 2012


After much experimentation, I believe this to be the ultimate form of this staple Israeli dish. The fenugreek seeds I believe to be a unique addition of mine to the basic recipe, and the smoke paprika gives it quite a poshy twist.

The quantities are for two diners, but this dish could be multiplied to infinity, or at least to the size of your largest pan. It's perfectly possible to make Shakshouka in a giant Paella pan.


Serves: 2




  • 4 eggs in room temperature

  • 1 medium onion, sliced

  • 8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

  • 1 kg peeled plum tomatoes, or one can of good quality canned plum tomatoes (I use Mutti's), chopped

  • Chili peppers to taste (I use half a habanero)

  • 1 tsp cumin whole seeds

  • 1 tsp whole fenugreek seeds

  • 1 tsp sweet spanish smoked paprika (Pimentón de la Vera)

  • A handful of cilantro leaves, chopped

  • Atlantic sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Extra virgin olive oil




  • In a medium pan that can accomodate the four eggs, heat the olive oil. When it's hot, add the onion and sauté until golden brown.

  • Add the chili, garlic, cumin, fenugreek and paprika and stir-fry for a minute or two, until the spices release their aromas.

  • Add the chopped tomatoes. If using canned tomatos, save the preservation juices, dilute with 1/2 cup water and add to the pan. Otherwise, add a whole cup of water. Season with salt, bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, covered, on the lowest heat possible.

  • Using a spatula, make 4 holes in the sauce and gently break one egg into each whole, keeping the yolks whole. Cover the pan and cook for a few minutes, until the whites solidify.

  • Move to serving dishes, sprinkle the cilantro, a few twists of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and serve with fresh bread or a pita bread for each diner.

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