Israel is such a fascinating place to visit. Despite all of its ethnoreligious tension, the country is overflowing with beautiful culture and natural wonders and I was so excited to visit. In fact, I met all sorts of people from different backgrounds and quickly learned that, for the most part, what we see and hear in the media about Israel isn’t necessarily the norm on the ground. Walking through and exploring the cities of Jerusalem, Haifa, Acre, and Tel Aviv helped me see this country in a new light. I knew I’d hear a lot about religion in Jerusalem and witness some pretty interesting places and things first hand but what I was most excited for was FOOD and one of my favorite dishes was Israeli Shakshuka which I’m going to teach you how to cook later.
Cue the Food!
If I could use one word to describe the food in Israel it would be exciting. Israeli food is multifaceted and diverse. With so many cultural influences, Israeli food is sort of mod podge of flavors and ingredients that come together to create beautiful art for your tongue and heart. The food in Israel borrows from many cultures including, for example, Moroccan, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, French, and Yemenite cultures. Food in Israel is always fresh and always flavorful. You won’t find loads of pre-packaged and processed foods and I think that’s a good thing. During my trip to the country, I don’t think I experienced a single bad meal. That’s because Israeli food is simple yet fulfilling. It’s one of the highlights of a trip to Israel.
So, What Is Israeli Shakshuka?
Shakshuka is one of the most popular dishes in Israel and is often eaten for breakfast but also makes a great dinner. Originating in Northern African countries like Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria, the dish came with people as they migrated to Israel. These immigrants often suffered from financial difficulties and Shakshuka is a hearty dish that does not cost much to make so became a popular option. It’s a super simple meal to make that only requires one pan so it’s very approachable. Put simply, Israeli Shakshuka is a dish of eggs stewed or poached in a tangy sauce made of tomatoes and onions. It is a humble meal yet absolutely delicious and filling.
Today Israeli Shakshuka is experiencing a moment in the sun with various renditions around the world. You are likely to find green Shakshuka which is made with spinach, cream, and beets as well as the traditional recipe with add-ins such as different cheeses, herbs, vegetables, and even meats. There are even other cultures with foods similar to Israeli Shakshuka such as Mexico’s Huevos Rancheros. However, you choose to make your Shakshuka, you are bound to experience a deliciously, hearty meal that is fairly healthy. Here is the Israeli Shakshuka Recipe I picked up while I traveled through Israel. It’s so easy to make that I dare say it might become a staple in your own home.
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
1 red chili pepper or 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
2 (15 oz) cans of diced tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Heat pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan. Add in onion, bell pepper, and red chili or jalapeno and saute for 5-7 minutes until onions are soft.
Add garlic, cumin, and paprika and cook for one minute mixing the ingredients together.
Stir in the diced tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through.
At this point, taste test and decide whether you’d like more spice.
Crack the eggs and drop them into the tomato mixture spacing them about 2 inches apart. Cook the until the eggs are just set.
Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with pita bread or flatbread.
Learn what it’s like to experience an authentic Shabbat Dinner in Israel here!
Traveling to Jerusalem? Here are a few Jerusalem travel lessons I learned and you should know!
Doesn’t it sound delish? Will you give it a try?
Tell me how it goes in the comments below!
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