Harissa Shakshuka

A very popular breakfast dish is shakshuka. When done right, it is full of rich flavour, as well as being nutritious and filling. I have been making shakshuka on and off for a couple of years now, but it always tasted a bit too…. tomato-ey. Then I was introduced to rose harissa paste, and my life changed.


I will still openly admit that my favourite shakshuka (so far) was at a B&B in Belgrade last summer, but this recipe comes pretty close!


Shakshuka, for those that don’t know, is a tomato-based vegetarian stew which forms a bed for eggs to be baked in, and enjoyed with freshly baked bread.


Now, I have to put my hand up and say that a while ago I tried to make my own sourdough, but I think I killed my starter – so when I baked the sourdough it didn’t rise at all. I was going to attempt it again over the Easter holidays, but I got a bit distracted with other recipes and being outside.


This whole week has revolved around rugby, given that it’s the infamous Hong Kong 7s this weekend. However, I decided not to go this year, so I have been enjoying all of the build-up to it instead: GFI 10s and the Bali Memorial game. Having said that, I’ve spent most of today at home making myself breakfast and lunch, dinner will come in a little while.


So, instead of making sourdough, I bought some yesterday – which means I need to get the most out of it today because otherwise it will go hard and stale. Luckily, I had some of the bread with my shakshuka, and I also made Jamie’s “Delicious Dressed Greek Greens on Toast” from his book Jamie Does… Unfortunately, I don’t have the rights to publish that recipe, and it’s not on his website either – but it was a great, simple lunch that allowed me to indulge in my love of sourdough a bit more.


Shakshuka is traditionally cooked in a cast iron skillet, as part of the dish is done over the hob and the rest is done in an oven. However, I don’t have a skillet – and my oven is too small for most conventionally-sized skillets even if I wanted one. So instead, I did it in a frying pan, and transferred the tomato stew over to an oven-proof dish before cracking in the eggs. The overall taste and effect is the same, so there’s no need to rush out and buy new equipment (yet).


It does take a little bit of preparation and time to make the shakshuka, but it is 100% worth it – I promise.


1 large onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp rose harissa paste
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 can chopped/crushed tomatoes
4 eggs (2 per person)
salt & pepper to taste
sourdough or fresh bread rolls to serve

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan (or skillet) on a medium-high heat, and add the onion and peppers to the pan until onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, paprika, sugar, harissa and tomato puree. Combine well and cook for a further minute or two. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the canned tomatoes, and allow to simmer for 10 minutes until most of the liquid has concentrated down.
  5. If using a frying pan, transfer the tomato stew to an oven-proof dish, ensuring the stew is evenly spread across the dish.
  6. Make nests for the eggs, and crack the eggs into these spaces within the stew.
  7. Place the skillet, or oven-proof dish, into the oven for 10 minutes (until the eggs are cooked through).
  8. Serve with fresh rolls or sourdough, and enjoy.


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