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5 great places for spicy shakshuka

If you haven’t had the satisfaction of dunking a crisp pita or fresh challah bread into a bubbling hot shakshuka before, you’ve been missing out. This hearty dish originates from the Middle East, where eggs are gently poached or baked in a pan of tomato sauce spiced with chillies, onions and cumin. While it’s fairly easy to whip it up at home, a few eateries around SA are adding their own expert touches and creating glorious bowls of this fiery egg dish for breakfast, lunch and even dinner. Here are five great spots to grab a bowl of comforting shakshuka.

Dear Me (City Bowl, Cape Town)

Their wholesome breakfast menu offers everything from boiled eggs and soldiers to French toast. However, the real winner is their shakshuka (R58). The dish features a thick and spicy tomato sauce and a cloud-like free-range poached egg with a perfectly runny centre. It’s served with a choice of bread, which includes gluten- and wheat-free bread for strict eaters.

The shakshuka at Dear Me. Photo supplied.

The shakshuka at Dear Me. Photo supplied.

Delish Sisters (Salt Rock, Dolphin Coast)

This homely café, nestled in the heart of the popular Litchi Orchard, has a unique breakfast menu and a harvest table for lunch. The team of sisters sautés plum tomatoes, red peppers, onion, and mixed dried and fresh spices until thick and delicious, and then used the heat of the sauce to poach the egg. The dish arrives with a crumbling of creamy Danish feta and your choice of toast, and is served all day (R60).

The shakshuka at Delish Sisters. Photo supplied.

The shakshuka at Delish Sisters. Photo supplied.

Meraki (Stellenbosch, Cape Winelands)

The beautifully designed space of Meraki makes for an ideal spot for brunch, a buffet or plate of home-baked pastries with a group of friends. Their take on a shakshuka (R70) comprises rich, slow-cooked tomatoes, fresh garden herbs and a fiery harissa paste and spicy chorizo sausage. The dish is then topped off with feta cheese and, of course, a perfectly poached egg. A crispy toasted ciabatta slice is served on the side for a bit of crunch.

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Sababa (Sea Point, Cape Town)

A popular deli situated on bustling Main Road, Sababa offers a wide spread of Middle Eastern delights. If you let them know early enough, they’ll make their famous shakshuka dish to order (also featured in their recipe book). A lot of love is put into preparing this dish, and the flavours are complex and hearty. Along with the exotic spices and herbs, you’ll also often find a few bites of veggies such as aubergines, green peppers and potatoes. It’s served with a chunk of challah bread to mop up the eggy goodness. You can also head to the Oranjezicht City Farm Market at Granger Bay on Saturdays and grab your helping at the Sababa stand for R45.

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Voodoo Lily Café (Birdhaven, Johannesburg)

This eatery bases its menu on organic, sustainable and fair-trade ingredients. The breakfast offering features plenty of health-conscious and low-carb options, including their shakshuka (R87). The bowl of spicy pepper-and-tomato sauce and free-range poached eggs is topped off with a zingy tomato salsa and some local feta. Have yours with toasted homemade pita bread or a slice of banting loaf. For vegans, substitute the egg with hummus and avocado.

The shakshuka with toasted pita bread at Voodoo Lily Café. Photo supplied.

The shakshuka with toasted pita bread at Voodoo Lily Café. Photo supplied.

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