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Steamed Aubergine w/ Tagine Style rice

Don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients, this is the simplest dish to cook, and lo the spices combine to make it well worth the cooking time! Inspired by Moroccan tagine dishes, where the dish is made as one and then cooked in a tagine ceramic dish. If you don’t have any of the spices, I would encourage you to be creative in what you know might go well as a substitute, but I’m always on the other end of a DM if you need!

Serves four

Takes 100 minutes (15 prep, 90 cook)

For the tagine:

4 garlic cloves

2 tbsp dried apricots

4 sun-dried tomatoes

Rind & juice if 1 lemon

2 tbsp raisins

2 tbsp almonds

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp ancho chilli flakes

1 tsp caraway seeds

1 tbsp sumac

1 cinnamon stick

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp ground black pepper

1 cup brown rice*

1/2 cup black rice*

3 cups water*

2 aubergine

4 banana shallot

To serve:

1 pomegranate

2 tbsp pistachio

1 handful mint

4 tbsp coconut yoghurt

4 tbsp pomegranate molasses

*water and rice are measured by volume so you can use a small drinking glass instead of actual American measuring cups.

NOTE: For this recipe, you will need a large baking dish with a lid. You can use a casserole with another placed on top if it fits, or an oven safe cast iron pan.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Skin the garlic and chop with the apricot and sun dried tomato. Using a peeler or carefully with a knife, peel the lemon. Finely chop the rind add it to the pan/casserole with the chopped garlic, apricot and sun dried tomato. Squeeze in the lemon juice.

Add the remaining ingredients bar the aubergine and shallot. Mix the contents of the pan well.

Halve the aubergine and hedgehog the flesh, making sure not to cut through the skin at the bottom. Place them face down in the pan and squeeze them so they pick up some of the liquid and widge them into the contents of the pan so their cut side is facing down, about a cm below the waters surface.

Halve the shallots and remove the skin. Repeat the same process as with the aubergine so they get some liquid in them, then nestle them face down between the aubergine.

Replace the lid of the pan and place it in the preheated oven, cooking for 60 minutes with the lid on, then a further 30 minutes with the lid off.

As the tagine cooks, deseed the pomegranate. Chop the pistachios and the mint. Set all three aside, ready to serve.

Serve 1 half aubergine per portion with a healthy serving of tagine rice. Dollop the coconut yoghurt atop the aubergine and place 2 half shallots per person on top of that. Garnish with pomegranate, chopped pistachio and mint, and a swirl of pomegranate molasses.


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