Shakshouka (North African eggs in a spicy tomato broth)

I've never been to Morocco, but I want to go. I want to go to Fez and Marrakesh and Casablanca.
When I was growing up, my Dad's boss went to Morocco on vacation. They went near the end of Ramadan and they were talking with their taxi driver. The subject of religion came up at they told their driver they were Jewish. The taxi driver proceeds to tell them that Arabs and Jews are brothers and that they should go back to his family's house for their festivities on the last night of Ramadan. There were camel races in the dessert and food and mint tea.
My husband and I will make it there, eventually.
Until then, I settle for making foods of those regions. I've developed a recent love for Moroccan food and Harissa (though I have always loved anything spicy). We love this dish in particular because it is extremely flavorful while still being back-of-the-throat spicy (not tip-of-the-tongue spicy). It feels hearty and is a for a weekend breakfast or a weeknight Breakfast for Dinner.
I adapted this recipe from the David Lebovitz recipe for shakshouka. Give it a try the next time you have extra eggs and don't know what to make for dinner.
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 chili pepper (depending on your spice preference. I used one serrano but you could go for jalapeno or habanero depending)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, with juice (or about 2 lbs fresh, overripe tomatoes)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp red vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey (to taste)
  • 1-2 cups loosely packed kale, coarsely chopped
  • 4 to 6 eggs, depending on number of people
  • cheese for garnishing (I use queso fresco because that's what I had, but feta or haloumi would also be good)
  1. Sautee garlic, onion in a little olive oil until translucent. Add chili pepper and spices and cook for a minute until fragrant.
  2. Add tomato paste and sautee for another minute, making sure to coat all the onion in the tomato paste.
  3. Add canned tomatoes, vinegar and honey. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until mixture is reduced somewhat. Stir in greens
  4. Make small wells in the tomato and crack and egg into each one. Draw a knife through the whites a little so they spread, but don't break the yolk.
  5. Simmer 10 minutes, basting the egg whites with the sauce from time to time  (if you don't, the whites won't be fully set when the egg is still runny). If you like your yolks cooked more, cover the pan and cook 3-5 minutes until eggs are done to your liking.
  6. Garnish with cheese and cilantro and serve immediately with crusty bread.