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How would you like your eggs!

MICHELLE PHETLHE
Chellz Kitchen
How do you prefer your eggs done? Scrambled, sunny side up, boiled, fried or as an omelette?  We all have a preference, and it’s usually one of the aforementioned common prep methods.

Eggs are simple and are a quick go-to dish. This does not mean that they have to be mundane and unimaginative. Just like anything in life, one often has to ‘shake things up a bit’. Shakshuka is a show stopper egg dish and a sure way of shaking things up for a bit of éggcitement’.  It is a classic North African and Middle Eastern dish which can be enjoyed for any meal of the day.

It’s made from simple, healthy ingredients and can be classed as a vegetarian dish. Shakshuka literally means “a mixture” and the traditional version uses tomatoes, onions and spices as the base with eggs poached on top.

One can prepare this dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For breakfast, it’s best served with warm toast or pita that can be dipped into the sauce.  For dinner, serve it with a leafy side salad for a light, easy meal and you can definitely go wild with lunch by adding minced meat or cubed potatoes.

Shakshuka is a relatively easy dish to prepare and can be ready in no time at all, contrary to what you may think when you lay your eyes on it. One can easily imagine that someone slaved at the stove for hours and used a bunch of fancy gadgets and ingredients, quite to the contrary.

As much as it usually has poached eggs on the top, it’s equally enjoyable with eggs that are cooked a little through or all the way through.

Runny eggs are an acquired preference and it’s very difficult to convince someone who doesn’t eat runny eggs to have them. I can only imagine what goes through their mind; ‘ga lea butswa’, ‘salmonella’ or ‘the chick was about to hatch’. On several occasions, we had students who were not willing to have soft eggs at all. It was a Hard No. We once had an extreme case where someone cooked her eggs for so long, just to make sure they were really truly done.

I was so chuffed when one Sunday after class I received a message

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from one of the students.  She reported that she prepared a meal for her mom-in-law who paid them a visit, and she had been so impressed she said they might have to pay out magadi to the students family for a second time. 

The sharing of food has brought people together since the beginning of time. It’s how we make friends, nurture relationships, celebrate, mend conflicts and feel gratitude for life.  A one-pot dish such as Shakshuka is where everything is prepared in that one vessel and the flavours combine to produce something amazing.

One-pot and one-pan dishes are also a great way to feed the whole family easily while not creating too much washing up.

Try the Shakshuka, classic or get creative with your own twist and share your experience on our Facebook Page ‘Chellzkitchen’, where you can get more recipes, inspiration, interact and ask questions!

Ingredients

1/2 medium onion, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/4 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 can whole peeled tomatoes

1 tomato

3 large eggs depending on the size of your pan salt and pepper, to taste

1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped optional

1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped optional Feta Baby Spinach

Instructions

Heat oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the chopped bell pepper and onion and cook for five minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.

Add garlic and spices and cook an additional minute. Pour the tomatoes into the pan and break down the tomatoes using a large spoon. Season with salt and pepper and bring the sauce to a simmer.

Chop and mix in herbs

Use your large spoon to make small wells in the sauce and crack the eggs into each well. Cover the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your liking.

Notes

Garnish with Baby Spinach or Green Onion or Fresh herbs and Feta. For a heavier dish you could cook mince with onions before adding tomatoes. Or Add baked beans to tomatoes once they are cooked



Chellz Kitchen

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