The Middle East’s favorite dish, the Shakshuka
Why do they like it so much and what history brought forward this delicacy?
In order to get the full picture, here is a little history. It’s no wonder that the shakshuka is ranked among the top best stews around the world. Although flavorful and complex in its nature, with the right side dish it is a healthy option for anyone to enjoy. The iconic food is prepared in a unique metal pan and it consist from an onion, garlic and crushed tomato, paprika and eggplant base, sometimes feta cheese, and it’s served with boiled eggs with a wrap. You might wonder what makes this Middle Eastern dish so special, and why is it so sought after?
The origin of the dish can be traced back to an Israeli tightly knit family in Jaffa. Found in the ancient Tel Aviv next to the historic clock tower, busy shipyard and through the fresh ocean breeze, the shakshuka restaurant is surely a point of interest for any food enthusiast. If you happen to visit Tel Aviv, be sure to check out the place called dr. Shakshuka, which at this point also functions as a cultural center in the city, and it is owned by Bino Gabso. Gabso’s family successfully perfected the Middle Eastern dish, his restaurant being the first to serve the delicious shakshuka in the now famous metal-alloy pan. This ritual originated from his father, who served it as such.
Of course, you don’t really have to travel to have a little taste of the perfect shakshuka, it is widely available in most Hummusbars, where they cook the dish staying true to the original recipe. It is sure to knock your socks off, with a friendly staff and fresh ingredients amounting to a positive vibe you can’t really go wrong.
But what is the so called perfect shakshukas secret really?
The base consists of onions fried in a pan, and seasoned with spices like salt, pepper, cumin and chili. These simple spices can make your taste buds feel like you are in the Middle East, practically in an instant. The next step is to add the vegetables which will boil in to a veggie-stew. The hot sweet tomato paste, paprika and eggplant combined with eggs, chili and coriander makes the dish complete and flavorful. Let’s not forget the garlic of course. If you happen to be vegan a little feta cheese doesn’t hurt either. The original recipe does not contain any meat, but meat fanatics among us can add merguez, a sausage made from special breed of Cattle raised in Maghreb, East-Africa. You could also use lamb sausage to really spice up your meal.
This passion for food is deeply embedded in the spirit of Israel. This is why we believe that the best food is made with love and comes from the heart. Precision, care, good service and a honest smile – These are the positive vibes that await you in a Hummusbar, where the passion for the food is evident in its quality.
The experience of dining out is also heavily dependent on how to the food is presented, and the environment we eat it in. The Israeli culture has an open spirited approach to food etiquette, as they don’t mind what utensils we use to eat. In the Middle East it is often commonplace to eat using our hands, they believe that this brings us closer to the food we eat, we can feel the texture of the food and can get a more comprehensive experience. The shakshuka is also served with a wrap, and we are encouraged to dip it the thick lovely tomato sauce.
We hope, that we convinced you to have a taste of Israeli cuisine for yourselves.