In this traditional Middle Eastern dish, a thick, chunky tomato and eggplant sauce serves as a bed for perfectly-cooked eggs. In winter, you can omit the eggplant, and make shakshuka on a budget with one can of tomatoes. The quantities mentioned here will make shakshuka out of four eggs, with plenty of sauce to mop up. The sauce can be scaled up by half to make 6-7 eggs - all you need is just a large enough pan. Double the sauce, and you can easily make 10 eggs in a very large pan.
1tspchili flakesor ½ of a fresh jalapeno - this would depend on your spice tolerance level
Juice of ½ a lemon
a handful of parsleyto taste
Chop onions finely. Dice eggplant and tomatoes into ½ inch cubes. Place eggplant in a colander, and salt it to draw liquids out. Mince garlic finely. If using a fresh jalapeno pepper, chop ½ a pepper finely.
Heat a large pan to medium heat - the pan would preferably be either non-stick, or enamel-coated (trust me, you want something that you're not going to have to scrape eggs and sauce from). When pan is hot, add one TB of vegetable oil, and onion. Saute onion on medium heat for 5 minutes, then lower heat to medium-low and cook for another 5.
When onions have turned golden, add 2 TBs of oil and eggplant cubes - but do not crowd them! It's better that you use less eggplant than crowding it, because it won't result in an even browning. Let eggplant brown for a few minutes, then when the eggplant has soaked up all the oil, add another TB of oil, and toss eggplant to coat. Continue browning eggplant for 10 minutes, turning pieces occasionally to ensure equal coverage, until all have coloured evenly.
Add tomatoes to pan. Let tomatoes draw water on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they all break down into a chunky sauce (this can take anywhere between 15 and 25 minutes). Add chopped garlic cloves and spices.
Crack eggs into a bowl. Traditionally, eggs are simply poured into the shakshuka sauce, one egg per hole; but some people, myself included, prefer the eggs scrambled separately, and then mixed with a bit of sauce in their little nests. If you're unsure what you will prefer, try both methods.
With a wooden spoon, create holes in the sauce for the eggs. Pour eggs into holes, one egg per nest (or a bit of egg scramble per nest, if going the scrambled route). On medium heat, cover pan (this is important!), and let eggs cook between 8 to 10 minutes, testing for doneness after eight (you want the whites of the eggs to set and change from translucent, while the yolk should still be a little jiggly). Squeeze the juice of half a lemon on the shakshuka.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve immediately with a little bit of yogurt and crusty bread, to taste. Don't forget to sop up the sauce when you're done.
To make this dish into a vegan eggplant shakshuka, sub the eggs for pieces of extra firm tofu. Dice the tofu into 1-inch cubes, and then crush the cubes into crumbles with a wooden spoon or spatula. Stir the tofu crumbles into the sauce in the same way you would stir in the eggs - and voila! You've got a killer plant-based dish.