Growing Chefs! Ontario Shakshuka


This spicy egg and tomato dish from the Middle East and North Africa brings wonderful flavours to the table!
Serves 4-6
1 tablespoon olive oil1 small onion, diced1 clove garlic, minced1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped4 cups ripe tomatoes, diced, or 1 32 ounce can diced tomatoes2 tablespoons tomato paste1 teaspoon chili powder1 teaspoon ground cumin Pinch of cayenne pepper Pinch of sugar (optional, to taste) 5-6 eggs1/2 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)1 package pita bread
Chef's knife or paring knifeCutting boardLarge frying pan with lidWooden spoonRaspMeasuring cupsMeasuring spoonsTasting spoonsDish towel

Get Organized!

Gather your mis en place; get together all of the equipment needed for the recipe and gather your ingredients.

Get Prepped!

Chop the vegetables, starting with the onion. Slice the onion in half from the root to the tip and peel off the outer skin. 

Then, place the flat side down on the cutting board and slice horizontally from the tip to the root, leaving the root intact to hold the slices together. Slice across the onion in the other direction to dice the onion.

If using fresh tomatoes, chop them by first cutting out the stem, then cutting in half. Slice the halves into slices, then cut across the slices to die them.

To mince the garlic, peel the skin off and then grate into a small bowl using the rasp.

To chop the peppers first, remove the stem, and then chop in half and scoop out the seeds and core. Slice the halves into strips, and cut across the strips into a dice.

If using parsley, remove the leaves from the stem and use the chef knife to rock back and forth until they are chopped. Avoid chopping too much as parsley leaves can bruise easily.

Cut pitas into 8 equal-sized wedges and set them aside for serving.

Get Cooking!

Add the oil to the pan and heat on medium. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, about 5 – 6 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir until the onions are coated and the tomato paste begins to brown. Add the diced tomatoes and peppers. Add the chili powder, cayenne, cumin, sugar, and salt and stir well to combine. 

Allow to simmer for 5 – 7 minutes, and taste for sweetness and spiciness. Add more cayenne or sugar if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste, but keep in mind that the sauce will reduce and concentrate the salt as it cooks down.

Using the back of a spoon, make little wells in the sauce and crack the eggs directly into them, going in a circle around the perimeter of the pan with the final egg in the centre.

Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, until the eggs are cooked and the sauce has thickened slightly. For runnier yolks, simmer and reduce the sauce an additional 5 – 10 minutes before adding the eggs. Cover and simmer 5 – 10 minutes, until whites are just set.

Serve with the cut pita, and garnish with the parsley if desired.