Silky, soft tofu rounds cooked gently in a fiery, garlicky and chunky tomato sauce. My Vegan Shakshuka or Tofu in Purgatory as I like to call it, is the perfect brunch dish!
I was flicking through some old Nigella Lawson cookbooks a few weeks ago and was reminded of her Eggs in Purgatory recipe. Before I was vegan I used to make it often for brunch and it was one of my favourites.
The next day, rather than making the usual Vegan Banana Pancakes for brunch, I experimented with my own version of eggs in purgatory, and guess what? Vegan Shakshuka a.k.a Tofu in Purgatory happened.
Who needs eggs!?
How to make Vegan Shakshuka
Vegan Shakshuka is really easy to make.
Start by making a fiery and very garlicky tomato sauce with lots of onions, garlic, tomatoes, herbs and chili, then let it simmer for a few minutes until thickened.
Drop some tofu rounds into the sauce and poach them until they are heated through.
Just before serving, sprinkle some Kala Namak, (sometimes known as Indian Black Salt) over the tofu for an eggy flavour. Of course this is optional but recommended. The eggy smell and flavour is spot on! Some fresh cilantro or parsley is a lovely addition too.
Shakshuka recipe success tips
- This is a really simple recipe with few ingredients so be sure to use the best quality canned tomatoes you can as they are the foundation of the entire recipe.
- Medium tofu gives the best texture so I recommend using it over any other tofu. Silken tofu will break up and be impossible to keep together.
- Kala Namak or Indian Black Salt really makes the dish taste authentic and like a traditional shahshuka so is recommended. Omit if you don't like an eggy flavour though!
What is purgatory and what has it got to do with my brunch?
Eggs in Purgatory, more commonly known as Shakshuka, originates from North Africa but is also a common brunch dish in the Middle East.
Purgatory according to Wikipedia, is:
the intermediate state after physical death in which those destined for heaven "undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven".
I am not religious at all but I guess the meaning behind the name of the recipe is that the eggs, or in this case the tofu, represent “souls” and the fiery tomato sauce surrounding them represents their suspension between Heaven and Hell.
Is that a bit deep for brunch!?
How to serve Shakshuka
Vegan Shakshuka is one of my many vegan tofu recipes and it makes the best savory vegan brunch.
It's really simple and quick to make and is absolutely jam packed with flavour.
As well as being a great brunch dish, it also works well for lunch or dinner.
Serve my Shakshuka with hot buttered toast (check out my super easy vegan butter recipe), fresh crusty bread or baguette. It is also wonderful with my soft and fluffy flatbread recipe and with a crumble of my vegan feta cheese over the top.
For dinner it is lovely with a crisp salad and some bread to mop up the fiery juice.
No tofu, no problem!
Prefer not to eat tofu? No problem! Just swap out the tofu for a can of chickpeas, or use approximately one inch thick rounds of butternut squash or sweet potato instead. If you do use squash or potato though, allow them extra time to cook through. Covering the pan with a lid to let them steam a bit at first might be useful, then remove the lid once they are tender to allow the sauce to reduce and thicken up.
There's more where that came from!
If you love my Vegan Shakshuka recipe, check out these great vegan brunch recipes too:
- Vegan French Toast
- Vegan Scrambled Eggs
- Vegan French Toast Casserole
- Sweet Potato Breakfast Boats
- Vegan Banana Pancakes
- Vegan Gluten-Free Pancakes
And if you love this recipe, please do check out my cookbook, and subscribe to my email list for a fabulous FREE eCookbook featuring my top 10 recipes. Being on the list means you will be first to see my new recipes and you’ll be kept in the loop on all things new and exciting too!
Tofu in Purgatory (Shakshuka)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
- 4 large cloves of garlic
- 1 796 ml can diced tomatoes
- Salt & pepper to taste I used 1 teaspoon salt & ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried herbs see recipe note
- 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes use less if you prefer less heat
- 1 teaspoon sugar optional but helps to bring out the tomato flavour
- 1 block of unpressed medium tofu cut into rounds (around 350g although this doesn't have to be exact) see recipe note
- Indian Black Salt (Kala Namak) optional
- Warm the olive oil in a skillet and cook the garlic over medium heat until just starting to turn a little brown. (use a drop of water instead of the oil to keep the recipe oil-free).
- Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, chili flakes, herbs and optional sugar.
- Simmer over a medium heat for 5 minutes then add the tofu rounds.
- Turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce is thickening up a little and the tofu is soft and heated through.
- Sprinkle the tofu with a little Indian Black Salt just before serving if you would like an eggy flavour.
- Serve with toast, crusty bread or baguette to mop up the juice!
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