One dish on the coastal belt of Goa is served in each and every beach shack and restaurant. It is the star of all breakfast dishes, the unbeaten favorite of all foreigners, a simple but Oh so good sunny meal introduced by the Israeli masses. They call it Shakshuka, a mix of vegetables cooked in a skillet and eggs in between. It is the perfect “pick me up”, Good morning dish and I guarantee you, that you ll love it!
If you remember, I had mentioned in Octobers “Chicken Mozzarella Schnitzel with Chips, Hummus and Tomato Salad” post, how Israelis had settled down in Goa. Goa was the holiday destination around the millennium for young Israelis, they flocked in in masses, some stayed for short time some are still living here. All in all the numbers are less then it used to be but their food habits never left Goa. The best of the best of their culture had been adopted quickly enough by the locals and other nationalities.
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I remember sitting for the first time in a beach shack in Goa, on a beach called Tel Aviv, looking on the menu and wondering what the heck Shakshuka was. I remember too watching some girls playing and moving around with some of those neon colored trance party pompon’s. The waiter didn’t have time to explain me anything and anyway I guess, I wouldn’t have understood a word. My English was horrible at that time,.. I must confess. ^.^ My blood was already thick with adventurous, ready to try out some new things, so I decided on ordering it anyway. Shakshuka came and it was devoured in less then 5 minutes and yes it was extraordinary delicious. Certainly, a thought first crossed my mind that it looked like nothing special, maybe even too ordinary, but one spoon full of the tomato capsicum egg goodness and I became a Shakshuka believer!
Later on I had the chance to watch a few times on how they would prepare it. They pretty much all cooked it the same way and the ingredients didn’t differ much, everybody had the same on disposal! We foreigners would bring herbs and other cooking ingredients to Goa to fill our taste needs. I don’t know if they would use kosher salt, maybe they used to bring it too or maybe they simply used normal salt. This way or that way, they would cook a wanton of eggs in tomato, onion, capsicum and garlic and they would sit all together in a round, spooning it up with some fresh pita and talking in their language.
I don’t know if any of you have ever met a group of Israelis, but I can tell you that you would recognize them anywhere in the world. Most of them are loud, 100% confident and they are not afraid of anything. When they say: “you cook like this and not different”! with an irritated undertone, then you better not change the recipe!
- Olive Oil to fry
- 1 big Onion - cleaned and cut into slices
- 4 Garlic cloves - cleaned and chopped
- 600 g well riped Tomatoes - rinse and cut into small cubes
- 1 small green Capsicum - cleaned and cut into thin strips
- 100 milliliter Tomato paste
- Sea salt
- dash Oregano for cooking and garnish
- Rinse, clean and cut all vegetables, keep aside. In a frying pan add the olive oil and fry the onion translucent throw in the Garlic too.
- Throw in the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
- Now add in the Capsicum, Tomato paste, salt and Oregano and cook it all for 15 minutes on a slow flame. If you feel it is all getting too dry and has the tendency to stick, then pour in some water and mix well. Shakshuka is not suppose to be watery like a soup, so take care when you add liquids.
- minutes before serving, make a well into the cooking vegetables and crack in the egg, do that with all eggs. Cover the pan and let it cook. The egg yolks shouldn't be hard but soft cooked, so be careful to not over cook it all together. I personally prefer mine a bit better cooked, if you want more runny eggs then don't cover the pan.
- That's all to it. Did you think it was more difficult? 😉