Shakshuka or shakshouka is a staple dish in North Africa and one of the highlights of Moroccan cuisine. It is a dish made of eggs cooked in a highly seasoned tomato sauce. Shakshuka comes from the word 'shakshek', which means 'shake' or 'jiggle' in North African Arabic. It refers to the action of mixing all the ingredients together in order to prepare this delicious cooking sauce.
What is shakshuka?
Shakshuka is a dish made of eggs, cooked in a rich Moroccan spiced tomato sauce with roasted bell peppers and lots of herbs and spices. We like to consider Shakshuka as the ultimate one pan dish.
Taktouka and matbucha are other names for dishes that resemble shakshuka, but unlike shakshuka, matbucha and taktouka are considered cooked salads, and are typically never served with eggs.
Moroccan shakshuka is traditionally cooked in a cast iron skillet or pan and also served in it while sizzling hot. Eggs are slowly poached and develop a cooked white and runny yolk.
In order to make a perfect shakshuka, merely following the recipe is not enough. Using the right ingredients is the key. Always aim for the best if you can. As tomatoes are the main ingredient, try to use fresh, very ripe and aromatic ones. If you can’t source them or they are not in season just go for the canned plum tomatoes. They’re much sweeter! Olive oil is incredibly important too; try to use the best quality extra virgin.
Speaking of spices, each and every recipe is different, but they all contain hot chili powder . Ground cumin and paprika are also key spices. Some recipes call for smoked paprika, which can enhance the dish with amazing smokiness, however can easily overpower all other delicate flavors and therefore should be used carefully.
The sauce was initially introduced in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria and then spread further to Middle-East and North African countries. Shakshuka is also very popular in Israel and often considered to have an Israeli origin, but in fact Jews from Northern Africa brought this flavorful dish to Israel. Now it’s become quite popular in the USA as well as Europe and is often served as a breakfast, brunch or even lunch in coffee shops and cafes. It is an extremely versatile dish that can be enjoyed anytime of the day.
There are dishes like shakshuka across multiple cuisines. This rich-spiced tomato sauce could be considered the North African cousin of the Italian marinara, although shakshuka has more character, charming aromas as well as a spicy and subtle kick. In Turkey they have menemen which is very similar to shakshuka, as well as şakşuka which is named alike, but cooked with eggplants, zucchini and no eggs. Another distant relative is Mexican huevos rancheros which is a tomato and chilli stew, served with beans, cheese and eggs over a tortilla.
Our shakshuka sauce has been carefully developed by Mina in order to give you an exotic experience with a homemade feel. Shakshuka is typically served in a tagine or skillet with poached eggs and fresh bread. Our shakshuka sauce can also be served over pasta, on pizza, or as a crostini topper.
Think of it as an “everything sauce” that can also serve as a foundation for a wide variety of proteins and vegetables. Have a look at our shakshuka recipes for some ideas of how you can use our sauce.