The Majorca Mallorca At Home Together cookbook is slowly coming together from the contributors that shared and taught recipes during the lockdown. Today’s sneak preview is of a wonderful dish: Shakshuka. It is a staple dish at any Israeli breakfast – whether you’re in a restaurant or at home – and it’s considered a significant competitor to falafel and hummus for the title of ‘best Israeli dish’. Eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner, the history of shakshuka and how it became an Israeli favourite remains a mystery.
The dish’s name, shakshuka, essentially means ‘all mixed up’ – and that’s what it really is. The dish, presumed to have originated in either Yemen or Tunis, is made up of eggs cooked in tomato sauce and peppers, sometimes with onions, other herbs or cheese, and is usually served in the pan it was cooked in. According to some food historians, shakshuka originated in Yemen, while others claim it came from the Ottoman Empire. It is only known that to get to Israel, the dish came from northeast African cultures, and more specifically, from the Lybian-Tunisian region. It is also delicious, easy and vegetarian.
The dish was shared in the Majorca Mallorca Facebook group by Shannagh Calverley-Musmari. Shannaghis originally from Lancashire in the UK. She moved to Majorca as a child with her family twelve years ago and has grown up on the island. She describes herself as a struggling graphic design student who also works in retail and in her spare time sings with a couple of different bands.
Q: How did you learn to cook?
A: I’ve grown up with two amazing cooks (granny Ann Calverley and mum Emma Musmari) who taught me everything I know! I’m quite experimental with cooking and I love challenging myself with new recipes.
Q: Why did you choose the recipe you have chosen?
A: It’s the ultimate comfort food and you can add any wrinkly veg you find in the fridge! I love any meal I can cook using one pan, and this is the best comfort food and sooo easy to make
Q; How did you get on in the lockdown and how did it affect you?
A: Lockdown was quite hard on me mentally but I really took the time to learn new things (yoga) and go back to doing things I didn’t make much time for before lockdown (playing ukulele and cooking).
Q: How did it feel to share your recipe?
A: The time I shared it was actually the first time I’d made it! I felt really proud and receiving people’s nice comments was really heartwarming.
Q: What are your favourite foods?
A: I love a good Indian or sushi for a treat but I could live off avocado toast!
Q: What is your life like now? How do you feel about the future?
A: Everything is a bit wobbly and uncertain for me at the moment, as I’m writing this I’m two weeks away from finishing my second year at University and I’m still not sure when I’ll be able to go back to work.I’m trying to focus on the present and my personal growth so that I’m prepared for whatever comes. Just trying to enjoy the free time I have to do things I didn’t make time for before!
· 1 medium
· 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
· 4 garlic cloves, minced
· 2 tsp paprika
· 1 tsp cumin
· 1/4 tsp chili powder
· 1 can whole peeled tomatoes (I added an extra half can of chopped tomatoes)
· 4 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
· 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
· 1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
***WASH YOUR HANDS***
1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add the chopped bell pepper and onion and cook for five minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
2. Add garlic and spices and cook for an additional minute.
3. Pour the can of tomatoes and juice into the pan and break down the tomatoes using a large spoon. Season with salt and pepper and bring the sauce to a simmer.
4. Use your spoon to make 4 wells in the sauce and gently pour the eggs into each well (Shannagh cracks them into a cup first). Cover the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your liking.
Shannagh added some of the cilantro/parsley with the tomatoes for added flavour and topped it with feta cheese. This is a pretty versatile dish and you could add things like spinach, mushrooms, bacon, chorizo etc if you feel like it. Serve with warm pitta bread and enjoy!