recipe; chickpea shakshuka

chickpea shakshuka

Have you ever come across a cusine where the flavour profiles just work for you? For me, there are a few. A recent discovery is that Mediterranean food and I just mesh really well.

Unfortunately, my husband is not as fond of this as I am. But I’m working on it.

I found this recipe a number of months ago and finally gave it try, and I have not looked back since. It is easy to put together, you can adjust it to taste (like I did), and the leftovers taste amazing when reheated up. Crisp up some tortillas to dip into it, and you are set!



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large red chillis, sliced (or more, as needed)
  • ½ tsp coconut palm sugar, chopped
  • 3 coriander roots, pounded
  • 2 celery roots, pounded
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tbsp smoked paprika (or normal works, if you do not have smoked)
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper (plus a few grinds for finishing)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 to 2 tbsp olives
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped (save a little for finishing)
  • about 200g tofu (I use whatever we have on hand at home)



  1. Cut the tofu into rounds or small squares and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot.
  3. Sauté the onions, chillies and sugar over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the onions start to brown.
  4. Add the coriander roots and celery roots and continue to sauté until there is a slight fragrance.
  5. Stir in the canned tomatoes, stock and the tomato purée.
  6. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat.
  7. If it seems too thick, add in more stock or water.
  8. Mix in the spices – the cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and black pepper – and then add in the chickpeas and olives.
  9. Stir everything.
  10. Taste and adjust seasoning as you like.
  11. Simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes, then stir in the parsley and coriander.
  12. Place your tofu on top of the shakshuka, and gently press down so that they’re partly submerged.
  13. Cover the skillet and simmer for another 7-10 mins, until the tofu is warmed through.
  14. Finish with few grinds of black pepper and some torn coriander leaves.
  15. You can stir the tofu into the stew if you desire, especially if you are transferring to a different serving bowl.
  16. Enjoy with bread or tortillas or as is!

I made this for a cousin once, and she went home with the recipe because she loved it that much. It is my go-to when I want comfort food these days. It’s hearty and warm and filling, and I love it so much.


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I’m Ara, a Southeast Asian writer who someday hopes to have published a novel, and who is currently losing herself in the worlds created by others. I love books and food and television and blogging and I get distracted and sidetracked easily.

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