Emily Reichenberger, Writer
Are you broke?
Are you hungry?
Are you a college student?
If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, chances are the other two apply. Maybe that means you have stocked up on a few essentials and tried cooking more eggs, or you could have gone completely off the grid and started hunting your own meat. Either way, there is an easy solution to eat something a little healthier without paying for health food store prices.
That’s the answer. A three-syllable word that literally means “a mixture” in Maghrebi Arabic, has origins somewhere in Yemen or Tunis, and is a popular meal in the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Middle East all at once. Particularly, Israel stands out on the map as a creator and consumer of large amounts of shakshuka across the country daily. Traditionally, a proper shakshuka is made up of three main ingredients: tomatoes, peppers, and poached eggs.
All other ingredients are spices, optional, or garnish. Usually, a decent Shakshuka should also include spices: paprika, cumin, and chili powder. Optional, but recommended ingredients include: onions and dipping bread. Lastly, for garnish one can use freshly chopped parsley and cilantro. For about 7 dollars, one can get 4.5 servings of a reheatable meal perfect for any time of the day. If you are convinced on the merit of this dish, please read below for the recipe:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
6 large eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Chop the bell pepper and onion and add to cook for 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
Add garlic and spices and cook for an additional minute.
Pour the can of tomatoes into the pan and break down the tomatoes using a large spoon, if needed. Season with salt and pepper and bring the sauce to a simmer.
Use a spoon to make small holes in the sauce and crack the eggs into each hole. Cover the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the eggs are poached.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and parsley.
(A little bit of personal budget swaps)