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Shakshouka with five cooked eggs on top of tomato sauce in cast iron skillet

Shakshouka (Arabic: شكشوكة‎, also spelled shakshuka, chakchouka) is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, often spiced with cumin. Although the dish has existed in some form or another in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions, its more recent egg and vegetable-based form originated in Tunisia by Tunisian Jews .[1][2][3][4] It is popular in the Middle East and North Africa.[5] A version of the dish without egg, known as galayet bandora, is very popular in Jordan and Israel. Gelayat bandora originated in Jordan, specifically in the Ghor al-Safi agricultural region surrounding the Dead Sea.[6][7]


The word Shakshouka (Arabic: شَكْشُوكَةٌ‎) means "a mixture" in Arabic slang[2][3][8][9][10] specifically in Tunisian Arabic.[11] The word is derived from the Arabic verb شَكَّ translit. shakka, meaning "stick together, clump together, adhere or cohere".[12] And Chakchouk is also a very common Tunisian surname.


Individual portion of shakshouka
Tunisian Shakshouka served in a pan

Shakshouka is a staple of Arab cuisine (Libyan, Tunisian, Algerian, Moroccan, Egyptian, Saudi, Levantine) and Israeli cuisines, traditionally served in a cast iron pan or tajine as in Morocco.

Although the dish is not native to the Levant, it was brought to Israel by Tunisian Jews as part of the mass Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim lands, where it has become a staple due to Israel's large Tunisian Jewish, Algerian Jewish and Moroccan Jewish communities.[13][14]

According to food writer Claudia Roden, Tunisian cooks added artichoke hearts, potatoes and broad beans to the dish, because eggs are the main ingredient, it is often on breakfast menus, but in Israel, it is also a popular evening meal,[15] and may challenge hummus and falafel as a national favourite, especially in the winter.[16] According to some food historians, the dish was invented in the Ottoman Empire, spreading throughout the Middle East and Spain, where it is often served with spicy sausage. Another belief is that it hails from Yemen, where it is served with Sahawiq, a hot green paste,[16] some versions include salty cheeses[15] but traditional recipes are very basic, consisting merely of crushed tomatoes, hot peppers, garlic, salt, paprika, olive oil and poached eggs.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roden, Claudia (2008). The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 168. ISBN 9780307558565. 
  2. ^ a b Lebovitz, David (2014-04-08). My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories. Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. ISBN 9781607742685. 
  3. ^ a b Ly, Linda (2015-03-20). The CSA Cookbook: No-Waste Recipes for Cooking Your Way Through a Community Supported Agriculture Box, Farmers' Market, Or Backyard Bounty. Voyageur Press. ISBN 9780760347294. 
  4. ^ Stafford, Alexandra (2017-04-04). Bread Toast Crumbs: Recipes for No-Knead Loaves & Meals to Savor Every Slice. Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. ISBN 9780553459845. 
  5. ^ "Shakshuka - A Middle Eastern Feast | My Weekend Kitchen". My Weekend Kitchen. 2015-01-13. Retrieved 2017-11-15. 
  6. ^ Abu Farha, Sawsan (2017-08-12). "Galayet bandora". Chef in disguise. Retrieved 2018-06-01. 
  7. ^ Yaansoon (January 8, 2017). "Easy Middle Eastern Fried Tomatoes: Jordanian Galayet Bandora". Food52. Retrieved 1 June 2018. 
  8. ^ Planet, Lonely (2017-03-01). The World's Best Superfoods. Lonely Planet. ISBN 9781787010369. 
  9. ^ Bilderback, Leslie (2015-09-01). Mug Meals: More Than 100 No-Fuss Ways to Make a Delicious Microwave Meal in Minutes. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 9781466875210. 
  10. ^ Jakob, Ben. "How Shakshuka,, Took the World By Storm". Culture Trip. Retrieved 2017-11-15. 
  11. ^ Ellis, Robin (2016-03-03). Mediterranean Cooking for Diabetics: Delicious Dishes to Control or Avoid Diabetes. Little, Brown Book Group. ISBN 9781472136381. 
  12. ^ Team, Almaany. "Translation and Meaning of Shakshouka In Arabic, English-Arabic Dictionary of  terms Page 1". (in Arabic). Retrieved June 1, 2018. 
  13. ^ Artzeinu: An Israel Encounter, By Joel Lurie Grishaver, 2008
  14. ^ Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, oughton Mifflin Harcourt, 17 Nov 2010, By Gil Marks
  15. ^ a b Clifford-smith, Stephanie (2011-06-07). "Three of a kind ... shakshouka". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2017-08-07. 
  16. ^ a b Josephs, Bernard (2009-10-08). "Shakshuka: Israel's hottest breakfast dish". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-08-07. 
  17. ^ Abitbol, David (2004-10-28). "The REAL Shakshuka". Retrieved 2017-08-07.