Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I used to get this at a teeny Israeli restaurant right by my dorm at NYU Law which served only two dishes: hummus and shakshuka - both loaded with flavor, with tiny pickles and soft pita and tongue-blistering Turkish coffee on the side. When finals time came along in the icy New York winter, I'd go for the steaming-hot shakshuka; when it came around in the spring, a swirl of hummus with fava beans and hardboiled egg. Talk about brain food for vegetarians. Anyway:

You'll need:

4 Anaheim chilis, seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 28-oz can whole stewed tomatoes
6 roughly chopped cloves garlic

Olive oil, sugar, salt
Paprika, cumin, turmeric, cayenne
1 cup veggie broth

4 eggs

Toppings: Feta, fresh parsley
Sides: Pita, hummus, pickles

Soften the chilis, onion and garlic in olive oil with some salt and sugar in an oversize skillet, a wok, or a soup pot. Add about 2 tsp each cumin and turmeric , 1 TB paprika, and a few tsp of cayenne, for starters. (I added more of all 4 once taste-testing time came. This is no time to be shy with the spices.)

Break apart the tomatoes with your fingers as you add them (and their juice). If you don't think you have enough broth to cook down into a good stew, add some veggie broth. Let this all come to a boil with the lid on and simmer for 15 mins.

Then break the eggs carefully on top, and cook again till they're poached. Taste and adjust salt and spices.


  1. an egg poaching suggestion: swirl the broth around till it forms an little tornado in your pot, then drop the egg in the eye of the storm. Assuming you want it to all stay together. If not, I don't think you're poaching, literally. You might be poaching the idea of poaching though.

  2. The stew gets so thick that the eggs kinda rest on top and stay in one piece. Poaching or not poaching? Hard to stay.

  3. Oh, definitely poaching then, if the eggs stay together, I think. Or maybe there's some other fancy french term.