Ready in 30 minutes, crammed with nourishing veggies and spices, and served with fresh bread, my vegan chickpea shakshuka - a twist on the traditional Berber dish - makes a perfectly delicious and comforting brunch or supper. Add potatoes or grains on the side, and a green salad, and you have a hearty, filling dinner.
So, you know how last week I was talking about what a great time I had when my friends came over from Britain? What I didn't tell you was how exhausted I felt afterward. Yes, I know it sounds incredibly lame but I've not been sleeping properly, and all the excitement and activity really took its toll.
Then amato mio got sick. He rarely gets ill; one lurgy every other year or so, 24 hours bed rest, and he's usually right as ninepence, as they say. Not this time. Quite apart from the fact that this is the second time he's been stricken this year, it's been over a week now, and he's still really rather poorly. He's almost lost his voice, he's coughing so badly that he's currently sleeping in the spare bedroom, and he has zero energy.
And then I got sick. Not as bad but I still ache all over, and my limbs feel like lead. It's all a bit pants, really.
We might both be feeling a bit better if we hadn't driven to Sarajevo at the weekend... 14 hours each way. Gaaahhhh. And, rather disappointingly, there was a marked lack of Ottoman food to console ourselves with once we got there.
Apart from one falafel place we found, the food was basically bog-standard Balkan fare. Which means meat. Meat. Meat. And a bit of dairy. Sarajevo is probably the most un-veggie-friendly city I've ever been to.
We did find somewhere selling really good falafels though, so all was well!
(I'm not complaining - Bosnia is still recovering from the devastation of the war 25 years ago, so it's hardly surprising that veggie food is not exactly high on its agenda.)
But still, what's a gal to do when she's feeling poorly, and has a hankering for something Levantine? She makes shakshuka, of course! Yay!
Shakshuka. Shakshouka. Chakchouka. Menemen.
All the names for this one very simple dish! In Arabic, shakshouka just means 'a mixture' - essentially, a mixture of veggies and spices.
In Berber, chakchouka is the word for a vegetable stew. Since I used to live in Morocco, in the Berber town of Taroudant, I'm going with the latter. Call me biased if you will.
Oh yes, and in Turkish, it's called menemen*. Go on, admit it, you're now singing this in your head, aren't you?
*Not to be confused with the Turkish şakşuka, which is pronounced 'shakshuka' but is similar to ratatouille. But much better because ratatouille is meh. Şakşuka is usually eaten as part of a meze. It's also totes deelish!
Then of course, you have the Italian version, uova in purgatorio (eggs in purgatory), which is subtly different to shakshuka but still similar enough for most people to lump it in with its Levantine counterparts. My version is a kind of cross between shakshuka and hellish eggs!
Whatever you call it, and however you jazz it up, shakshuka is basically a stew made from tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, chillies, paprika, a bit of salt, and of course, eggs which are poached in the stew itself. It's generally eaten as is, with some fresh bread, often for breakfast or supper. I admit that I'm not averse to having it for lunch or dinner either!
I'm sure I've said this before but I rarely eat eggs (because they're generally disgusterous), so I've never had a problem with finding a substitute to add to my shakshuka because I usually just enjoy the stew on its own with some khobz. That said, when I saw my friend, Mel, over at A Virtual Vegan, use tofu to make her Tofu in Purgatory, I thought it a genius way of getting even more goodness into this dish.
And what a great way to eat even more tofu. I just had to do it (minus the kala namak, of course). I am nothing if not all about the tofu.
And not the bass. (Bet you're singing that now, too!)
Why not check out these spicy recipes, too?
One-pan vegan chickpea shakshuka
- smoky, spicy
- rich, hearty, filling, comforting
- high in protein and fibre
- full of goodness
- gluten-free, nut-free
- really easy to make
- sooo delicious
Whether you make this with just a few traditional ingredients, add a few more spices, or load it up with all the yums, I'm pretty sure you're going to fall in love with this. Besseha!
One-Pan Vegan Chickpea Shakshuka
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion sliced
- 2 large red chillies sliced
- ½ teaspoon palm sugar
- 5 cloves garlic smashed
- 300 g passata
- 240 ml water
- 2 medium tomatoes roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoon tomato purée
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1½ tablespoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper plus a few grinds for finishing
- 300 g cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 100 g whole (or stuffed) olives
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoon fresh coriander (cilantro) cilantro, chopped (save a little for finishing)
- 200 g firm silken tofu cut into rounds
- Heat the oil in a large skillet, and then sauté the onions, chillies, and sugar over a medium heat for 5 mins or so, until the onions start to brown.
- Add the garlic, and continue to sauté until the raw garlic smell has gone.
- Stir in the passata, water, chopped tomatoes, and the tomato purée. Bring to the boil, then immediately reduce the heat.
- Mix in the cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, black pepper, chickpeas, and olives, and give everything a good stir.
- Check the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, and/or cayenne if desired.
- Simmer for 10 minutes, then stir in the parsley and coriander.
- Place the tofu rounds on top of the shakshuka, and gently press down so that they're partly submerged.
- Cover the skillet, and simmer for another 7-10 mins, until the tofu is warmed through.
- Finish with few grinds of black pepper and some torn coriander leaves.
