My shakshuka with aubergine is a slight twist on the classic dish made with eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. It is popular across many countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Shakshuka makes a great brunch recipe, but it also works well as a lunch or weeknight supper dish. I prefer to make the tomato sauce in advance, as it does take a bit of time. Once you’ve done this, it only takes about 10 minutes to poach the eggs. A much more relaxed way of doing brunch! Serve with some crusty bread to mop up your egg yolks and all the tasty juices.
Shakshuka with aubergine – a twist on the classic
The classic shakshuka involves a tomato sauce with onions, peppers, garlic, chilli and other spices. However, there are many variations depending on personal preference and regional variations. Alternative additions include potato, broad beans, artichoke hearts, cheeses or even spicy sausage. I sourced this recipe from The Guardian – How to make the perfect… shakshuka article. It gives a great rundown of some alternative recipes and their pros and cons. My version is shakshuka with aubergine which does away with the peppers and replaces them with, well, aubergine. This is mainly because Mr KitchenBlurb is not a great fan of peppers, though he is made to eat them on a fairly regular basis. I would be more than happy with either.
The tomato sauce is the time-consuming bit, but it’s pretty simple to make. The only tricky bit in this recipe is cooking the eggs just right. It’s easy to overcook them, and no right-thinking person wants hard poached eggs. In my book, you’re better off with a runny yolk and a slightly-too-soft white, than an overdone egg yolk. But you know how you like your eggs!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1 medium aubergine
- 6 fat cloves of garlic
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 800 grams canned chopped tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 lemon
- 8 eggs
- 1 small bunch coriander, chopped
- Slice the onion finely. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion on a medium heat until golden, stirring occasionally. You will need a pan with a lid for the final stages of cooking the eggs.
- Meanwhile, chop the aubergine into a 1cm dice.
- Add the aubergine to the onion and continue to fry until they are soft.
- Crush the garlic and add it to the onion and aubergine together with the spices. Cook gently for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and sugar and the juice of half a lemon. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low and simmer for half an hour. Taste for seasoning. You can make the shakshuka in advance up to this point if you like. The sauce will store well in the fridge for a day or two, or can also be frozen.
- Use a wooden spoon to make small holllows in the sauce mixture, and crack an egg into each hollow. Season the eggs with salt and pepper, turn the heat down very low and put a lid on the pan.
- Cook for about 10 minutes until just set - you want the whites to be setting but to keep the yolks as runny as possible (unless you're weird!)
- Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve with some nice crusty bread.