Greened Up Shakshuka


Shakshuka celebrates the flavours of the Middle East and North Africa, and is one of my favourite ways to jazz up the humble egg. Loaded with medicinal spices and bursting with lycopene, this tomatoey one-pan wonder won’t fail to impress. It’s a beautiful way to enjoy a communal breakfast with loved ones.

Serves: 4 generously


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, white part only, washed well and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 green capsicum (pepper), diced
  • Pinch of chili powder or paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin or cumin seeds
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tsp tomato paste (concentrated purée)
  • 800 g (1 lb /12 oz) tinned, chopped tomatoes
  • 250 g (9 oz/ 1 3/4 cups) frozen peas
  • 1 large handful of baby English spinach leaves
  • 4 large, free-range eggs
  • Mint leaves, to garnish


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat.
  2. Add the leek, garlic, capsicum, spices and bay leaves and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the capsicum is softened and the spices are fragrant.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes and peas, then bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to low, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for 5 minutes, or until the peas are nearly done. Stir in the spinach.
  5. Make four divots in the sauce and crack an egg into each one. Cover and leave for about 3–5 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking; the yolks should still be soft.
  6. Serve straight from the frying pan, garnished with mint leaves.

Note: For a beefed-up shakshuka, use 2 red capsicums rather than 1 green one. After sautéing the veggies, add 300 g (10 1/2 oz) minced (ground) beef and brown it in the pan, breaking up any lumps and letting it cook through. Instead of mint, top the shakshuka with chopped coriander (cilantro).

Images and recipes from "Supercharge Your Gut" by Lee Holmes, Murdoch Books, RRP $35.00.  Photography by Steve Brown.

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