Spice up your morning with this cozy, super-yum, breakfast, brunch or even dinner dish that is made in one pan, from scratch, in about 20 minutes. Traditionally it’s made with eggs, but I use medium-firm tofu, which when simmered up in the fiery, garlicky, chunky tomato sauce, becomes silky-soft like egg white in texture. It works so well. Be sure to serve with plenty of crusty vegan bread to mop up every last drop of the spicy sauce!   Reprinted with permission from Vegan Comfort Cooking by Melanie McDonald, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Melanie McDonald

Tofu in Purgatory [Vegan]





  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil, or 2 tbsp (30 ml) water
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 (28-oz [793-g]) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (use less if you prefer less heat, or a little more if you like things spicy)
  • 2 tsp (about 4 g) mixed dried herbs, such as herbes de Provence, Italian seasoning or a combination of thyme, oregano and rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon cane or granulated white sugar (optional, but helps bring out the tomato flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 (12- to 14-oz [350- to 400-g]) block medium-firm tofu (no need to press it)
  • Kala namak (optional; see note
  • Crusty vegan bread, for serving


  1. In a skillet, heat the olive oil or water over medium heat; then cook the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes, or until just starting to turn a little golden.
  2. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, herbs and sugar (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste—then simmer over medium heat while you prepare the tofu.
  3. Drain the tofu and cut it into 4 evenly sized pieces. First, cut horizontally through the middle to make 2 long pieces, and then cut each of those pieces in half to make 4 squares. If you want to be fancy and have round pieces of tofu like “eggs,” use a cookie cutter to cut 4 rounds and save the scraps for another recipe, such as tofu scramble!
  4. Gently place the 4 pieces of tofu in the simmering sauce, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the sauce is thickening up a little and the tofu is soft and heated through.
  5. Sprinkle each piece of tofu with a little kala namak (if using) just before serving, if you want it to have an “eggy” flavor.

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