Shakshuka is one of those breakfast recipes that has steadily gained popularity in the last couple of years (mostly thanks to Yotam Ottolenghi’s beautiful cookbooks), but anyone who’s enjoyed a North African or Middle Eastern breakfast will be familiar with its rich and tangy flavours.
I used to love cooking this dish – with the delicious addition of new potatoes – and taking it into the garden for lunch during the summer. But it slipped away in the days between adopting a vegan diet and re-learning how to cook; until I realised one day that I could make a new version.
So I thought I’d share it with you. Because when should not eating eggs stand in the way of a good breakfast recipe? The sauce itself is delicious on its own, mopped up with some crusty bread (or potatoes), but I’ve added tofu to this recipe to give it some substance (and a little ‘egg’).
This vegan shakshuka is:
- simple to make;
- great to share;
- bursting with flavour, and
- impossible to photograph in an attractive manner (sorry – but when it’s this tasty, photos don’t matter).
It’s also an ideal one-pan meal for some weekend brunching. Make a pot of coffee and throw the ingredients onto some heat. It’s as easy as that.
I like to make my own Harissa as the basis for this shakshuka, but you can just as easily use a ready-made version for when you really don’t have the time for charring peppers. Although I really love this part – it’s unusually satisfying to make something that sounds so unique, so easily, from scratch.
One last thing before you tuck into this dish just in time for the weekend: it has magical, appetite-busting properties that may well render you unable to move if you decide it can be polished off between two. Trust me when I say this, because I make the very same mistake every time.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 white or red onion
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 red peppers
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2-3 tbsp harissa
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 carton (300g) silken tofu
- Optional: 1 tsp each paprika, turmeric, cayenne pepper to season the tofu
- If making the harissa from scratch, do this first.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet, on a moderate setting.
- Slice the onions and garlic, and chop the red peppers, discarding the seeds.
- Add these to the pan and stir to coat in the oil, followed by the cumin, harissa, and tomato purée.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions begin to soften.
- Now stir in the chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper and leave for around 15 minutes.
- While this is cooking, drain the tofu and lightly mash it in a bowl. If using, stir in the paprika, turmeric and cayenne pepper.
- Five minutes before serving, add the tofu to the shakshuka. You can stir it in as much as you like, or leave it on top.