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Israeli Foods: Breakfast

Shakshouka (Eggs in tomato sauce) | Watermelon and Star Anise Jam

Shakshouka (Eggs in Tomato Sauce)

A Sephardi favorite. No Middle Eastern restaurant menu is complete without it, though Hungarians also delight in this dishwith the addition of lots of paprika. Leshakshek means “to shake” in Hebrew. Every cook from North Africa has his or her own personal version of this egg and tomato dish. Whatever vegetable is used, it must be fresh, not canned.

1 lg. onion (finely chopped)
4 eggs
cooking oil
6 medium tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

In a large frying pan, saut onion until lightly browned. Grate tomatoes on largest holes of a grater. Mix grated tomatoes and onion, cover and cook over low heat for 25 minutes. Remove cover and break eggs over the surface. Stir gently to break yolks, cover and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes until eggs are set. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Variations: One minced garlic clove may be added to the onion, or 3 to 4 slices of red pimento may be sauteed with the onion.

Watermelon and Star Anise Jam

Here’s a homemade jam served daily at the breakfast buffet at the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel.


1 kg. (2.2 lb.) watermelon
500 grams (17.5 oz.) apples
1½ lemons
6 star anise fruits
750 grams (26 oz.) sugar

Clean, wash and cube the watermelon and the apples. Sprinkle the apple with the juice of 1 lemon. Put the watermelon and apples in a deep, wide pan; add sugar, remaining lemon juice and star anise. Cook until it thickens.

Pour the jam in hot jars (previously heated to 100°C/212°F for 30 minutes) and close well. Turn the jars upside down for about 5 minutes, and then turn them back so the jam cools gradually.

Source: Israel21c.