Vegan Shakshuka

Vegan Shakshuka

Shakshuka is argued to have originated in Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen, but its popularity spread all across the Middle East, and it’s now a popular breakfast in Libya, Algeria and Morocco as well as a common evening meal in Israel. The traditional version of the dish is made with eggs, which are cracked into wells in the tomato mixture and slowly poached this way.

Avocados are the natural vegan equivalent to eggs. They’re fatty and delicious, and they can be cooked (or prepared) in a number of different ways. Shakshuka is also served with a yogurt drizzle in a lot of places, and this recipe uses basic tahini sauce as the drizzle, as the flavors go really well with the spices and tomato (and of course, with the avocado). 

You’ll need:
(Feeds 2-4)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed/diced
1 large yellow pepper, sliced
2 tablespoons Harissa paste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 tins of diced or crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch of ground cinnamon
2 large handfuls fresh spinach
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe avocado, stone removed, cut in half

For the tahini sauce:
1 tablespoon tahini
The juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp agave / maple syrup
a little water
a pinch of paprika

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add in the onion and garlic over a medium heat
When the onions are turning translucent, add in the yellow pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes
Add in the Harissa paste and tomato paste, stir well, then add in the diced/crushed tomatoes
Add in the cumin and cinnamon, stir well, then bring the heat down to a simmer
Let the mixture cook for 10-15 minutes, until it’s just starting to reduce
While the mixture is cooking, place all the tahini sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until well combined. Add as much water as necessary to achieve a thick but pourable consistency then set aside
Add the spinach into the frying pan and season to taste. Cook for another minute or two
When the spinach is starting to soften, make two gaps in the mixture and put an avocado half in each one
Cook for 2 to 3 more minutes then drizzle the tahini sauce over the whole shebang
Top with a little sea salt and black pepper then remove from the heat. Transfer the pan to a heat-proof serving plate on your table and serve straight from the pan, with lots of crusty bread to mop up the sauce