Shakshouka with Scrambled Tofu

Shakshouka. What a lovely sounding name. This dish, originating from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions, is often prepared with poached eggs on top. But for our purposes scrambled silken tofu works great. The superb blandness of it sprinkled with a little black salt mimics the neutral taste of egg whites set against the pungent spices scattered through the red sauce.

Ranka gave a silent sign after lunch that day that indicated it was a success. So we will no doubt be repeating it.

The day I made it there happened to be a lot of summer courgette in the pantry so it ended up in the recipe, however I’ve also tried it with fried aubergine/ eggplant which was super. Other vegetables that would work are broad beans or potatoes, or for a richer flavour skip the tofu and try soft goat or feta cheese sprinkled on top.

Shakshouka cooked with firm tofu.

Ingredients

Sauce

1 large red onion
3 bell peppers
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
3 cloves garlic
1 courgette (zuchinni) or aubergine (eggplant)
A few sprigs of flat leaf parsley
800 ml (3 cups) canned chopped tomatoes (about 2 cans)
1 teaspoon ground paprika
½ teaspoon ground coriander
Salt to taste

Scrambled Tofu

3 tablespoons olive oil for frying
300 g silken tofu
¼ teaspoon turmeric
Dash smoked paprika
1 teaspoon corn starch
Dash black salt (kala namak

Method

  • Peel and medium-dice the red onion.
  • Deseed and medium-dice the bell peppers.
  • Peel and mince the garlic.
  • Crush the caraway and cumin seeds with a pestle and mortar being careful not to grind them down to a powder.
  • Medium-dice the courgette or aubergine. If using aubergine, sprinkle with a little salt and leave it to stand for 20 minutes.
  • Roughly chop the flat leaf parsley.

Sauce
  • Put the canned tomatoes, paprika, and coriander into a stew pot, cover, and heat gently on a low flame.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan on a medium flame. Put in the red onions, bell peppers, cumin seeds, and caraway seeds and stir-fry until the onions and peppers begin to brown.
  • Add the garlic and continue to stir-fry until it releases it’s fragrance. Transfer to the stew pot with the sauce.
  • In the same frying pan, add a little more olive oil and stir-fry the courgette until it begins to brown and soften then put it into the sauce. If using aubergine, rinse of the salt and pat dry with a clean towel. Stir-fry the aubergine in olive oil until they brown and the flesh turns buttery (this might take a little longer than courgette.) Put it into the sauce.
  • Season to taste with salt.
  • Simmer on a low flame, covered, while preparing the tofu.

Tofu
  • Remove the silken tofu from its packaging and drain the excess water.
  • Put the silken tofu in a bowl and gently press it with the back of a fork until it crumbles, being careful not to crumble it too much. Sprinkle with the turmeric, smoked paprika, and cornstarch and fold carefully to combine.
  • In a non-stick frying pan on medium flame, heat up one tablespoon of olive oil. Put the crumbled tofu into the frying pan and stir-fry until the tofu is hot and sizzling. Move the tofu around carefully using a silicone spatula, flipping it over now and then. When thoroughly heated, it will begin to deepen in colour and start to “set”, about three–four minutes. Remove from the flame. 
  • Scatter the scrambled tofu on top of the sauce in an even layer, sprinkle with black salt, cover and without stirring anymore, simmer for about five minutes.
  • When ready to serve, sprinkle the tofu with parsley.
  •  Serve alongside hummus with Turkish bread, bulgar or cous cous.

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