From the culinary traditions of Israel and North Africa, this thick, quick,

spicy tomato sauce makes a perfect braise for eggs. It’s an aromatic feast, and good to eat at any time of day. The feta cheese provides enough fat to keep you feeling satisfied for hours.

2 yellow onions

2 red bell peppers

4 garlic cloves

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cayenne pepper

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 can (28 oz/796 mL) whole tomatoes
(with juice reserved)

8 eggs

4 sprigs fresh cilantro

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley

3 oz/80 g creamy feta cheese

Salt and pepper


  1. Assemble, prepare, and measure ingredients. Thinly slice onions. Chop bell peppers. Mince garlic.
  2. In a wide straight-sided saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onions and peppers for 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add cumin and cayenne, and stir in tomato paste. Cook for 2–3 minutes, or until tomato paste starts to caramelise. Add tomatoes with their juice. Season again with salt and pepper.
  3. Simmer gently (just a few bubbles) uncovered for 10–15 minutes to reduce liquid. The sauce should be thick enough to hold an indentation from the back of your spoon.
  4. Make eight indentations in the sauce and carefully crack a whole egg into each one. (This is easiest to do if you crack each egg into a ramekin and pour it into the sauce.) Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 3 minutes, or until whites are set and yolks are cooked to your liking.
  5. Roughly tear cilantro and parsley and scatter over shakshuka. Crumble feta evenly over sauce, avoiding eggs.
  6. To serve, divide shakshuka among four bowls, giving everyone two eggs.

The Obesity Code is written by Dr Jason Fung. Cover and interior photographs: Gabriel Cabrera assisted by Marley Hutchinson. Food styling by Blaka Smekal, assisted by Brianne Beaudoin. Copyright: Jason Fung and Alison Maclean 2019.