This curried coconut lentil shakshuka has become one of my new go-to's for nights when my fridge is devoid of any produce or leftovers and even a good fridge dive won’t result in anything I want to call dinner. Red lentils and coconut milk make this shakshuka more filling than most versions, and the curry powder lends warmth and complexity.
A few notes: when making this (or any shakshuka), use room temperature eggs for best results. (Cold eggs lower the temperature of the sauce and cook unevenly.) If you forget to set the eggs out on the counter, submerge them in warm water for a few minutes to take off the chill. Also, use your oven versus a covered pan on the stovetop for poaching: the even heat of the oven is the easiest way I’ve found to get evenly cooked eggs. While you’re poaching the eggs in the oven, warm naan, pita, or flatbread and serve it with the shakshuka.
In a 10 to 12-inch skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute, then the curry powder. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly, or until the curry is fragrant.
Add the tomatoes with their juice (tip: If using whole tomatoes, use kitchen shears to cut the tomatoes into small pieces once they’re in the skillet), lentils, coconut milk, water, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom the pan so the sauce doesn’t stick; add a little extra water if needed. The finished sauce should be thick like a marinara sauce, with only a tablespoon or two of liquid left. Add red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper, to taste. Add chile flakes if you’d like more heat.
With the back of a spoon, make six small indentations in the sauce and crack the eggs into each one. Season the eggs with salt and pepper. Transfer pan to oven. Cook for about 7 to 10 minutes, until the egg whites are fully cooked and the yolks are still runny or more set, depending on preference.
Remove from oven. Sprinkle with cilantro, and serve with warm naan.