For anyone with FODMAP concerns, shakshuka can be a bit of a death trap. Or at least that’s how it feels for me. The moment a cafe shakshuka hits my lips, I know I’m in for a day of nausea and that weird ‘thirsty but not’ feeling of having ingested even a tiny amount of onion or garlic. WOE IS ME. To aid other’s like me in feeling a little less woeful, however, I thought I’d share my recipe for FODMAP friendly shakshuka.
This recipe is gluten free, onion and garlic free and wholesome-ly delicious. In the era of pantry staples, it performs exceedingly well. It can also cope with pretty much anything that’s thrown at it – meet your match, bottom of the fridge vegetables.
This recipe originally appeared in my first cookbook. That said, I’ve streamlined and tweaked it a little for social isolation purposes. Shakshuka is an easy breakfast, lunch or dinner that uses simple ingredients. Best served with some toasted and buttered gluten free sourdough, in my biased opinion.
RECIPE NOTES FOR FODMAP FRIENDLY SHAKSHUKA
- While cumin is traditional in shakshuka, garam masala is definitely not. However, I love garam masala so this is what I’ve used. Please don’t hate me, and feel free to use whatever spices you’d prefer – cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper are traditional.
- The roasted capsicum (or pepper in some parts of the world) lends a delightful sweetness to this dish. It’s an excellent sweet flavour replacement for caramelised onion. Personally, I think it’s compulsory here. Now that we all have time on our hands, I HIGHLY recommend roasting your own, but you can used a jarred version if you must. Ensure you check the label for FODMAP ingredients.
- This version contains a small fennel bulb. I like using fennel as a textural aromat replacement for onion. In this amount it is FODMAP friendly, but you could use another veg (finely diced carrot or eggplant) or omit entirely.
- The haloumi adds a touch of richness and excitement. You could use a vegan version or another form of dairy free cheese to keep it dairy free.
- I like to buy 800g tins of tomato for this recipe so as to save on the unnecessary packaging.
- Use whatever herb you have that would fit in with the spirit of the dish. Coriander, mint or (what I used) dill all work.
- Finally, on the note of labne, here’s my recipe for lactose free labne. You could also use plain lactose free yoghurt, if you’d prefer.
- As we’ve mentioned, fennel can be high FODMAP. In serves of 48g per person, however, Monash considers it FODMAP friendly. This means that a small bulb is well within the limits. If you’d prefer, you could use carrot, eggplant or just omit a vegetable entirely.
- Haloumi is FODMAP friendly in serves of 40g, or 2 slices. A 200g packet is a little over that consumption limit (although I doubt you’ll eat a 1/4 of this bake at once as it’s pretty big). You could consider lowering or omitting the haloumi if lactose is an issue for you.
RED CAPSICUM AND HALOUMI SHAKSHUKA
- 1 extra large 30cm cast iron skillet, or 2-4 smaller saucepans
FOR THE SHAKSHUKA:
- 3-4 large red capsciums roasted and peeled (don’t wash them and reserve all the juice)
- 50 g butter browned
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- Capsicum liquid
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 small fennel bulb finely chopped
- Generous salt and pepper
- 50 g preserved lemon
- 800 g plain tinned tomatoes
- 1/2 cup passata optional
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar or maple syrup optional
- Chilli flakes or harissa paste to taste
- 1 packet haloumi around 200g but more or less is fine
- 4 extra large good quality eggs
- Fennel fronds or any herb you have on hand
- Yoghurt or labne see notes
- Gluten free sourdough toast see notes
- Lemon wedges
- Extra chilli salt and pepper
TO ROAST THE CAPSICUMS:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place the whole capsicums on a large lined baking sheet and into the oven. Cook until the skins are blistered and the capsicums have completely softened. This could take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. Once cooked, gently transfer the capsicums and their juices to a heat proof bowl and cover with a tray. Allow to steam for 15 or so minutes – this will make their skins easy to peel off.
- Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin off the capsicums. Remove the stem, and try and get as many seeds out as you can. DON’T wash the capsicums – this is where all the flavour is at and we’ll need this juice to deglaze the pan later. Plus, unlike what Round The Twist told you – the seeds aren’t going to harm you.
- Place the cooled capsicum and it’s liquid in a container until you’re ready to use it.
TO MAKE THE SHAKSHUKA:
- Gather all your ingredients, ready to go.
- Place a large cast iron skillet (mine is a Lodge 30cm circumference) over a medium heat. Add the butter and continue to cook until it smells nutty and is golden brown in colour.
- Add the lemon juice and capsicum liquid to the pan to deglaze it. This will stop the butter from continuing to brown. Add the spices and cook for a minute or two, before adding the chopped fennel. Salt the fennel well (this will draw out the moisture so you don’t need to add any) and cook for 5 or so minutes until it has softened.
- Add the roasted capsicum and chopped preserved lemon. Stir to combine before adding the tinned tomatoes, passata, tomato paste, sugar or maple syrup (if you’re using it) and a bit of chilli. Stir well and allow to cook for 10 or so minutes until some of the liquid has evaporated. Taste and adjust for salt, pepper and chilli, before adding the haloumi cubes.
- Turn the heat off the shakshuka and smooth over the top. I like to do this with the heat off because the mixture is settled and not bubbling around.
- Use a spoon to make 4 little dents in the surface of the shakshuka to hold your eggs. They need to be reasonably wide and have a little bit of depth so that the egg whites don’t run all over the shop.
- Gently crack the eggs into their respective dints, and then return the heat to a low one. Slow and steady means you won’t end up with hard boiled eggs. Use a lid to cover the shakshuka and bake until the egg whites are opaque but still jiggly. Keep in mind that the eggs will continue cooking even after you take them off the heat.
- Bring the shakshuka to the table and serve with buttered sourdough, herbs, extra seasoning/chilli flakes, labne or yoghurt and maybe a little lemon wedge each.