Shakshuka is a Libyan dish which is prepared by poaching eggs into tomato sauce. The meal provides a variety of nutrients and goes well along with different starch-containing foods when serving it as a main dish.
Shakshuka is enjoyed globally, but more popular in Libya since all its ingredients are locally available. Though Shakshuka is relatively easy to prepare by anyone, proper quantification is needed to ensure everything is well balanced or you’d risk compromising the the final taste you desire.
With the cooking tips and recipes guides we always bring to you on this site, it’s certain that you’ll enjoy the real authentic taste of Shakshuka when you prepare it. But before we get down to Shakshuka’s recipe, let’s have a quick look at Libyan culture.
Libyan dining culture
The dining culture in Libya draws most of its rules from the Islamic teachings. Communal eating is highly encouraged as a way of showing togetherness within the community. People eat using their hands, unlike in other cultures that encourage the use of spoons and knives.
Eating is done from a communal bowl known as sofra. In groups of five, people take the food from the bowl, which is normally placed on a mat or a low table.
Cultural difference is a significant barrier in Libya. It’s hard for Libyans to invite foreigners into their homes especially the non-Arabs. As a norm, when visiting any Libya home for the first time, you are expected to bring a gift to the host. In most cases, the gift may be half a Kilo or a Kilo of sweets, chocolates, flowers, a tart, and baklava. Bringing Liquor or alcoholic drinks is an insult to the hosts, so visit with a bottle of red wine in your hands only if you are looking for a fight!
Before eating, you have to wait until the word “Bismillah” (God) is mentioned. Until then, you are not allowed to start enjoying the food. Visitors are not allowed to leave immediately after the meal but rather spend some time to know the hosts.
[bctt tweet=”In Libya, you are not expected to start eating before the host says “Bismillah””]
Now let’s move swiftly to our Shakshuka recipe.
Dish type: main dish
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
¼ cup of crumbled feta cheese
1/8 cup olive oil
Warm Libyan bread (accompaniment)
1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
1 tbsp of paprika
3 cloves of crushed garlic
1 chopped yellow onion
2 jalapenos that have been stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
2 peeled and undrained tomatoes
- Heat your oil in a skillet and sauté your onions while occasionally stirring until they are light brown.
- Put the tomatoes with their liquid in a bowl and crush using your hands or a wooden spoon. Add the crushed tomato into the skillet together with ½ cup of water. Reduce the heat, and simmer while occasionally stirring for about 15 minutes until it thickens.
- Add salt to the sauce to taste.
- Crack the eggs over the sauce so that it is evenly distributed.
- Cover the skillet and cook for about 5minutes.
- Using a spoon, carefully baste the sauce over the whites of the eggs while taking care not to disturb the yolk.
- Garnish with feta and parsley then serve with the Libyan bread.
Note; while preparing the dish, ensure that the heat is not high to allow the eggs to cook slowly and to prevent it from sticking. If you love this recipe, you may also like