Eggs in Purgatory

Shakshouka, also known as Eggs in Purgatory, is really just a warm, scrumptious pot of creamy eggs bobbing about in a sea of tomato soup. If you have your basic ingredients waiting for you in your fridge (and pantry) you can easily make this simple dish. I start by roasting whole spices (the Indian way) and then grind them in a mortar and pestle to get the best flavor out of them; however, do not feel that you have to have whole spices because this is just as good with the pre-ground spices you may already own. The only thing better than it's taste is its price tag. Thank goodness that eggs are plentiful and inexpensive. 



3 tablespoons olive oil
½ large white onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon caraway seeds 
2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup roasted red bell peppers, diced
1- 28 ounce can diced tomato with basil, garlic, and oregano (suggestion: Red Gold®)
2 teaspoons sugar
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
4 eggs
Fresh flat leaf Italian parsley, ¼ cup chopped


1.) Toast coriander and cumin seeds in a small nonstick skillet over medium low heat until light golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the caraway seeds at the end and continue toasting for another 30 seconds. (To prevent them from burning). Grind everything in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until it becomes a fine powder.Add red pepper flakes to spice mixture and set aside.

2.) Heat oil in a large nonstick sauce pan over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add the red bell peppers and spices and cook for an additional 3 minutes. 

3.) Add tomato paste and canned tomatoes, stir. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes and stir occasionally. Lastly, add the sugar and season with salt and pepper to your taste.

4.) After 30 minutes have passed, crack each egg into a small bowl and gently place on top of the tomato mixture. You can crack the eggs directly into the pot but the other method ensures that the eggs won't easily sink to the bottom. Once all eggs have been added, cover the saucepan with a lid and cook for 8-9 minutes for well done eggs. If you like your eggs underdone, cook 5-6 minutes. 

5.) Sprinkle the parsley over the top and serve immediately with toasted  bread.