Tunisian Aubergine with mint & Greek yoghurt/ via Sharon Minkoff

This delicious recipe is Tunisian in origin and is an adaptation of Delia Smith’s adaptation of Elizabeth David’s recipe. According to Delia, you should prepare it the day before you serve it but I have to confess to having made it many a time the same afternoon and no one has ever complained!

Its quicker to make than it sounds. You can make the tomato mixture while the aubergine chunks are roasting in the oven, and you dry roast and grind your spices while the tomato mixture is simmering. It’s easy.

It’s important to stick to the spices in this if you want the real depth of flavour. I also encourage you to use whole cumin and allspice berries and dry roast and grind them.

(Sharon Minkoff Blog)

Ingredients:

2 medium large aubergines

I large onion chopped

3 cloves garlic – finely chopped

I red chilli finely chopped – or hot chilli flakes

2/3 can diced tomatoes (avoid adding too much of the juice)

I heaped tablespoon tomato puree

4-5 sun dried tomatoes (optional)

I heaped teaspoon cumin

I heaped teaspoon allspice berries

salt

black pepper

olive oil

small handful chopped fresh mint

fresh chopped coriander leaves Greek yoghurt

Method

Preheat your oven to 220 C/450.F Cut the aubergine into 1 /2inch cubes. Toss in olive oil, some salt and spread on a baking tray Bake for 25 minutes, until the aubergine chunks are slightly tinged at the edges but still soft and creamy in the centre.

While the aubergine is in the oven, make the tomato mixture. Gently fry the onion, garlic and chilli in olive oil a large skillet for about 5 minutes. When they are pale gold in colour, add the tomato puree, fry briefly, then the tomatoes (not too much juice) and the chopped sun dried tomatoes if using. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes till thick and chunky. It should not be at all watery.

While all that is cooking, dry roast your spices for a minute or so, then remove from the heat and grind to a powder in a mortar and pestle. Take a moment to inhale the intoxicating smell of the roasted spices, then add them to the tomato mixture along with some coarse black pepper and mix.

Once the aubergine is ready, mix it into the tomato mixture and cook gently for a few more minutes so that all the flavours combine. Allow it to cool completely.

When you area ready to serve, preferably after a night in the fridge, sprinkle over the freshly chopped herbs and a good drizzle of olive oil and, if you wish, a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt. Delicious!

Serve as part of a mezze type meal with pitta .

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Chargilled aubergine on spicy baharat tomato sauce/ Recipe & image by Sharon Minkoff

Simple and satisfying. This dish is full of flavour. You will need baharat , a spice mix used in North African and Middle Eastern food. You can buy it ready made or make your own

 

Sauce

I onion chopped

I clove garlic crushed

I can tomatoes

I generous tbsp. tomato puree

1.5 heaped tsps. baharat(recipe below).

I bay leaf

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp sugar

I chili (optional)

2 aubergines

Greek yoghurt

cilantro (fresh coriander)

mint

Baharat

2 tbsps. blackpepper

2 tbsps.  paprika (I usedsmoked)

1 tbsp. Coriander seeds

1 tbsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. cloves

1.5 tbsps. cumin

1/2 tsp. cardamom

2 tsps. nutmeg

Grill the aubergines over an open flame (you can use the gas ring on your stove). Keep turning them (with tongs) until they are black and soft all through. Remove and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Sautee onion and garlic, then add other ingredients. Keep cooking till you have a thick sauce. Adjust salt and sugar seasoning.

Peel the charred skin from the cooled aubergine. It should come away easily. Don’t be too thorough because the flecks of black give the wonderful smoky flavour essential to this dish.

Spoon the sauce onto a plate. Cut the aubergine in half, splay open and lay on the sauce. Add a big dollop or two of thick Greek yoghurt and garnish with fresh coriander and mint.

Roasted vegetable coconut curry/ based on a recipe by Able & Cole

If you like roasted vegetables and the taste of zesty coconut curry, this dish is the perfect combination and happens to be a perfect dish for autumn.

A selection of seasonal veg cut into chunky pieces- any vegetable that is good for roasting works:

Cauliflower, aubergine, sweet potato, potato, beans, squash

Spread in an oven dish,sprinkle some sea salt and pepper, glug some olive oil and place in a heated oven at 200c for about 35 minutes

Meanwhile prepare the curry sauce:

2 garlic cloves

1 thumb of ginger, peeled

1/2 fresh red or green chilli, roughly chopped (more or less, to taste)

1 tsp turmeric

1 onion or 2 leeks, roughly chopped (peel onion first)

1 heaped tbsp peanut butter

1 lime, juice and zest

A large handful of fresh mint and/or coriander

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp soy sauce

Place in a blender and whiz to form a paste add  a tin of coconut milk and 250ml veg or chicken stock.

Pour the sauce into the roasting tray over the roast veg and Cook for a further 10 mins. Serve with rice ( sprinkled with toasted coconut is even better) and decorate with fresh mint or coriander leaves.