Şakşuka (Turkish Vegetable Meze)
Saksuka (Turkish Vegetable Meze) is a very much loved vegetarian/vegan dish made of shallow-fried vegetables and a simple tomato sauce.
Servings: 4 people
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 Turkish green peppers (or 1 bell pepper) (approx 200 grams)
- 2 medium aubergines (approx 500 grams)
- 2 medium potatoes (approx 350 grams)
- 3-4 medium tomatoes (approx 400 grams)
- 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ tablespoon cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
Prepare the Vegetables
Cut off both ends of the aubergines using a paring knife and peel the skin in strips, going from top to bottom. Do this carefully making sure you save as much flesh as you can.
Cut the aubergines into bite-sized chunks a size of one centimetre long.
Peel the potatoes and cut them similar in size to the aubergines.
Slice the Turkish peppers in chunky size (or dice the bell pepper similar in size to the potatoes & aubergines).
Chop or grate the tomatoes, and set them aside.
Fry the Vegetables
Place a large frying pan on medium-high heat and add the olive oil to the pan.
Make sure all of your vegetables are totally dry before starting to fry them.
When the oil is hot, lower the heat to medium, place the potatoes carefully in the pan and fry them until golden outside and soft inside.
Remove the potatoes in a colander or on a thick paper towel to get rid of excess oil.
Carefully add the peppers to the pan and fry them for a few minutes, until they are slightly softened. Put them on a colander together with the potatoes.
Add the aubergines to the pan and fry them until tender and just beginning to brown at the edges. Don't be tempted to add more olive oil!
Remove the aubergines from the pan on a thick paper towel to get rid of excess oil.
Prepare the Tomato Sauce
Put a little olive oil into the same pan you fried your vegetables (if needed) and quickly sauté the garlic.
Add the chopped/grated tomatoes, tomato paste (optional), sugar, vinegar, and salt, give it a stir, and then let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes, until most of the liquid is reduced.
Place the potatoes, peppers, and aubergines on a serving bowl/plate and give them a gentle mix.
Pour the tomato sauce on top and let it cool down to room temperature before serving.
You can stir the tomato sauce with the vegetables if you prefer and top it with some garlicky yogurt sauce before serving.
- The star ingredient for this traditional Turkish dish is the aubergines/eggplants.
- Pick slightly firm but not hard aubergines when buying them.
- Use a very good quality olive oil as it's the oil that will affect the taste of the dish, same as many other olive oil-based vegetarian Turkish dishes.
- You can keep the leftovers for up to a week refrigerated in an airtight container.
- Make sure all of your vegetables are totally dry before starting to fry them.
- Eggplants absorb a lot of oil but release them back when they start browning. Don't be tempted to add more olive oil than stated in the recipe while frying your eggplants!
Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Sodium: 309mg | Potassium: 1302mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1044IU | Vitamin C: 87mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg