Let's Cook with Meg and Ted

Moroccan aubergine and chickpea pilaf

This is adapted from a recipe in Rose Elliot's vegetarian cookbook, Fast, Fresh and Fabulous.

2onions, chopped
2 tablespoonsolive oil
2medium aubergines, chopped into 1.5 cm cubes
2 teaspoonscumin seeds, lightly pounded in a mortar and pestle
2 teaspoonscoriander seeds, lightly pounded in a mortar and pestle
4cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1medium red chili, chopped (seeds removed if you want to reduce the heat)
1 teaspoonsaffron strands
1 teaspoonsalt
175 gbasmati rice
500 gcooked chickpeas (equivalent to two 425g tins, drained)
60 ggreen olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1thin-skinned lemon, topped and tailed, halved lengthways, then sliced into 4 mm-thick slices
600 mlvegetable stock
1 bunchfresh coriander, roughly chopped

Fry the onions with the olive oil in a large pan for 5 minutes. Add the aubergine and continue to cook for another 8 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander seeds, garlic, chilli, saffron and salt to the pan and continue to fry for two minutes until the spices are becoming aromatic. Then add the rice and saute for another two minutes.

Once the rice is toasted, add the chickpeas, olives, lemon slices and vegetable stock to the mixture, stir well, and cover. Bring to the boil, then immediately reduce the heat and cook gently for 20 minutes. Check that the rice is cooked and all the liquid absorbed, then fork through the chopped coriander and serve.

Serves 4-6, depending on hunger.

10 November 2003

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