Lately, there is a proliferation of Shakshuka dishes on the internet that I wondered what the point was about writing yet another Shakshuka recipe. But this Tunisian eggplant shakshuka is about to become your new weekend favourite. I have made several variants of shakshuka and this recipe tops the list. It’s got something to do with the buttery texture of eggplant, and as October draws to an end, bringing it with, the end of the peak season for eggplant, let’s take a moment to celebrate the eggplant in al its glory in this humble Shakshuka dish from Tunisia.
I wrote about the basic appeal of Shakshuka in my easy Tunisian Shakshuka recipe ,which is in part, responsible for Shakshuka’s revolutionising of the brunch landscape. But tell me, what’s not to love about eggs cooked in a herby, and spicy tomato sauce? Or an easy recipe that works beautifully and is brimming with freshness and flavour?
My kids who are fussy eaters gave the Tunisian Shakshuka two enthusiastic thumbs-up after eating it, and that really was all the motivation I needed to create a variant which includes eggplants – one of my favourite vegetables.
Now close your eyes and imagine a hot pan waiting patiently to sizzle at that first kiss from a drop of oil, the sweet smell of onions gently sautéed till soft and golden, diced sun-ripened tomatoes bursting with juice and flavour, with slices of eggplant cooked to creamy and buttery perfection in a heady mix of fresh herbs of spices and surrounded by luscious pools of golden-yellow egg yolk. Served with slices of rustic farmhouse bread.
If this does not earn you brownie points from Le Hub and transform you to the status of a domestic goddess to your guests, then I don’t know what will.
There are only 2 tips to take into account with this recipe, and we are good to go:
To get the most flavour out of the eggplant, oven-grill them prior to adding them to the Shakshuka sauce. Oven-grilling allows the eggplant to absorb more of the Shakshuka flavour during the cooking which renders them sublime, in my opinion.
Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt on both sides. Allow to drain over a bowl for one hour. Then discard the liquid and rinse the slices in cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel, pressing down slightly to get rid of excess water.
Set your oven to 160ºC (Fan-assisted) or 180ºC. Generously brush both sides of eggplant slices with 2 teaspoons of oil and sprinkle some pepper. Bake for 7 - 10 minutes per side, flipping over once, until browned and softened. lightly charred.
Heat your pan till hot. Then add the extra virgin olive oil along with garlic and onions. Sauté on medium heat for about five minutes until onions are soft and golden.
Add the red bell pepper, and spices (cumin, cayenne pepper, and paprika), and continue frying for another 3 - 5 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent burning.
Mix in the eggplant, tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock cube and gently simmer covered on low - medium heat for about 20 minutes. Check occasionally that the mixture does not become too dry. If it reduces too quickly and becomes dry, add a little water to keep it moist. Shakshuka should be a "dry-ish" sauce so resist the temptation to add too much water. The liquid from the tomatoes and the tomato sauce should provide enough moisture.
Make small wells in the mix and crack the eggs into the pan. Season the egg whites with salt and black pepper. Cover the pan and allow the eggs to poach for about 5 minutes for runny yolks, and about 10 minutes for hard yolks.
Sprinkle the chopped coriander over the sauce and serve with granary bread.
Is this recipe right for you?
Tunisian Roasted Eggplant (Aubergine) Shakshouka
Amount Per Serving
Calories 345Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Total Carbohydrates 22g7%
Dietary Fiber 6g24%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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