Food Blog #2: Shakshuka

One of the most important events of our recent visit to Aswan occurred on the morning of our final day. Before going to the airport, I headed to the roof to meet the owner of our guesthouse, who had promised to make me some breakfast. When I arrived, he placed the following meal before me:

Shakshoka is delicious.

There was tea (mandatory in Egypt), bread, potatoes, and  fried okra. Then, he brought out two skillets. As you can see in the picture, the one of the left contains freshly scrambled eggs and the one on the right contains some red-ish pasty stuff. This “stuff,” I was later informed, is called “shakshuka.” It is delicious, sort-of good for you, and an interesting case of multiple cultures creating their own version of the same dish.

Shakshuka is usually a combination of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and spices, and is served with fried or sunny-side-up eggs. There are a plethora  of different versions of this dish, and you can find it served in Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Israel, and Egypt.

Having experienced the joy of shakshuka in Aswan, my wife and I replicated the magic in our own kitchen. First, I chopped up the onions and peppers and sautéed them in olive oil.

Cooking 1

Then we added finely chopped tomatoes. She also put in garlic, chili powder, cumin, and paprika, and then let it simmer.

Cooking 2

Then we cracked four eggs on top and cooked it all under a lid for a while.

Cooking 3


We topped the finished product with parsley. When it was done, it looked like this!

Cooking 4

We served it with bread for scooping and soaking up the sauce, and it was complete! It was a delicious and easy to assemble meal that I would recommend to most people.



18 thoughts on “Food Blog #2: Shakshuka

  1. I tried this recipe but there was no sauce… did you use canned tomatoes with the juice? I chopped fresh tomatoes. :-) The eggs cooked but took awhile, as there was little or no steam under the lid.

    • Thanks for commenting! We stopped posting on this blog because we moved to Canada. I was planning to do a post about how we moved away from Cairo, but I was too sad to write it!

      • I actually never thought of that! It would be a very long post. Full of sadness and difficult paperwork.
        We went to Cairo to attend Master’s school, then I got a job at a publishing company after graduation.

      • Interesting, sounds like a cool story to hear one day on a long commuter train ride. You know, just thinking about all the possibilities and how you ended up on the other side of the world :D

      • The culture shock was tough when we were adjusting to Egypt. The best way to handle it is just to give yourself lots of breaks, take everything slowly, and don’t be embarrassed to take a day off and watch sitcoms.
        But the culture shock of adjusting to the West when we moved to Canada was/is actually tougher.

      • That is very interesting, we are both in academia, as an anthropologist cases like this fascinate me. On another note, can’t believe you guys were in Egypt during the recent turmoil/revolution! wow.

      • You’re an anthropologist too?
        The revolutions did not affect us too much, since we didn’t live downtown. It was a very interesting time to be in the country though. I wrote my master’s thesis on how everyday people thought about/interacted with the revolutions.

      • Medical anthropologist working on my PhD research, can’t say I haven’t lost my wits yet, but it’s still going! What an interesting thing to be a part of and make use for your research, a little jealous. I would love to read the results of your work :D

      • Wow what a cool project you did! It’s so nice to connect with another anthropologist in the blogging world ☺️ My project is about cultural models of personhood as it relates to the diagnosis of brain death. One of my committee members actually did her fieldwork on organ donation in Egypt.

      • WOW that is a heavy topic! Fascinating, but heavy! How is it going? When I started analyzing the results of my fieldwork, I got very misanthropic…
        No way! That’s so cool! I love Egypt…but you already knew that.

      • Did you? It’s so much work and work that sometime I wonder if I’ll ever be done. Me and my SO discuss the topic often but it’s still a heavy topic and jumping back and forth between motherhood and graduate school is difficult. 🙏😮😊

      • I know right? It seems like an endless ocean of work you could drown in. But if you chunk it down into a bunch of smaller, feasible tasks, big projects can be less drown-y.
        Wow that’s gotta be super tough juggling two different worlds! I finished my thesis pretty fast mostly because I didn’t do anything else for months.

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