‘Shakshuka‘ is a very common and well-known meze variety of Turkish cuisine. It is one of the easiest meze of Turkish cuisine. It is simply made with long purple eggplants, pale green zucchinis, garlic, apple vinegar, and tomato sauce. In Turkey, we love to eat eggplant dishes and mezes a lot and this meze type is definitely at my top 20 meze list.
When you google ‘shakshuka’ word, you may find two separate dishes on the internet. According to some food historians, it is originated from North Africa. However, the North African shakshuka is totally different than the Turkish one. The North African one made with eggs, onions, and garlic. It is more like our ‘Menemen‘.
When you ask the origin of ‘shakshuka’ in Turkey, most of the people will address the Antalya city of Turkey. If you may not know, Antalya is located at the heart of the Mediterranean shore of Turkey.
When you look at the Ottoman Empire map below; you can see that North Africa, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and today’s Israel region has belonged to the Ottoman Empire. Somehow ‘shakshuka‘ word has reached the Mediterranean region of the Ottoman Empire and derived to “Şakşuka” word. Or, it may have reached North Africa from the Ottoman Empire as all-region had belonged to the Ottoman Empire at once.
As you see, there is no specific clear cut evidence at our hands where ‘shakshuka’ word came from. The only thing we know is the North African ‘shakshuka’ and Turkish Shakshuka dishes are way different than each other. The only thing I am sure about is; when you eat Turkish Shakshuka, it will be at the top of your favorite dishes list. You can eat it as a side dish with any meat dish. It goes very well with meat dishes and kebabs.
- 4 Eggplants Long Type (Dark Purple Color)
- 4 Zucchinis Pale Green Color
- 10 tbsp Vegetable Oil for frying
For the Sauce
- 4 Medium size Tomatoes Grated
- 4 Garlic Cloves Crushed at garlic crusher
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbps Apple Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Strained Yogurt for each serve
Peel eggplants lengthwiseto create a stripe pattern. Cut them into cubes of 0.5cm thickness (0.20 inches).
Add 1 tbsp of salt into a bowl of water and soak the cube cut eggplants for about 30 minutes. This will remove the bitterness of eggplants.
After 30 minutes remove the eggplants from the salty water and dry them on the paper towel.
Peel zucchinis and cut them cubes of 0.5cm thickness (0.20 inches).
Put vegetable oil to the frying pan and fry the cube cut zucchinis *first* and cook them for about 3-5 minutes and then set aside on a paper towel to remove excess vegetable oil.
Then fry the cube cut eggplants for about 3-5 minutes and set aside on a paper towel to remove excess vegetable oil.
After the excess vegetable oil removed, put the fried eggplants and fried zucchinis to a bowl and mix them gently.
Put olive oil to another frying pan and then add the grated tomatoes, crushed garlic, and apple vinegar to make the sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes at medium heat.
Remove the sauce from the heat and then distribute the sauce on top of the fried eggplants and zucchini mix evenly.
Note: Add strained yogurt on top of each serving and then put a parsley leaf on top of it.