- Serve immediately with fresh bread.
- Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the 'fridge for up to 3 days.
- You can use as many chillies as you like!
- I don't bother to de-seed chillies, or remove the veins, as you lose a lot of the flavour - I'd rather keep that flavour, and just use fewer chillies.
- Instead of passata and fresh tomatoes, you could use canned chopped tomatoes.
- If you don't have smoked paprika, use the same amount of regular paprika + 1 teaspoon liquid smoke.
- Carefully slice the block of tofu in half lengthways, so that you have two flatter blocks. Using a glass or cookie cutter, cut out two rounds from each block. Use leftover tofu in Asian soups, smoothies, etc.
- 1 cup = US cup = 240 ml
- 1 tablespoon = US/UK = 15 ml
- 1 fl oz = US = 30 ml
Cooked this for dinner today, and wow so delicious, though I used 2 birds eye chillis and it came super hot spicy ? I’ll only use 1 next time. We had ours with sautéed potatoes with garlic and some steamed veg. Amazing! Thanks you x
I'm not surprised it came out hot if you used birds eye chillies - those things can be evil, Francesca... which is why I use large chillies, which are much milder! Glad you enjoyed the shak though, and having it with garlic sautéed potatoes sounds amazing! Yum! xx
You had me at "1-1/2 tbsp smoke paprika"! This is going on my "must try" list. Thank you!
Ha ha, we must be kindred spirits! I hope you enjoy the shak! xx
I love shakshuka - It's the perfect weekend brunch for me but I'd never even considered a vegan version before. I'm sure the lovely spicy tomatoey flavours really go well with the tofu. It looks so neat too! Thank you so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice!
They do go so well together but to be honest, you could leave the tofu out, and just have the shakshuka with bread - it will still be just as awesome! xx
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe at #FreeFromFridays! It's been pinned to the Recipes from Bloggers board 🙂 The party will be open from 8am UTC on Friday. Please do come back and join us!
Thanks so much, Anyonita - much appreciated, as always. Due to travelling, I missed last week's #FreeFromFridays, so I'll keep an eye out for this week's one! xx
This is a lovely recipe, the sauce looks and sounds wonderfully rich and I just love the silken tofu, must look out for it next time I go shopping in my favourite vegetarian deli, they are bound to have it. Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare:)
Thank you - it's definitely one of my favourites (not least because it's so simple!). I hope you manage to find the tofu! xx
Wow, this looks amazing! I want it for breakfast xx
Thanks, Darling - you need to come and stay so I can make it for you! xx
I've never tried the original, but this looks AMAZING
Thanks Jasmine, I really hope you love it (because y'know, it's amazeballs)! xx
First time hearing about this. But looks incredibly delicious. This is my kind of dish with veggies and spices.
Same here, Uma - gotta have all those veggies and spices! xx
Jessalin (I'm All Eats)
This looks so comforting and flavorful. Where do you usually buy your passata?
Thanks, Jessalin! I buy my passata from my local supermarket in Slovenia, which is why I linked to Amazon, where you can buy it online. xx
YUMMY! Love everything about this dish. I am going to have to put it on my list for this week. Love your photos. Hope you are feeling better!
Yay, good for you, Juli - and thank you for the compliment. I'd love it if you'd share a photo of it on my Facebook page! xx
Oh my, this looks so savory and satisfying! I've never had Shakshuka, before. Your vegan version looks incredible! A must-make over here. Thanks for the recipe 🙂
It's very satisfying, Melissa, and so easy to make too - it's a real keeper! And I love that it's pretty customisable too. I hope you enjoy it when you get around to making it. xx
Amy Katz from Veggies Save The Day
HA! I love the Muppets! I'm not familiar with this dish, but it sure does look delicious!
And of course, if you do make it, you will forever have that song in your head as you cook! xx
Wow, this looks amazing!! I will try to make it this week. I'll just leave out the olives as I haaaaate olives. 😀
Hate olives? Sorry, I don't understand. LOL! 😉 xx
This is a wonderful one pot meal that is perfect for sharing served with lots of chunky fresh bread.
Spot on, Nina! xx
I am looking at this whiie my pasta cooks and thinking how much I would prefer this for dinner. Just shattered too, so a simple pasta dish here tonight. I am loving this though. I need to make it soon! Shared (and drooled over) x
I'm sure you'll love it all the more for the waiting, Jac!
I was going to make pasta this evening but honestly, standing for any length of time knocks the stuffing out of me. I don't think that K and I have both been sick at the same time before... we are both completely useless right now! Fortunately, thanks to already prepping a load of veggies and Asian sauces last week, I did manage to throw some stuff into an oven dish, and do a makeshift Chinese-eque bake. I have no appetite though! LOL!
Really hope you feel better soon. xx
Oh you've put me in such a difficult situation. I feel I really ought to sympathise with you - and I do, honest! But I just can't help but be mega excited by this dish. I adore Shakshuka, which I first at when I lived in Egypt and your version sounds fab. I usually make mine the Egyptian way, with peppers, but I'm going to have to try this. Have pinned.
Ha ha ha, I know what that conflict feels like, Choclette! I hope you love it as much as your Egyptian shakshuka! xx