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Eggplant Shakshuka with Green Tahini Sauce


Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero

Tom made this delicious veganized version of a common Israeli/Middle East entree for the Spring, 2017 potluck in Portland.


230 g 1/2 pound eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes

44 ml3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

470 ml2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1-2 small red chili peppers, minced or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 large red bell pepper, seeds and core removed, sliced into thin 1/4 inch strips

1 large yellow or orange bell pepper, seeds and core removed, sliced into thin 1/4 inch strips

2 ml1/2 tsp cumin seeds

400 g14 ounce can diced tomatoes or 2 1/2 cups diced red ripe tomatoes (about 1 pound)

10 ml2 teaspoons tomato paste (optional if fresh tomatoes are super ripe and juicy)

5 ml1 teaspoon agave nectar

2 bay leaves

10 ml2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 ml1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

2 ml1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus additional for sprinkling on eggplant

Big pinch saffron strands or 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

Few twists freshly ground pepper

5 ml1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or more to taste

Green Tahini Sauce

59 ml1/4 cup tahini

15 ml1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 cloves garlic

1 ml1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

89 ml6 tablespoons warm water, plus extra as needed

44 ml3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

44 ml3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


240 ml1 cup roughly chopped flat leafed parsley

240 ml1 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Warmed, thick fluffy pita bread or crusty peasant style bread


1. Sprinkle eggplant cubes with a pinch of kosher salt and place in a metal colander over the sink or a bowl. Allow the eggplant to soften for about 10 minutes. In a large deep 12 inch skillet over medium heat toast the cumin seeds for about 1 minute or until fragrant; remove from pan and set aside. Fry eggplant with 1 tablespoon of olive oil for about 6-8 minutes, turning frequently until cubes are soft and the edges are golden brown. Remove from pan onto a plate and set aside.

2. Add remaining oil to the pan and fry the onions for 5 minutes until softened and golden brown. Stir in garlic and chiles, fry for 1 minute and add the sliced peppers. Stir, cover and let steam for 5 minutes, then add the cumin seeds, eggplant, and the remaining ingredients and stir the mixture several times. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until all of the vegetables are very soft and the whole thing looks very juicy and bubbling; if not cook for another 5 minutes until the tomatoes have released all of their juices. Taste and adjust any seasoning with salt or a little lemon juice. Turn off heat, leave covered and let stand for 2 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

3. While the shakshuka is resting prepare the tahini sauce. In a food processor or blender, pulse together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and water into a creamy sauce. Scape down the sides of the food processor as necessary. Add the chopped cilantro and parsley and pulse a few more times until the leaves are very finely chopped. If necessary dribble in a little extra water to thin out the sauce.

4. To serve, scoop a portion of the hot shakshuka into a wide, shallow bowl. Drizzle generously with green tahini sauce and garnish with a healthy handful of chopped parsley and cilantro. Serve with warm pita or crusty bread to scoop up the juicy sauces.

Shakshuka takes easily to all kinds of Middle Eastern additions such as:

1 tablespoon of minced preserved lemon

1 cup of cooked chickpeas or other white beans folded in along with the tomatoes

Handful of washed baby spinach leaves folded into the sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking time


The green tahini sauce can be stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. The sauce will thicken slightly as it stands; add a few teaspoons of water to loosen up the tahini if needed.

Major Ingredients: