(Published on 4/4/2017, updated on 6/17/2020.)
This simple vegan shakshuka, consisting of soft baked chickpea eggs in a tangy red pepper and tomato sauce, is BURSTING with flavor and done in just under 30 minutes- the perfect addition to your Sunday brunch menu!
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The inspiration for this style of a now popular breakfast dish comes from my Palestinian roots, although shakshuka’s origins trace back to North Africa, and it is commonly enjoyed across various Mediterranean countries with different twists! There is a similar Syrian dish, which we call “bayd w banadora,” and even a similar Italian dish called “eggs in purgatory.”
Traditionally its base is made up of a robust, tangy sauce with tomatoes, sweet red pepper, onion, garlic, and the spice that is a favorite across Middle-Eastern cuisine, cumin. Once the sauce thickens, eggs are cracked into wells in the sauce. In this recipe, a chickpea batter replaces the eggs beautifully- I even prefer the taste and texture. The chickpea eggs are soft inside and form an amazing crust when baked with a drizzle of olive oil.
Once you take it out of the oven, sprinkle some parsley or cilantro on top! My non-vegan family absolutely loved this version, especially the unique texture of the chickpea eggs! It was difficult not to finish off the whole skillet for a weekend brunch, especially when we used fresh baked bread to scoop it up and soak up the tantalizing sauce.
Sliced avocado also makes a delicious topping for this Middle Eastern brunch.
This dish not only makes the perfect brunch dish, but is also great for a quick and easy lunch or dinner! Speaking of brunch though, I cannot wait for the weekend! The weather is finally starting to get warmer, and I have been dying to spend a sunny day outdoors and pack a picnic along with me. Life has been busy and hectic lately, between studying, working on the blog and developing new recipes, and keeping up with social events, and the sunny weather lately instantly brightened my mood!
- 3 small or 2 large tomatoes, diced (or 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes)
- 1 small red pepper, finely diced
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- ¼-1/2 cup water
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1½ tsp cumin
- 2 tbsp olive oil (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Chopped parsley or cilantro, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425F. Whisk dry ingredients for chickpea batter in a large bowl. Whisk in almond milk and vinegar, and mix thoroughly until smooth. Set aside.
- Sauté onion, garlic, and red pepper in olive oil in a large oven-proof saucepan over medium-high heat (cast-iron skillet works best).* Add cumin. After onions are soft and translucent, about 5 mins, add paprika, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Add salt and pepper. If the mixture gets too thick and sticky, add ¼-1/2 cup water slowly, until desired consistency is reached.
- Make about 6-8 small wells in the sauce, and divide big dollops of chickpea batter among them. Let cook for 3-5 mins. As the bottom of the batter dollops start to get cooked during this time, you may stir them slightly with a wooden spoon so that they can get cooked more evenly. Cover the pan and let cook for 5-8 more mins, so that the batter will get cooked through.
- When you see the top of the chickpea batter slightly hardened and not completely liquid anymore, remove the pan from heat. Optionally drizzle over the chickpea batter with 1 tbsp olive oil and place the pan in the preheated oven. Cook for 8-10 mins, until the top is slightly browned.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately, alongside fresh baguette or pita bread!