Shake Things Up In The Kitchen With This Family Shakshuka Recipe

Introduce the kids to the wonderful world of cooking in isolation.

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Life under lockdown is tough on anyone, but it can be especially tough on parents with children. Months of juggling full-time childcare with work, as well as supervising home schooling, will have no doubt taken its toll – which is why we’re launching a weekly series on recipes to make at home with all the family.

One place where little hands can actually be quite helpful (rather than a nuisance) is in the kitchen. Cooking is an activity that can turn them into little chefs, it’s going to be messy, but it’s all in good fun. Keep them entertained for a few hours and surely this counts towards their homeschooling, right?

We turn to food writer, cook, and podcast host of Mother Food, Alissa Timoshkina who shares her comforting shakshuka recipe that feeds the whole family and involves getting kids to help out with the preparation – perfect for a weekend brunch or even an evening meal. It’s never too early to cook to help develop a lifelong love of the kitchen, as well as teaching them valuable life skills.

Shakshuka with Chickpeas

Serves: 4-6 | Prep Time: 10-15 mins | Cook Time: 15-20 mins

Family Shakshuka with Chickpeas
Alissa Timoshkina
Family Shakshuka with Chickpeas

“Shakshuka is fun! It’s fun to say out loud, to cook and to eat. The best part about it is that it involves your hands as much during the cooking as it does during the eating,” says Alissa, whose daughter loves sitting on the kitchen counter pulling the garlic cloves apart and peeling them.

Together Alissa is also teaching her how to crack eggs properly, pull the herbs’ leaves from the stalks, and shell chickpeas – but only when they have the patience to go the extra mile! If you’ve got a few children to occupy, why not assign them a station each?

But it’s not just the preparation that is fun for the family, afterwards everyone gets rewarded with a large bowl of sumptuous shakshuka.“I can’t imagine any kid not wanting to dunk a big chunk of bread into a gooey egg yolk and a rich tomato sauce,” reasons Alissa. “But shakshuka isn’t all just about the fun, it has high nutritional value and is a great way to get your little gourmands accustomed to fragrant and spicy food.”


Mild oil for frying

1 large yellow onion

4-6 garlic cloves

1 large red bell pepper

1 tsp of sea salt

1tsp (heaped) of ground coriander

1tsp of ground cumin

1 tsp of smoked paprika

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp of chilli flakes (optional)

4 tbsp of tomato puree (concentrated)

200ml boiling water

1 tbsp of honey

1 tin of chickpeas, rinsed and de-shelled (if you fancy a bit of extra kitchen fun)

4-6 eggs

To garnish:

A handful of each coriander, dill and parsley leaves

1/2 tsp of harissa (optional)

1 tbsp of Greek yoghurt

Serve with a fresh crusty sourdough bread


1. In a large casserole heat up some oil on a medium fire.

2. Thinly slice the onion into semi-rings, finely chop or grate the garlic, and cut the bell pepper into thin strips. Fry in the oil with the salt and spices for 10 minutes covered with a lid.

3. Dilute the tomato puree in hot water with honey and add to the pan together with the chickpeas. Give it a good mix through.

4. Make 4-6 wells (depends on how many eggs you are using) in the stew.

5. Crack each egg into a ramekin or a cup, and then tip it into the well. I’d not advise cracking eggs directly into the casserole especially if the little hands are involved.

6. Add a touch of salt to each egg and cook until the eggs are set to your liking. You can cover with the lid if you’d like your egg to be cooked through or leave open for a running yolk.

7. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve with some fresh bread and harissa yoghurt on the side. I love serving the dish to the table in the casserole as it gives a real festive abundant feel to the meal!

More recipes available from Salt & Time: Recipes from a Russian Kitchen by Alissa Timoshkina, published by Mitchell Beazley in Hardback at £17.18.