Gbegiri Shakshuka: A Beany Take on a Classic

Shakshuka is a dish that has become more popular in recent years, and you can generally find it on most brunch menus these days. This Gbegiri Shakshuka is my take on this North African classic. Let’s dive in!

What is Shakshuka?

Shakshuka is a dish that originates in Maghreb, which is the Northwestern part of Africa. Maghreb includes the countries of Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia. 

Shakshuka can also be spelled Shakshouka or Chakchouka and consists of eggs poached in a tomato sauce flavored with onions, peppers, and spices like cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper.

The dish apparently dates to the mid-16th century when tomatoes were introduced to Ottoman North Africa.

What is Gbegiri?

Gbegiri is a soup made from Brown-Eyed Peas, also known as Nigerian Honey Beans (Ewa Oloyin). It has quite a smooth texture, and it’s usually paired with Jute Leaf Stew (Ewedu) or Obe Ata Soup, and it’s often served with Amala, a swallow. 

Nigerian Honey Beans tend to cook a bit faster than Black-Eyed, and they have a hint of sweetness. Hence why they’re called Honey Beans!

To make Gbegiri, the beans are soaked, peeled, cooked, and then blended smooth. Pureed onions and habanero peppers are then added to hot palm oil, and it simmers until the raw onion flavor has been cooked out. It’s seasoned with spices, ground crayfish, and smoked fish, and then left to simmer again.

This onion sauce is then added to the blended beans, and the whole mixture cooks together until the flavors are fully incorporated.

Our Gbegiri has a creamy-yet-chunky texture that’s a bit reminiscent of a lentil dahl. Plus, it’s vegan!

Not only is Gbegiri delicious, but Nigerian Honey Beans offer a number of health benefits. They can help lower cholesterol levels, improve gut health, and they’re packed with fiber and nutrients. Gbegiri is commonly eaten by the Yoruba people from Ibadan in Nigeria.

Why Does Gbegiri Make a Good Base for Shakshuka?

It’s possible to make Shakshuka with a number of different variations, since it all comes down to how you flavor the sauce (or, in this case, what kind of sauce you use!). Some different takes on the dish might have a sauce that’s a little spicier, or a sauce that’s a little sweeter. Some cooks may even add more protein like a spicy sausage or minced lamb.

But the cooking method – poaching eggs in the deeply flavored sauce – remains the same. And that’s what I’ve gone for here by using our Gbegiri soup as the base for this Shakshuka. Gbegiri makes a great base for this variation since it already carries so much flavor on its own, and it can impart some of that deliciousness to the eggs! Plus, with the health benefits of the Nigerian Honey Beans, what’s not to love?

How to Make Gbegiri Shakshuka

Prep Time: 0 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes 

Total Time: 12 minutes

Serving: 3 - 4 servings

Ingredients

Cooking Directions

  1. Add the oil to a skillet and heat for about 2 minutes. Add the Gbegiri and let it simmer for 5 minutes, until it’s bubbling.
  2. Crack the eggs into the simmering Gbegiri and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste).
  3. To finish cooking on the stovetop: Cover and let cook for another 5 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your liking.
  4. To finish cooking in the oven: Heat the oven to 325 degrees F, cover the skillet, and let cook in the oven for 2 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your liking.

Notes

To further elevate the flavor of your Gbegiri Shakshuka, you can also start by sauteing a mix of red pepper and onion in a combination vegetable and palm oil (if you don’t have palm oil, just use vegetable!). Once the pepper and onion are soft, continue with the recipe above by adding the Gbegiri and letting it simmer.

Feel free to garnish with parsley and feta.


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