Most restaurants these days are revamping Shakshuka. You can find it on many brunch menus, and chefs like to put their own spin on it. They all want to stand out from the crowd. But it’s hard to beat a classic, and our Obe Ata West African Tomato Soup can help you have a delicious Shakshuka on the table in no time.
What is Shakshuka?
Shakshuka originates in Maghreb, the Northwestern part of Africa. Maghreb includes Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia. You may find Shakshuka spelled in a number of different ways. Sometimes it’s spelled Shakshouka, or Chakchouka.
The dish consists of eggs poached in a tomato sauce flavored with onions, peppers, and spices like cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
The dish apparently can be traced to the mid-16th century when tomatoes were introduced to Ottoman North Africa.
What is Obe Ata?
Obe Ata is West African tomato soup, and it’s unmatched in its versatility. It can be eaten on its own, with a variety of sides or toppings, or it can be used for the base of stews or sauces. It tends to have a finer, silky-smooth texture, and it’s delicious over meats or veggies.
Obe Ata has been embraced by both home cooks and professional chefs due to its versatility and flexibility. It easily bridges the gap between a stew base for both meat-heavy and vegetarian dinners, and a more elegant sauce for topping or just spicing things up a bit.
It’s often eaten with other soups, paired with various swallows. It’s often eaten with okra and eba (a swallow made from cassava flour), or Ewedu and Amala (a yam swallow).
It’s also possible to use my Ata Din Din sauce for this recipe. Ata Din Din has the same main base as Obe Ata (made with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spices), but it has a slightly different texture. Ata Din Din is a bit more jammy and a bit chunkier than Obe Ata.
Why Does Obe Ata Make a Good Base for Shakshuka?
It’s pretty easy to put your own spin on Shakshuka because it all comes down to how you flavor your sauce, or the kind of sauce you use. You might find some variations that have a sauce that’s a bit spicier, or others that taste a bit sweeter. But at the end of the day, the cooking method – poaching eggs in the deeply flavored sauce – remains the same.
Obe Ata makes a great option for a base for your Shakshuka because it has a lot of the same flavor elements that you find in a more traditional Shakshuka. Like we mentioned earlier, traditional Shakshuka sauces are usually tomato-based sauces flavored with onions, peppers, and spices like cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
Our Obe Ata contains a lot of the same ingredients, like tomatoes, onions, and those delicious spices, plus a couple of flavorful extras. We get heat from the addition of habanero pepper, and just a little bit of extra sweetness from red bell peppers. And because our soups are ready to go, you can have a beautiful, impressive Shakshuka on the table in no time!
If you decide to use our Ata Din Din sauce rather than the Obe Ata soup, you still have a great base for Shakshuka. Your resulting sauce will just have a slightly more concentrated flavor, and it will have a more jammy, chunky texture.
How to Make Obe Ata West African Tomato Shakshuka
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 jar of Egunsi Foods Obe Ata Soup (or 1 ½ jars of Egunsi Foods Ata Din Din Sauce)
- 1 teaspoon of vegetable bouillon base *optional
- 3-4 medium eggs
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Add the vegetable oil to the skillet over medium-high heat, and heat for about 2 minutes.
- Add the diced onion to the skillet and saute until translucent and cooked through.
- Add the Obe Ata soup and the vegetable bouillon base. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, until it’s bubbling.
- Make small wells in the simmering Obe Ata with the back of a spoon, and crack the eggs into the wells. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
- To finish cooking on the stove top: cover the skillet and let cook for another 5 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your liking.
- To finish cooking in the oven: heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the skillet, and let cook in the oven for another 2 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your liking.