Manjuka, my kind of Shakshuka

I suppose I'm quite competitive.  Well, if you ever had a brother or a sister, you're going to be a little bit competitive.  It's a sibling thing.  Even when they're far away, there's still a competitive feeling in the air.

It's a lazy sunday. The competitiveness isn't hitting you right yet.  Until your sister sends you another picture of what she's eating or cooked on whatsapp.  This time it's not a delicious pain au chocolat or a homemade quiche but shakshuka yum.  Shakshuka yum?  I think to myself.  How is she cooking up all these exotic things when I'm just sat here in Venice trying to revise for my exam on history of contemporary political thought?  It must be her Israeli boyfriend who is inspiring her and teaching her about far away foods, I think to myself.

I put down my anthropocentrism book, and head to the kitchen.  And in the fridge there are eggs.  And there is parsley.  And there are chopped tomatoes and onions around the place.  Lacking the peppers but in possession of courgettes, I start creating my shakshuka.

Now let me tell you that this isn't actually a shakshuka.  It's more of a delicious spicy tomato and vegetable dish with potatoes, beans and poached eggs.  But does that matter? You can still keep the name.  Or invent another name like Manjuka.

After making this composition, and after a grand degustation with a satisfied housemate, I send a photo from whatsapp to my sister.  'What's that?'  She writes.   'Shakshuka!'  I respond.  Oops, I think, maybe she's feeling a little bit competitive, the same way I was feeling earlier.  'What did you use?' She asks.  I list the ingredients. 'Yoel says you were a little too adventurous with your ingredients.'  She responds.

That's rivalry for you.

Olive oil,

2 chopped onions,

3 chopped and crushed garlic cloves,

5-6 courgettes,

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. cumin,

Fresh of dried chilli (1 tsp or depending on how spicy you like)

Herbs- oregano or herbes de provence

2 tsp. paprika

potatoes, peeled and sliced small

1 tin Cannelloni beans

1/2 cup Red wine,

1/2 point of stock


4 - 6 Eggs

5 tablespoons Double cream/ or Feta cheese


In a large and deep frying pan, fry the chopped onions with the garlic in the olive oil.

Add the sugar, cumin, paprika, herbs.

Slice the courgettes thinly and add to the pan

Add the sliced potatoes

Add the red wine and the stock

Cover and allow to cook for 15 minutes

Add more water if you can see that the potatoes aren't cooked.

Add salt and pepper

Add the cannelloni beans,

Add the cream, but do not mix it in.

Crack the eggs into the pan and cover.

Sprinkle the parsley.

If you'd rather, you can substitute cream for feta cheese.  Just crumble feta cheese on top.

Posted on May 13, 2012 and filed under italy.