Shakshuka – Poached Eggs In Fiery Tomato Sauce


Gently poached eggs  on a spicy flavourful and rich tomato-red bell pepper sauce tempered with middle eastern spices eaten with toasty bread is one of the best dishes you can ever have. The furiously smoky red hot spicy sauce, the tender eggs and the aromatic herbs, the subtle taste of cheese (feta preferably but Parmesan tastes good too)

It is versatile and full of nutrition. Add your choice of veggies or meat to it to make it more delicious. I would recommend ham or bacon, eggplant, baked potatoes or sweet corn but the simple Shakshuka actually does not need any of it.

Essentially a breakfast dish you can have shakshuka any time of the day. You can prepare the sauce ahead and use it later too. You can bake it or just make in an open skillet as per your liking. Originally a North African (Tunishian)  dish, Shakshula is widely eaten all over Israel, Algeria, Morrocco, and other places. Though there are many variations, it tastes good whichever way you make it. The origins are debatable but the dish is undoubtedly out of the world.

If you have a Challah bread then the classic Shakshula is THE thing to eat with it. Use the bread to mop up all the juices from the sauce. Shakshuka is also called “Eggs from hell” and now you must have guess why we love it so much 😀

A large Iron skillet is the best to make and serve  Shakshuka but you can use a cast iron one or a sauce pan too.

IM

 

To make Shakshuka you will need :

Ingredients:

Olive Oil – 3 tablespoons

Onion – 1 large thinly sliced or chopped

Garlic – 3 cloves minced or finely chopped

Tomatoes – 8 large finely chopped ripe plum tomatoes or 1 can of whole plum tomatoes with juice

Tomato Paste – 4 tablespoon

Sweet bell peppers – Red and Yellow (I each – seeded / chopped finely or sliced thin)

Salt – to taste (you can use kosher salt)

Ground cumin – 1 teaspoon

Black peppercorn – freshly ground (to taste)

3-4 Eggs ( Or as many as can fit nicely in the skillet)

Cilantro/ coriander – chopped fine (for garnish)

Sweet paprika- 1/2 teaspoon

Jalapeno / cayenne pepper or  green chili (optional & according to taste)

Fresh sweet corn (boiled) – 4 tablespoon

Sugar- 1 teaspoon

Fresh Basil/parsley (optional) – 1 teaspoon

Feta/Parmesan or any other cheese you like

Bay leaf – 1 ( I like the taste with tomatoes)

You can add sausages, ham, bacon if you wish. Vegetarians can add eggplant, corn etc.

Method –

Take a large wide iron skillet or any other saucepan. Keep that apron on as the  sauce has a tendency to sputter. It can be messy as hell 😀

In a iron skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and saute till translucent.

Add bell peppers and jalapenos (if using). Cook them on low-medium heat till they are tender.

Add garlic and tomatoes. Be careful and gentle while pouring the canned tomatoes.

Stir in sugar and other spices. Add salt and pepper to taste.

If using sausages, bacon etc, add it now and stir.

Add basil/parsley if using.

Keep the suace on low heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Slow cooking helps the flavours to come out well. The sauce should be flavourful and  have thick stew like consistency, the vegetables should be soft and sweet. You can add a little water , tomato paste , white wine or broth to acquire the right consistency. Taste it after the tomatoes have cooked and adjust whatever more is required.

Once the sauce is nicely done, press the feta cubes into the sauce or add grated parmesan and stir.

You can freeze this sauce for later use too but if you want to use it now and wish to finish the Shakshula on the stovetop then, make 3-4 indention in the sauce and gently crack one egg in each. Keep the heat low or the eggs would scramble.

There are various ways to eat the eggs in shakshuka. I like the runny yolk but you can scramble them in too. Sprinkle a bit of freshly ground pepper and salt on each egg.  Spread the egg white gently over the sauce so that it mingles with it but be careful not to break the yolk.Baste the egg whites with some sauce. Cover the skillet and let it set. Cook till the whites are no longer translucent and the eggs are done to your liking. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro /coriander  and sweet corn. Serve with hunks of bread. Usually sakshuka is served in the skillet itself.

You can sprinkle the cheese on top of  of the dish and bake it in oven too.  For this preheat the oven to 180 degrees and bake for 10-20 min till the eggs are done.

 

Enjoy this wholesome dish any time of the day. By the way, it is a perfect paleo dish too.

 

Bon Appetit  

 

 

 

 

 

Protein Packed Egg Curry With Soya Granules (Soya Keema)


I love eggs in all form. Apart from the nutritional benefits they are the most versatile food I know of. You can use them in variety of recipes and in hundreds of ways. Hard boiled eggs simmered in rich, savory, spicy tomato gravy is a dish I can eat any time of the day. Spiced up eggs are pure bliss. I love them and so do my boys.

A satisfying meal that you can make without much difficulty. Soya granules are the added bonus in this recipe. Apart from adding more protein and taste to the dish, they also help the aromatic gravy to thicken. They are the vegetarian version of our good old mutton or chicken keema. If cooked well, they even taste like their non vegetarian cousins. 😀

I used Nutrela soya granules here with fresh green sweet peas. The blend of spices and herbs, coriander in this case makes this dish outstanding in texture and flavor.

Soya chunks or granules are best source of vegetarian protein. If you omit eggs and add baby potatoes, this can be a great dish for the vegetarians too.

