An Arab classic: Fried peppers with tomatoes and spices, topped with eggs poached right in the mixture. Shakshouka is Arabic for “mixture”, and the traditional dish is very popular in the Mediterranean region. The poached eggs are a rather new invention and raised the demand for Shakshouka especially as a rich breakfast. The version below is inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s view on it.

Bell Pepper, Cast-iron, Cilantro, Saffron, Za'atar


  • 5 peppers, red and yellow mixed
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 4 fresh eggs
  • 2 large onions
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp fresh or dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp saffron
  • 1 tsp Za’atar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
Cast-iron, Cilantro, Saffron, Tomato, Za'atar


Prepare the peppers and onions: Cut the peppers into long narrow strips and the onion into rings. Preheat a cast iron pan over high heat. Roast the cumin seeds for a minute, then reduce to medium heat and add olive oil, onions and sugar. As soon as the onions start to caramelize, add the peppers. Stir frequently for a few minutes, then add the thyme, saffron, Za’atar, bay leaves and some salt and pepper. Fry for another 10 minutes.

In the meantime, dice the tomatoes. During the winter months you can also use canned tomatoes, as they ripened with a lot of sun. Add them to the mixture and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for 15 minutes on low heat. Then form four holes in the mixture and gently fill each of them with an egg. Salt them lightly, cover the pan with the lid and let cook over very low heat for about 10 minutes. The dish is ready when the eggs start to harden. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve immediately. It goes well with flat bread.

Bell Pepper, Cilantro, Egg, bread, Tomato

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