Shakshouka (Arabic: شكشوكة, also spelled shakshuka or chakchouka) is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, olive oil, peppers, onion and garlic, and commonly spiced with cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg. The dish has existed in Mediterranean cultures for centuries.
|Alternative names||Shakshuka, chakchouka|
|Place of origin||Disputed; Maghreb, Ottoman Empire or Yemen|
Tomato-based stews, called shakshouka in the Maghreb, were common throughout the Middle East and former Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman dish şakşuka was originally a dish of cooked vegetables with minced meat or liver (ciğer). Tomato and hot/sweet chili peppers were introduced to the dish much later both having their origin in the Americas and meatless variations evolved. Jews in the Ottoman Maghreb served a pareve vegetarian variation and Tunisian Jews were known for creating spicy versions of egg shakshouka.
The exact origins of the dish are disputed. Some food historians believe the dish spread to Spain and the greater Middle East from Ottoman Turkey, while others think it originated in Morocco. A third theory is that it is from Yemen, where it is served with zhug, a hot green paste. According to Haaretz the "original shakshuka" was made with vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, goat meat and fresh garlic.
Some variations of shakshouka can be made with lamb mince, toasted whole spices, yogurt and fresh herbs. Others may include salty cheeses such as feta. Spices can include ground coriander, caraway, paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper. Tunisian cooks may add potatoes, broad beans, artichoke hearts or courgettes to the dish. The North African dish matbukha can be used as a base for shakshouka.
In Israel, shakshouka is made with eggs which are commonly poached but can also be scrambled like the Turkish menemen. A 1979 Israeli cookbook Bishul la-Gever ha-Meshuhrar includes a recipe for lufgania shakshuka. This is shakshouka made with a kosher version of Spam (called loof) that was added to IDF army rations in the 1950s. Because eggs are the main ingredient, it is often on breakfast menus in English-speaking countries, but in Israel, it is also a popular evening meal, and like hummus and falafel, is a national favorite.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Shakshouka|
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