Yemen is the only country in the world that starts with the letter Y, so I didn’t have much choice in what country I’d make a dish from. I was, however, faced with the same problems I always have when making Middle Eastern food. First, they use a ton of things I’m allergic to and second that the dishes are more regional and less country specific. With that in mind I dug in and began my research.
Shakshouka is kind of a big deal in the Middle East. It’s a dish I’ve heard about for years from friends and family who’d enjoyed it in Israel. It involves tomatoes and spice, two things I love. Unfortunately, they told me, it also involved poached eggs. I do not do runny or soft eggs. I repeat, I do not do runny or soft eggs. I eat my eggs hard boiled or scrambled, period!
A shame, I thought, because I love a spicy tomato dish. Imagine how delighted I was then to find out that in Yemen Shakshouka is made with scrambled eggs! When I stumbled on to that fact there was no doubt what I was going to make. I got some fresh eggs at the farmer’s market and even managed to snag one of the last tomatoes of the season and I was in business.
- Olive oil
- 1/2 small white onion; roughly diced
- 1 medium tomatoes; roughly diced
- 1 large pinch cumin or to taste
- 1 large pinch ground coriander or to taste
- pinch of saffron
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 a hot green chili, such as a jalapeno or to taste; roughly chopped
- 2 eggs; lightly beaten
Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they begin to soften; about 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes and all spices and stir, then add water. Cook over medium heat until tomatoes break down and sauce thickens; about 8 minutes.
Stir in green chili and cook for one minute more
Turn heat down to medium low. Pour beaten eggs over tomato mixture and let stand for 1 minute, then, using a spatula or wooden spoon, start scraping the sides of the eggs in to the center as you would when making an omelette until eggs have cooked through; about 1-2 minutes.
Yields 1-2 servings
FINAL VERDICT: A
Yum! What a great way to get back on the map. I at this for lunch yesterday. I’d taken a sick day because I’d hurt my back so this was a perfect nourishing and comforting dish and the saffron made this so visually appealing. I would eat this every day for breakfast (or lunch… or dinner…).
This dish will definitely be added to my repertoire. It would be so easy to double for more people plus you could easily use canned tomatoes when fresh are not in season.