March 27, 2015

Shakshuka aka Berber Omelette. {Recipe}

Berber omelette

Poached eggs in spicy tomato sauce are the ultimate comfort food—and a great dish to make for brunch when tomatoes are ripe and juicy.

The secret, as shared by our cooks in Essaouira (Morocco), lies in grating the tomatoes. You will be surprised how easy it is, and what a huge difference it makes. Simply halve a tomato crosswise and grate it in a cheese grater. The tomato pulp and juices will fall down to a bowl and you will end with the tomato skin in your hands.

The other secret is in the ras al hanout, which is so much better if you have purchased it yourself in the spice market in the Medina.

A feast for the senses indeed.


8 large tomatoes, grated
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ras al hanout
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 eggs (about 2 eggs per person served)


1. Grate the tomatoes into the bottom of a tagine or a large saucepan. Add garlic, parsley and cilantro (saving some herbs for garnish at the end), ground pepper, salt, ras al hanout, bay leaves, and olive oil.

2. Cover and simmer all ingredients (on stove top or on a brazier) for about 10 minutes.

3. Crack the eggs one at a time directly into the tomato sauce inside the tagine. Partially cover with the lid. Continue to cook for another five minutes or so, until the eggs are cooked, but slightly runny inside. Add parsley and cilantro for garnish and serve out of the tagine.

One tagine serves six.


Author: Peggy Markel

Editor: Katarina Tavčar

Photo: Peggy Markel


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Peggy Markel

Since 1992, Peggy Markel has traversed the Mediterranean and North Africa, from Elban fishing villages and Moroccan markets to the homes of Tuscan artisans and chefs, furthering her own exploration of culture and cuisine. On these journeys, she saw an opportunity to design and direct her own brand of culinary tours in which enjoyment of the present place and moment plays a pivotal role. “When we speak of Slow Travel, we mean that particular experience of letting yourself merge with your surroundings: the pace, customs, mores and style of where you find yourself. It’s really about our willingness to let the world in, and see ourselves a part of it.” For more information about Peggy’s trips and classes, check her web page. For more writing and recipes by Peggy, check her blog.

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