What do you call eggs poached in a deliciously spicy tomato sauce? Many people would say ‘shakshuka’ but, the correct answer is actually ‘ojja’. Ojja is one of those staple dishes of Tunisia and many other surrounding counties. Over the years, however, people started using the name shakshuka to refer to both dishes. Shakshuka is similar in its base ingredients but usually has potatoes and doesn’t always have eggs, and is a recipe we look forward to sharing with you in the future. Ojja is the go to when in need of a quick yet flavorful food fix. It is often made with a spicy lamb sausage known as merguez, making for an amazing breakfast hearty enough to be eaten at any meal, but it can just as easily be made vegetarian. Tuna and sardines are also common additions and their punch of salt balances out the richness of the creamy egg. Need a way to spice up your boring morning eggs? Look no further than this recipe (below)!
OJJA (SHAKSHUKA) RECIPE
2-4 tbs olive or vegetable oil
½ cup yellow onion chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
½ cup green onions chopped
2 roma tomatoes chopped
1 tbs tomato paste
1 chilli pepper chopped
½ cup parsley, coarsely chopped
1 tsp salt
2 tbs our homemade harissa
1 tsp paprika
2-3 dried red chilli peppers
½ cup water
Note: If you do not have the harissa or the time to make it before making this dish, you will want to add a little caraway and coriander spice as well as black pepper. About a half tsp of each. These ingredients are in the harissa so no need to add separately if you are able to use the harissa.
Cover the bottom of a frying pan or saute pan with oil.
Add garlic and onions and saute until fragrant and starting to soften.
Add green onions, tomatoes, chilli peppers, parsley, salt, harissa, dried chillies, and paprika and continue to saute on medium heat until softened.
Add half a cup of water and mix well. At this point the mixture should be a little thick but still a bit liquidy.
Crack your eggs on top of the mixture, far enough apart that they don't touch each other. Season each egg with salt and black pepper. Cover and let cookuntil whites are set and the yolk is slightly runny (or to desired doneness) and remove from heat.
Leave plain or top with some tuna or sardines. Garnish with parsley, green onions, and a small drizzle of olive oil.
Serve with fresh baguette and enjoy.