Shakshuka; a Turkish appetizer with eggplant and yoghurt
Şakşuka is a Turkish meze made of sautéed eggplant, potatoes, green peppers, and zucchini and is served with a tomato-and-garlic sauce, and topped with yogurt.
This tasty Turkish dish is also found in many neighbouring cuisines, from Lebanese to Israeli and North African cuisines however these varieties may often feature egg instead of yoghurt.
What you need to cook Shakshuka
- 3 big Eggplants
- 1 big Onion
- 2 Potatoes
- 500 g Yoghurt, (Greek style), 10% fat
- 20 leaves of mint
- 400 grams chopped Tomatoes
- 3 Garlic cloves
- 1 Chilli pepper,
- 2 Tea spoons paprika
- 100 ml olive oil
- Working time: approx. 30 min.
- Cooking / baking time: approx. 30 min.
- Rest period: approx. 1 hr.
- Difficulty level: simple
Preheat the oven to top heat or if you would like to use the grill, grill with high or highest level. Slice the eggplant in half and coat them with a little olive oil. Then bake the eggplant on a baking sheet lined with baking paper for 5 minutes with the cut surface upwards, and then put it upside down for a further 20 – 25 minutes. They might turn a little dark.
Then take the eggplants out and cover with wet kitchen towel and let them with for 15 minutes. Then scrape the eggplants out of their shells with a spoon, and apply some light salt and leave aside.
Meanwhile finely chop the garlic or grate it with salt in a mixing bowl. Once chopped or grated, mix garlic with some olive oil and leave aside. You will then need to finely chop the onions and then the chili. Also you will need to peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes. Fry the onions in the pan in olive oil, add the potato cubes, chopped chilli and 2/3 of your garlic-olive oil mixture and then finally stir-fry for about 10 minutes.
Then add the tomatoes and simmer with the lid closed for another 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender. After this, take it off the heat, add salt and, if necessary, some more garlic, and the paprika seasoning (it may taste strong and spicy first but it will later be softened by the eggplant and yoghurt).
Stir in the eggplants carefully without damaging them too much.
Once done, pour your mixture into a flat shaped tray and leave on top some space for yoghurt topping. A glass tray would work best here as it would make the dish look even more alluring.
Before adding the yoghurt topping, you can mix the yoghurt with a little salt, garlic and olive oil and the some mint. You will also add some mint leaves on top for decoration.
You can put your dish into the fridge for an hour to cool it down then to serve as a meze. You can serve the appetizer warm for breakfast or lunch.