Anyone that has read my blog will soon realise that I do a lot of aubergine recipes (they are versatile, filling and very tasty, so what’s not to like?!) I also really enjoy making Middle Eastern and North African dishes, so this recipe was a bit of a revelation to me. Previously I have only made Tagines with some of the more sturdy root vegetables, such as butternut squash or sweet potato, but this dish is based upon one that uses baby aubergines, which I couldn’t get hold of at the time, although the quartered whole ones give it a really nice, silky texture. The perfect comfort food!
6 medium aubergines, quartered lengthways
4 large onions, halved then finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tbs olive oil
2 red chillis, deseeded and finely sliced
3 tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp coriander seeds
4 tsp sugar
3 x 400g tins of good quality chopped tomatoes
Small handful each of fresh mint and coriander, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place the aubergine quarters in a large colander, sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
2. Meanwhile, place the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat then add the onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.
3. Put the cumin and coriander seeds in a small frying pan and dry toast gently for 1 minute before crushing in a pestle and mortar.
4. Add the crushed seeds, chilli and sugar, fry for a further minute then add the aubergines and stir to coat thoroughly. Add the tomatoes, cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
5. Season to taste, stir in the fresh herbs and serve with couscous or fłatbreads.