It has been crazily busy lately at home. I was struggling last week to find one hour-just one hour– in the morning to write down this recipe on the blog. Life is just getting busier and busier every day, and with my husband going away so often now for work, and staying for long periods of time, it’s not really helping at all. You know what, it’s funny how I used to think that as the kids grow older, life gets easier and easier. I have come to realise, that it’s the complete opposite! kids grow older and their responsibilities grow with them. My daughter Labiba, who turns 13 tomorrow (omg! the teens are officially around the corner), has always been a very independent girl and I love that she enjoys being that way, it makes life a bit easier for me. She still needs me though, but in like a grown up way. I feel so bad sometimes when I don’t have enough time for our daily chats, because I know how much she relies on them in her day to day life. The other one, Malek, who just turned 8 is the complete opposite to her. He loves holding hands, hugs, kisses –sometimes too much– it’s cute and everything, but I am trying my hardest to teach him how to be independent and to look after himself when he can. Especially with his homework. It’s slowly getting better but I have been told that boys are like that with their mums, not too sure if that’s true though.. Any mums with boys at the same age here? plz advise in comments below ..
Anyways, initially I was going to start this post with a positive note, by telling you how I am totally blown away by the power of Yoga! I have recently joined this yoga studio in February called Heart and Soul located in Cronulla (I did mention something about me starting yoga in my first post this year on the blog). This yoga studio was a recommendation from my chiropractor, who herself was planning to join in. I was chatting to her one day, while she was confidently cracking my neck and adjusting my hips, about how stressed I get sometimes running around with the kids and that I really should start practicing proper yoga in a studio, since I’ve never really felt that yoga classes at my gym was helping much with the stress. And then when she suggested this studio, I got all excited and booked my first trial classes as soon as I walked out of the chiropractor clinic on that day, and let me tell you, it was THE best thing I’ve done in a very long time.
It has been over a month now of practicing Yoga 2-4 times a week, and I could already feel the difference in my physical and mental strength, still a long way to go and a lllot of things to learn about yoga, but I am enjoying every minute spent in this yoga room. I have been telling all my friends about it and I thought I should share my new experience with you too. If you have been practicing yoga for a while or if you are a beginner like myself, please share your thoughts with me in comments area below, I would love to hear your story.
I started reading this book called, HEALTH HEALING and BEYOND, it’s telling the story of the incredible yoga teacher T.Krishnamacharya. In this book are parts of the poems he had written while teaching yoga to millions of people all around the world. He summed the meaning of healing in yoga in a poem which says:
Where is the conflict when the truth is known,
Where is the disease when the mind is clear,
Where is death when the breath is controlled,
Therefore, surrender to Yoga.
So my recipe today is one of my favourite dishes since childhood. It’s called ‘SHAKSHUKA’ taddaaaa!
Just to make things clear here and I really need your full attention right now! There has been so many confusions about the origin of this dish lately, and I think it’s because it’s gaining popularity in fancy cafes these days for no other reason than that it’s absolutely delicious and quite easy to make. Shakshuka is a north African dish, it could be of Moroccan, Egyptian, Libyan or Tunisian origin, who knows. But it’s definitely not any other region’s dish. Am I clear enough?! Yes, it could have been introduced to other cuisines recently as a result of immigrants who are travelling all around the world, but it really annoys me when authentic dishes like Shakshuka gets claimed by other cuisines to be theirs, when it’s not even close!
So make sure you correct anyone who is trying to steal Shakshuka from our menu and rewrite history for his own benefit, and if you get into an argument as a result, please don’t hesitate to call the police, because this Shakshuka matter is damn serious!! Are we clear?
Now for you who are not familiar with Shakshuka, it is basically some eggs and vegetables cooked in a spicy tomato based sauce, served traditionally in a cast iron pan or a tagine with some pita bread on the side. The bread is used in mopping up the delicious tomato sauce in the pan.
You will find different versions of Shakshuka, and it’s ok to be creative and use different vegetables and spices in your own one, as long as you keep the basics in there, which are usually the onions, garlic, chilli and the tomato puree.
The best thing about this dish is that it could be eaten as breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Here is my version of Shakshuka. I hope you like it as much as we do.
- You will need a small to medium size iron cast skillet pan (or a regular pan) + a lid
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or minced
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, extra to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes or chilli powder (more or less according to tolerance)
- 1 small red bell peppers (capsicum) or half a large one, thinly sliced
- 4-5 eggs (depends on the size of the pan)
- 3/4 cup tomato puree
- 1 large ripe tomato, chopped
- fresh parsley leaves
- freshly cracked black pepper
- pinch of sea salt
- 4 cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
- fetta cheese crumbs, for garnish (optional)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the pan.
- Add onions and stir for 1minunte on low-medium heat until softens.
- Add garlic, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes and salt, stir for another minute, or until spices are fragrant.
- Add tomatoes, tomato puree, red peppers and the 2nd tablespoon of oil, cover and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes until the sauce starts bubbling and thickens slightly.
- Uncover, create a space for each egg to sit in the sauce using one uncracked egg as shown in photos above, that way the egg cooks inside the sauce rather than on top.
- Crack each egg in the space created and cook on low until done to your liking, it usually takes 4-5 minutes.
- Garnish with cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley leaves, a pinch of salt, and some cracked pepper
- Add crumbs of fetta cheese if you wish
- Serve with fresh wholemeal pita bread and use it to mop up the sauce.