What kind of dish is this?
This is a Tunisian dish that combines meat, seafood, tomatoes, harissa, and eggs.
It is called Shakshuka, and is a dish that is widely known throughout the world.
I do not know the exact origins of this or how it came about.
Considering the history of the introduction of the tomato and other factors, the modern style would have existed between the 16th and early 19th centuries.
In this article, I will describe the different ingredients.
This is a spicy sausage made of mutton.
It is commonly used in this dish and was developed by North African nomads in the 12th century.
This is a seasoning made from a mixture of chili peppers and various spices in the form of a paste.
The main ingredient, chili peppers, was brought to Tunisia during the Spanish occupation (1535-1574).
Tunisia is a country facing the Mediterranean Sea. At the end of the Mediterranean Sea are Spain, France, and Italy.
Of these three countries, Spain had tomatoes for food in the 16th century.
During the Spanish occupation of Tunisia, tomatoes may have been introduced to the country.
Dishes in which meat and vegetables are cooked together have been eaten all over the world for centuries.
Merguez, Harissa, tomatoes. And eggs.
All of these cooked together gave birth to “Ojja”.
Ojja and Shakshuka in Tunisia
The world-famous Shakshuka dish is called Ojja in Tunisia.
There is also a separate dish called Shakshuka.
Ojja means omelet, so eggs are a must.
You can either add it after mixing or break it directly on top of the food you are cooking.
As long as the eggs are used, it is an Ojja.
The Tunisian version of Shakshuka, this does not have eggs as a mandatory ingredient.
The ingredients are also different from Ojja, such as potatoes and other vegetables.
However, if tomatoes and eggs are also used, the appearance will be very similar to Ojja.
※There is a theory that the distinction between Tunisian Ojja and Tunisian Shakshuka is based on whether you add the eggs after stirring or break it directly on top of the food you are cooking. However, as far as I have heard, Tunisians are all of the opinion that it is not how they handle eggs, but whether they use them or not.
※Some people think that Ojja and Shakshuka are the same.
Popularized around the world as Shakshuka
After the Six Day War, 99% of the Jews living in Tunisia emigrated to Israel.
With emigration comes hardship.
This dish, which can be easily prepared by mixing various ingredients, was very popular among the immigrants.
The name Shakshuka came from a word that means “all mixed up”.
Somewhere along the line, tomatoes and eggs were also added, which gave rise to Shakshuka, which has a similar appearance to Ojja, and I believe that is how it became known around the world.
Other similar dishes and various theories
There are many countries that claim the origin of this dish.
Probably because there are many similar dishes all over the world.
Examples of similar dishes are Huevos Rancheros from Mexico, Pisto Manchego from Spain, Eggs in Purgatory from Italy, Ratatouille from France, and Menemen from Turkey etc.
Perhaps there is a slight possibility that Huevos Rancheros from Mexico, where the tomato originated, was introduced to Tunisia via Spain and other countries, and Ojja was born.
Alternatively, the place where tomato cultivation started in the Middle East was Aleppo, now in Syria.
At that time, Aleppo was an Ottoman city, and Tunisia was ruled by the Ottoman Empire at one time.
Therefore, there may be a slight possibility that it was derived from Turkish cuisine.
※Menemen, which are similar to Ojja, were created around 1923.
Alternatively, there was a time when France ruled Tunisia, so Ratatouille may have been introduced at that time and derived from it.
I couldn’t get Merguez, so I used tuna this time.
The taste is different from the Shakshuka I cooked from the Israeli recipe.
Even without the spicy Merguez, you can still enjoy a good amount of spiciness thanks to the Harissa.
The addition of the half-boiled egg cooked the spiciness perfectly mild and very tasty.
This is a great dish to make in a short time.
It also goes well with rice, but for this dish, I like to pair it with hard bread♪
Also, I used this recipe as a main reference for this project.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes and information with us.
Recipe of Ojja (Shakshuka)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 15 g garlic
- 50 g green onion chopped
- 1 can tomatoes ※In my country, canned tomatoes are closer to the local quality, so I used it.
- 1 red chili pepper chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp harissa
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 2 cans tuna my preference
- 4 eggs
- Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until fragrant and soft.
- Add green onions, canned tomatoes, chilies, parsley, salt, harissa and paprika powder.Mix well.Cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes.Add water as needed. I added 100ml.
- Add the tuna.Mix well.Adjust the taste.
- Make a crater and crack an egg into it.Cover with a lid.Cook until desired consistency.Finish