Friday, May 25, 2018

Shakshuka with Eggs for a Weekend Breakfast or Brunch

Shaksuka is a popular dish in Israel, although it is supposed to have originated from Tunisia in North Africa. I ordered an Italian version of this dish for breakfast, or something very close to it, in the Yarra Valley at a wonderful little Italian cafe in village Healesville, called Essenza. It is only an hour from Melbourne. We had just packed up the tent and the car, and ventured into Healesville to buy some breakfast, and found a long, corridor style cafe with a very inviting and  interesting decor. Seating was also available outside on the footpath. If you are into having fun with words and pronunciations, Shaksuka is pronounced "shahk-SHOO-kah".

The Italian version of "Shaksuka" at Essenza was called Uova in Padella, meaning Eggs in the Pan, was baked in a terracotta ramekin, had pancetta and lima beans added as well, and it was absolutely delicious. It is one of their signature dishes. We were pretty hungry by then. Even though Shaksuka is different by origin, it inspired me to make this tomato based  Middle Eastern version of poached eggs. Unfortunately I didn't have my blogging hat on and didn't have my camera with me at Essenza, so these photos of my Shakshuka will have to do.


Serves 2-4 depending on the number of eggs each person would like.

You will need one medium sized ovenproof frypan to bake these in the oven

 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
1  red capsicum, deseeded and sliced
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 mild long red chilli, sliced finely
1 teaspoon sugar
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Tasty grated cheese

TIP: (Substitute 1 x 400g can of cannellini beans drained and rinsed for a can of tomatoes for a more hearty meal)
For a more wholesome dinner dish and to add more "hidden" vegetables, also add 1 small grated zucchini and 1 grated carrot or 1 finely chopped eggplant and cook with the capsicum about 5 minutes.

  • Heat the oil  in a frying pan and cook the onion for 3 minutes until soft.
  • Stir in the fresh chilli, garlic and capsicum.  
  • Add the paprika, cumin, ground coriander, and sugar and cook until the fragrance of the herbs becomes quite aromatic. 
  • Preheat your oven to 180 deg. C. if you are baking the eggs in the oven.
  • Add the cans of tomato to the frypan. Cook, stirring often for 15 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly. Season to your taste with salt and ground black pepper..
  • Remove the pan from the heat. The tomato mixture can now rest in the pan until you are ready to cook the eggs or start cooking the eggs as follows in an ovenproof pan in the oven or in a frypan on the stove. I prefer the oven, it's easier.
  • Add 4 large evenly spaced indents into the mixture and crack an egg into each indent.
  • Sprinkle grated cheese and some chopped mint or parsley over the tomato.
  • Reduce the hotplate to low.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the egg yolks are to your liking. Semi hard yolks will take up to 8 minutes.

This dish can  also be baked in the oven in individual ramekins if you have them, by adding some of the tomato mixture to each ramekin and then adding the eggs. Or once the eggs, cheese and mint are added to the tomato mixture as explained above,  place the ovenproof fry pan in the oven and bake until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

This is delicious for breakfast, but my preference is to serve it for brunch on the weekend. I also plan to make it for Sunday night dinner one week and think I will add a chopped eggplant to the tomato sauce for extra flavour and texture.

This dish is healthy, full of flavour and not expensive to make. I have made a quantity of the tomato mixture to freeze so that next time I want to make it for brunch I can just defrost the tomato base, and add the eggs and make it very quickly. Serve it with Sourdough toast.

Just something different for you to try on the weekend. Have you ever eaten Shaksuka or Uova in Padella?

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for dropping by.



  1. Pauline, that looks great. We don't have a cooked breakfast as I am too lazy so I think I would cook it for dinner. I will pin it to remind me to give it a try. Thanks.

  2. Ooooh Pauline! This looks amazing! Not just breakfast or a brunch dish, I think. It would make a lovely Sunday night dinner!

    1. Thanks Marcellina. I think you are right. We are big on easy Sunday night dinners.


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