To make this Eggilicious dish you will need :

hard boiled eggs – 6

soya granules – 1/4 cup

fresh green peas – 1/2 cup

3 large tomatoes

One large red onion

Garlic cloves – 3

Ginger  – 1/2 inch

Coriander greens – 3 sprigs

green chili -2 small

Crushed black pepper corns – 1/2 teaspoon

Garam masala – 1/4 teaspoon

turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon

coriander powder – 2 tablespoon

bay leaf -1

cumin seeds -1/2 teaspoon

Oil – 2 tablespoon (olive or any other oil you use)

salt – to taste

3-4 cups of water

Direction –

Boil the eggs with a teaspoon of salt in the water. Once done, cool and peel the shells. Cut the eggs into halves (optional)

While the eggs are boiling,

boil some water with a little salt and add the soya granules to it. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. The water should be double the amount of granules as they will fluff up while soaking. Keep for 15 – 20 minutes and then pour the granules in a sieve and squeeze to remove all excess water. Cover and keep aside.

Chop the onion finely. slit the green chili vertically. Grate the tomatoes. Grate ginger and garlic.  Chop the coriander greens fine.

In a pan heat some oil, add bay leaf and cumin seeds. When the seeds begin to splutter add the chopped onions. Saute on low-medium heat till translucent. Let it cook slowly so that the onions release their sweetness.

Stir in freshly grated ginger and garlic.  You can add paste too but the flavor would differ.

Add salt and fry the ingredients till they are crispy, golden brown. Add red chili powder and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir.

Adding chili at this stage gives the gravy a nice color. Salt helps the onions to cook and brown nicely.

Add the powdered spices and freshly crushed peppercorns at this point. Keep the heat at medium or low so the masala doesn’t get burnt.

Mix the spices and the onions nicely. fry for a few minutes and add 1/4 cup water. Let it simmer for five minutes.

Add pureed tomatoes and slit green chili.

Stir well so that all the spices are nicely absorbed by the mixture.

Let it slowly cook till the oil floats to the top and masala begins to leave the sides of the pan. By now the masala will be nicely browned. Remember to keep stirring it. It will take anywhere between 10-15 minutes.

Add previously soaked and drained soya granules. Mix well. Keep it covered for a few minutes and then add the peas. Stir the mixture properly, add a little water and let it cook for 10 minutes.

Once the peas are slightly soft add two cups of water to make the curry. Let it boil on high flame for two minutes and then simmer for another 10 minutes.

Slide in the eggs at this point of time. I have used whole eggs but you can cut them in two halves. While using whole eggs, make some gentle cuts on the egg while for the masala to seep in.

Add the chopped coriander greens. (I chop the tender stems along with the leaves. It gives a unique flavor.)

Let the egg curry simmer till the desired consistency is reached.

Remember that the soya granules will soak up the curry so keep the consistency accordingly.

Spoon it in a serving dish and garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Serve this finger licking hot egg curry on a bed of steamed rice, or with parathas or multi-grain roti.

if you wish you can reduce the gravy and let the rich masala soya granules and green peas wrap themselves around the eggs for a lovely egg masala dish.

Almost anyone can make this sumptuous egg curry. Do let me know if you try it. Those who make the vegetarian version of this curry, please let me know how it tasted.

Those who do not have access to Indian spices can use the ready made curry powder. Each preparation will taste different. There are many versions of this awesome dish.

Tell me how you make egg curry at your home.

Nature’s Delights


The rains bring so much joy to the animal kingdom and the birds get set at this time of the year to make their love nests. Amidst the concrete jungle if you have lush greens around your home, then you sure are a lucky person.

Squirrels have made this park their permanent residence and they exist in peaceful co existence with dogs, birds and humans.

The area where I live is a paradise for bird lovers and if you have a keen eye for squirrels, mongoose and an occasional peahen, then your day is made.

Dove

The migratory birds can also be spotted or heard all along the ridge area, Mehrauli and the areas adjutant to it. The thick foliage is a perfect place for building nests and over the last one month hundreds of nests have come up on the Neem, poplar, Gulmohar, Ashok and many other big trees.

Bulbul Pair

Sparrows have suddenly made a welcome comeback and I am still trying to click some pictures of these swift chirpy little birdies.

Green Piegeon

Then there are parakeets, Maynahs, doves, seven sisters, pigeons ( including the green variety), crows, Bharadwaj and little sun birds.

Bharadwaj bird

we have at least 7-10 nests in the park in front of our home and the bird calls ranging from whistles, tweets to shrieks and chuckles, squeals and croaks fill the air at all times. The best time to observe is early mornings and late evenings but if the day is cloudy then one can spot many birds ll through the day.

Looney furry delight

It is such a joy to sit back and watch the acrobatics of these furry delights. If you have patience and can still very still they even venture very near to you and eat the nuts right from under your eyes. They know where they are going and enter the kitchen and go

berserk.

There is a done that chases and plays with the crow , now this is something I have not seen before. Talk about loving thy enemy. 🙂

Overall it is one enchanting experience to live with these little winged creatures and the crazy bundles of furry nonsense day in and day out. Better than nosy, irritating, snoopy, self obsessed humans.

There is so much nature has in its treasure chest and it is for everyone who connects with it.

A love nest of Mynah has come up in our window and it is amazing to watch the life unfold amidst all this struggle of daily life.

pale blue Mayna eggs with a new chick

The maynah mom giving warning call

I feel blessed that there is still so much to enjoy in the crazy polluted city full of mechanical robots..