Shakshuka (Şakşuka), VegFusion Style
People ask me what Shakshuka is. Well, it depends on who you ask really. It’s originally a Tunisian dish with lots of tomatoes, peppers, harissa paste, spices and eggs. They even have seasonal ones that use potatoes in the winter and eggplant (aubergine) in the spring. The name suggests that it is something that can be put together fast like in one shak and one shuck which makes me believe that Tunisian one is the real Shakshuka. In Turkey, it is a vegetable dish (more on the meze side) with garlic yoghurt and tomato sauce. So, if you ask for shakshuka in Turkey what you’ll get is pretty close to my recipe.
The first time I had Shakshuka was at a restaurant around Bodrum peninsula where a relative worked as a chef. Because I was vegetarian at the time, he served quite a few Mediterranean style vegetable dishes. Shakshuka –his version was from Antalya- was made of deep-fried potato and eggplant (aubergine) cubes mixed with garlic yogurt and tomato sauce.
The process of making shakshuka is not only unhealthy but also quite messy as all the vegetables are deep fried. I hear that most housewives switched to roasting because of it. You know what eggplants (aubergines) are like when they are deep fried. They’re like a sponge and no matter what you do, they transform themselves into this oil drinking monsters. You overcome that by roasting your vegetables. Well, here’s my version of Shakshuka…
Shakshuka (Şakşuka) VegFusion Style
1 large round eggplant (aubergine), peeled and cubed
1 large or 2 small zucchini (courgettes), peeled and cubed
2 banana chillies, seeded and cut into small squares
2 medium-sized waxy potatoes (I used Nicolas), peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I actually used a little bit more than that. I couldn’t help myself)
3 twigs fresh thyme (no one else does that, by the way)
For the Tomato Sauce:
1x tin chopped tomatoes (about 400 gr)
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons light olive oil
For the Garlic-Yoghurt Sauce:
4 tablespoons Greek style plain yoghurt
1 clove garlic, crushed
• Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
• Prepare all your vegetables and toss them with salt and oil to combine. Make sure that all the vegetables are covered with oil evenly.
• Spread the vegetables onto the oven tray and roast for 30 minutes.
• To make the tomato sauce: Heat the light olive oil in a saucepan. Add the tomatoes and garlic. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
• To make garlic-yoghurt: Mix together yoghurt with crushed garlic. Stir well and set aside.
• Transfer the roasted vegetables onto a serving plate. Spread garlic-yoghurt over and top them up with tomato sauce. Serve immediately.
• Well, afiyet olsun peoples!