You can make this for breakfast, but I prefer it as an easy supper dish. Although known as a popular Middle Eastern dish, some sources indicate that it may have traveled from Turkey or around that area. You can vary the seasonings to give it the flavor of any part of the world you wish, however. This dish is a very, very simple concept. In its most basic form it’s essentially eggs + tomato sauce + spicy seasoning. At its most complicated it’s also got onions, garlic, and some type of pepper (bell, chili, etc.) and a complex blend of spices. Every recipe I’ve seen is different. Actually, I’m not sure I’ve ever made it exactly the same way twice. It tends to be a last minute hasty supper when nothing else is planned and the cupboard is, if not bare, lacking ingredients for other things.
If you’ve got tomatoes or a couple of cans of tomato products, any spices on the shelf as long as there something hot and spicy among them, and eggs you can whip up some version of this. I may be taking some liberties calling this “Shashuka” considering some of the seasoning suggestions I’m going to make. I’ve also seen this called shirred or poached eggs in tomato sauce or spicy tomato sauce. If you use chili powder instead of other seasonings and serve with tortillas instead another flatbread such as pita, you can call it “Huevos Rancheros”. 😉
Here’s the way I made it most recently. 😀
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp Turkish seasoning (I use a blend from Pendery’s)
1/2 tsp Hungarian hot paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbls dried minced onion
A dash of black pepper (optional)
Add a 14 oz can each of tomato sauce and of diced tomatoes to a large skillet. Stir in a small amount of cayenne, Hungarian hot paprika, or red pepper flakes, (I use Hungarian hot paprika), garlic powder, dried minced onion, and a bit of black pepper if you wish.
Simmer for a few minutes on medium heat then add the eggs, breaking them carefully on top of the sauce. Simmer, covered, on low heat. After eggs look to be fairly “set”, splash a bit of the sauce over the top, but otherwise do not stir. Cook until eggs are done.
As I said before…there are many ways to make this. For a more elaborate dish, saute onions, peppers & garlic in olive oil before adding the tomato products. Throw in a few other seasonings, if you want to give it a regional flavor, such as Middle Eastern, Turkish, Indian etc. If using any kind of pre-mixed store-bought seasoning, check to see if it has salt in it before even considering throwing in a bit of salt. Many seasoning mixes have salt added. (The Turkish seasoning I recently used does.)