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  • Writer's pictureOne World Whisk

LIBYA: Shakshuka and Ftat (Yeastless Flatbread)


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 large red pepper, seeds and ribs removed, thinly sliced

1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, thinly sliced

1-2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 tablespoons sweet or smoked paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained

1/2 (15-ounce) cannelloni beans, drained (optional)

1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)

6 eggs

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat broiler in oven.

  2. Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet or straight-sided sauté pan over high heat until shimmering. Add onion and both peppers. Cook stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften and onions turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Spread evenly in one layer on pan, and cook until veggies on the bottom are deeply browned and beginning to char, about 5 more minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 more minute. Add paprika and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  3. Add tomatoes, crushing them with your hands before dropping them into the skillet. Reduce heat to a bare simmer and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in half of cilantro or parsley.

  4. Using a large spoon, make 6 wells near the perimeter of the pan and break an egg directly into it. Repeat with remaining 5 eggs, working around pan as you go. Season eggs with a little salt, cover. Broil until yolks are set to your liking, around 6 minutes for runny, 8 for soft, and 10 for hard.

  5. Top with remaining parsley and feta.

Ftat (Yeastless Flatbread)

Traditional ftat uses olive oil instead of butter and milk. However, it requires a long resting time. This shortcut version produces a similar end result in 1/4 the time.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup milk

  1. Melt butter in a large bowl in microwave. Add milk and salt. Stir, then add flour, mixing until a dough starts to form.

  2. Sprinkle work surface with flour then knead for 2 minutes, until smooth, adding extra flour if the dough is too sticky. Shape dough into a flat disk, wrap with Saran wrap, and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  3. Heat a non stick pan over high heat. Unwrap disk and cut, pizza style, into 6 wedges. Cover disk with a just-damp paper towel and remove one slice at a time. Roll into a ball, then into a large round, about 2mm thick and 6-8 inches in diameter. Place flatbread in the pan, cook for around 1- 1 1/2 minutes – it will puff up. Once the underside has light brown patches on it, flip and cook the other side for 45 seconds to 1 minute.

  4. Stack the cooked flatbreads and keep wrapped with a tea towel while forming and cooking the remaining pieces. Brush with butter or oil.


  • Libya is the only country in the world to have had a totally design-less flag. From 1977 until 2011, Libya became the Libyan Arab Republic to the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya by Gaddafi. During this time, the country had a solid green flag.

  • The Saharan desert in Libya can go for decades without rain.

  • Libyan tea is as thick as black syrup.

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