Published on October 9th, 2020 | by Nikki Karamooz


Shakshuka Is Almost Impossible to Mess Up!

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Nikki Karamooz participated and collaborated with several chefs in the culinary world and earned her way up in the kitchen while simultaneously attending The New School of Cooking in Culver City. Her first official restaurant position was at the world-renown restaurant Crustacean. Her dad’s knowledge and expertise in cooking, fusing modern American style cuisine with Persian flavored dishes, have always been an inspiration. Nikki Karamooz’s breakfast pick today is these delicious eggs cooked in a nice thick tomato sauce which is this month’s Nikki’s Table Recipe.

Every month in Nikki’s Table Recipes – often with your help! – Nikki is unearthing recipes that will change the way you cook.

Shakshuka is one of the most popular Middle Eastern breakfast dishes. It’s made with slow cooked tomatoes, red bell peppers, onions and spices, topped with an egg that is poached lightly in a flavorful simmering sauce of tasteful glory. Whether it’s Greece, Israel or Iran this is a breakfast staple in every Middle Eastern household.

This recipe is inspired by my brother, who makes it so effortlessly and gets so many compliments, I decided to get in on the excitement.

First off, for any tomato sauce, whether it’s for a hearty pasta Bolognese or a base for a pizza, you start off with sautéed garlic and onions with a lot of good olive oil. That smell of sautéed glory just drives me crazy. It’s like a marriage of flavors that just can’t go wrong.  

The secret to a good tomato sauce is the kind of tomatoes you use. I find that tomatoes on the vine make the sauce not only earthy but thick and flavorful. Those three ingredients combined are the bases to every tomato sauce that I make.

*Tip: The longer you simmer the better the sauce….

Servings: 2

Total time: 30 Mins


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tomatoes on vine chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground saffron
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 slices of french bread for dipping


1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions and bell peppers and sauté, stirring occasionally, until they’re tender and starting to brown. 

2. Add the garlic (You always add garlic after the onion since they are very easy to burn)

3. Stir in chopped tomatoes and simmer all together, simmer about 10 minutes on high heat.

4. Add tomato paste, cumin, smoked paprika, saffron, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer then lower heat and continue to simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until the mixture is thickened.

5. Add mixture to individual iron cast pots, crack the eggs into the sauce. 

6. Place in oven at 350 degrees uncovered about 10 mins or until desired doneness of egg.

7. Remove the cast pot from the oven and sprinkle with parsley, basil, and feta. Serve warm with French bread.






About the Author


is born and raised in beautiful Los Angeles, CA. Her years of experience and knowledge in fine dining restaurants, catering companies, and private homes have been a solid foundation for her growing personal chef business. Growing up in such a diverse culinary environment, L.A.'s cuisine has served as an inspiration for many of Chef Nikki’s menus, fusing middle eastern flavors with a variation of different cuisines. Others describe her cooking as comforting, rich, and unique. She loves to emphasize seasonal, local, and exotic ingredients/products in her dishes, and is attentive to those extra details that make an ordinary meal, and extraordinary one. Her Website is Her Instagram link is @chefniki

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