Shakshuka. A Middle Eastern dish of eggs poached in a tomato sauce. Uh. Just the word “shuka” makes me sigh. It’s by far my favorite brunch dish of all-time. Hot and garlicky tomato sauce with eggs sounds just like heaven to me. It’s comforting and insanely tasty.

Saturday mornings in NJ would consist of a large skillet of shakshuka, pitas, and left over “salads” from the previous night. Everyone liked their eggs at a different doneness, so, there was a roll call of sorts before the eggs were dropped in the sauce. My request was always for a runny yolk. #yolkporn. I would often create the pockets in the sauce which the eggs would be dropped in. The worst is when a yolk would break. So sad. When the shuka was ready, we would sit around the table, divvy up the eggs as per each family member’s order, and eat with a fork in one hand, and a carb in the other. It’s all about sopping up the sauce. We weren’t done with our meals unless the plate looked like a piece of swirly artwork; the paint was the red sauce, and the pita, the paint brush.

shuka-4 shuka-5shuka-8shuka-7shuka-8shuka-11 shuka-9

There are a ton of shakshuka recipes out there in the world. This one is made by an Israeli. Trust it.


makes 4-6 servings

3 Tb olive oil

1 28 oz can crushed or small dice tomatoes

9-10 cloves garlic, chopped small

1 1/2 tb pilpelchuma, store bought or recipe below

1 Tb sweet paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped roughly

4-6 eggs

1/4 cup feta cheese

warm pitas or grilled crusty bread

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or pan with lid over low heat.

2. Add the chopped garlic, paprika, cumin, & pilpelchuma to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.

3. Mix in the canned tomatoes & salt. Cover the with lid and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Add and mix in the cilantro leaving a bit out of the pan to garnish with later.

5. Make pockets in the sauce with a wooden spoon or spatula and very carefully crack the eggs into them. Make sure to space the eggs out. There should be sauce in between each egg for them to cook properly (and prettily).

6. Immediately cover the pan, turn the heat up a bit to medium  and cook without lifting the lid for 5-8 minutes depending on how you like your egg yolks. 5 for runny and 8 for cooked.

7. Eat right away while its piping hot. Sopping up all the sauce with the pita. Enjoy!


if you can’t find the store bought kind, this is a good alternative recipe

1 1/2 Tb olive oil

1 Tb sweet paprika

1/2 Tb hot paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne

pinch of cumin

pinch of salt


Mix all of the ingredients together to form a paste. This will keep in the fridge for 3 weeks or longer.


  • […] 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 Tbsp sweet paprika 1/2 Tbsp pilpelchuma, optional (recipe can be found HERE) 1 1/2 tsp turmeric 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 – 1 tsp hot paprika, or more 1 tsp salt   […]

  • Reply February 8, 2015


    I made this for breakfast today. Excellent.

  • Nice version! If you ever get to New York City, stop by Jack’s Wife Freda’s cafe on Lafayette (222 or 224, I think) for green shakshuka. So very very good. I have their recipe and one for a more traditional version in my newest book, The Good Cook’s Book of Tomatoes (Skyhorse Publishing, 2015)

  • Reply May 20, 2015


    constant shakshuka eater and maker here, but clearly i have no idea what i’m doing. pilpelchuma? time to research. time to kitchen play. happy excited is too small of a phrase. i am sooooo on this. “there are a ton of shakshuka recipes out there in the world. this one is made by an israeli. trust it.” preach, sister… preach :-)

  • Reply May 20, 2015


    ok. i took my dog for a walk to the market and purchased a jar of pilpelchuma. i also made several batches and am letting them sit for a bit so as to help them turn into that which they are meant to become. i also adjusted my shakshuka pinterest world. tonight = shakshuka party. calculate in that crazy yummy boursin scrambled egg dance this morning and… well… let’s just say today is officially the day i will be eating enough eggs for an army and i feel no shame :-) thank you, again, for taking me to school. if you were here i would do something lame like throw out a fist bump. cheers~

  • Reply April 2, 2016


    I am looking for a middle eastern Jewish recipe for what we called horaimi. My best friend’s mother used to make it especially for me. I remember she used tomato paste and harissa pepper paste and fish. It was soupy and she served it over rice. How I wish I had the recipe. I lost touch with Rachel, my best friend during the six day war. Can you please help?

    • Reply April 5, 2016


      Hi Marilene! Try googling recipes for Chraime. I think you might find something close there! I have a recipe for something like that in my book too! It’s more of a soupy fish stew with lots of veggies and can be served over couscous or rice. Let me know if that helps!

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