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Shakshuka – eggs poached in tomatoes

25 January 2016

Shakshuka is a quick-to-make North African one-pot meal packed with strong flavours and vivid colours. It's also a very popular Israeli breakfast.

Shakshuka – eggs poached in tomatoes
Shakshuka is a dish from North Africa that is also popular in the Middle East

Preparation time

10 minutes

Cooking time

20 minutes




  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into long thin strips
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into long thin strips
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 400 g/14 oz can of plum tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 eggs
  • Sea salt and freshly ground
  • Black pepper
  • Handful of basil leaves, torn
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves


The ingredients can be varied. Some add shredded spinach or kale to the sauce, others preserved lemon or crumbled feta. Once you have tried the basic recipe, it is yours to play around with and make your own. Serve with some lightly sautéed potatoes.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan that has a lid and add the garlic.

Cook until it is just beginning to brown, then remove from the oil and discard. Add the peppers to the frying pan with the cumin and paprika. 

Cook gently until the peppers become soft. Place the tomatoes into the frying pan with the bay leaf and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Make 4 indentations in the sauce and carefully crack the eggs into them. Season the eggs with a little salt and pepper. 

Cover the frying pan and cook for about 5 minutes or until the eggs are set. Serve the shakshuka strewn with the basil and coriander. This is good with sautéed potatoes.

Recipe from Cooking for the Sensitive Gut by Dr Joan Ransley and Dr Nick Read, published by Pavilion, RRP £16.99. Recipe photography by Dr Joan Ransley.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.