Shakshuka (Poached Eggs with Curried Tomatoes)

Ingredients

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
3 cans (28 ounces each) whole tomatoes, seeded and chopped (don't strain)
1-1-1/2 teaspoons dried Aleppo chili pepper (or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne)
1 tablespoon hawaij (see "Note") (or curry powder)
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher or sea salt
6 large eggs
6 slices grilled or toasted bread
6 teaspoons zhoug

Instructions

Combine oil, garlic, tomatoes, chili pepper (or cayenne), and hawaij (or curry powder) in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When mixture begins to bubble, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until tomatoes are soft and melted, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (don't let mixture dry out).

In two or three batches, puree tomato mixture in a blender until very smooth. Season to taste with lemon juice and salt. (Sauce should have a smoky, spicy curry flavor.)

Heat oven to 400°. Transfer curried tomato sauce to a 9x13-inch baking pan, and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Gently break 6 eggs on top of sauce (two rows of three), leaving enough space in between to keep whites from running together. Salt each egg lightly before returning pan to oven. Bake until whites are just barely set and yolks are very loose, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven. Spoon eggs gently onto grilled bread, along with a generous amount of tomato sauce. Place a teaspoon of zhoug on top of each egg white and serve.

Zhoug (Syrian Chili Paste)

Yield: 

3 to 6 servings

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