Sick of scrambled eggs? Treat yourself to green shakshuka - GulfToday

Sick of scrambled eggs? Treat yourself to green shakshuka

shakshouka

Palak paneer shakshuka. TNS

Saleha Irfan, Senior Sub-Editor/Reporter

Not everyone is a fan of bell peppers. And even though their brilliant colours are irresistible, especially when cooked with other ingredients, more often than not they taste just fine, as opposed to exceptional.

But did you know that there is a secret to making bell peppers essential to a dish?

Spices!

Spices bring out the sweetness in bell peppers. This is especially true in shakshuka.

I am sure all of us have tried the traditional shakshuka, the Middle Eastern dish in which eggs simmer in tomato sauce sunny side up.

But have you ever tried green shakshuka?

This new twist-on-the-old recipe replaces the more common tomato-based sauce with cooked leafy greens.

This recipe is ideal for brunch, or a late breakfast on the weekend. But if you are like 90 per cent of the population, chances are you want to put minimal effort in your meals on your day off.

So here’s a shortcut: Palak paneer!

Palak paneer, an Indian spinach dish, comes already spiced and cooked. Added to a simple base of peppers sautéed until sweet, it’s an instant, super-flavourful base for your eggs.

So if you have leftover palak paneer from restaurants or takeout, or even if you pick up a freezer aisle option, throw it in a pan and enjoy it with some bread (pita, naan, chapatti — it all works).

PALAK PANEER SHAKSHUKA

You can also substitute saag paneer for palak paneer. It is basically the North Indian version of the dish which includes other greens as well. Paneer cheese cubes add a creamy richness to the shakshuka but if you don’t eat dairy, you can skip it and it will be equally tasty. Simply start with plain palak or saag instead.

Ingredients

1 large onion, diced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon vinegar

2 teaspoon soy sauce

2 teaspoon red chilli sauce, optional

2 sweet bell peppers, preferably red and orange, diced

3 cups palak paneer or saag paneer

6 large eggs, room temperature

2 red chiles, thinly sliced, for serving

Cilantro, for serving

Red chilli flakes, for serving

Method

1. In a large skillet over medium flame, heat the oil. Add the onion, sweet bell peppers, salt, pepper, vinegar, soy sauce and the red chilli sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about five minutes.

2. Next, add the palak paneer with half a cup of water. Stir until the mixture starts simmering. If you feel that the mixture is too thick, add more water, one tablespoon at a time. The final consistency should be saucy. Crack an egg into a small bowl, then slide it on top of the simmering mixture. Repeat with the remaining five eggs, spacing them apart.

3. Cover the skillet and cook until the whites are just set and the yolks are still runny, seven to 10 minutes. The whites and yolks will continue to cook as they sit in the hot mixture. Remove from the heat and top with the chiles and cilantro. Season the eggs with salt, pepper, red chilli flakes and serve immediately.