Pic of  Middle Eastern spiced aubergines, curd cheese & wild rice

Middle Eastern spiced aubergines, curd cheese & wild rice

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Vegetarian mains

Middle Eastern spiced aubergines, curd cheese & wild rice

Main Serves 2 1h 25 min
Baharat is a fragrant, mild spice mix that is extremely versatile and widely used in Persian and Middle Eastern cuisine. This recipe salts the aubergines before cooking, which drastically improves their texture and the stops them going soggy. The combination of spiced aubergine and slightly sour curd cheese is sure to be a hit with even the biggest aubergine sceptics.

Ingredients

  • 2 aubergines
  • 1 red pepper (or jarred roasted red pepper)
  • 100g wild rice
  • 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube
  • 1 red chilli
  • small bunch of chives
  • small bunch of parsley
  • small bunch of mint
  • 3 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp Baharat spice mix
  • 30g raisins
  • 275g curd cheese
  • 2 tbsp toasted almond flakes
  • 1 lemon
Image of  Middle Eastern spiced aubergines, curd cheese & wild rice

Method

Prep time: 45 min
Cooking time: 40 min
  • Step 1

    Quarter the aubergines and place them in a colander above a bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt and mix to ensure the salt is evenly distributed. Allow to sit for 15-30 minutes.
  • Step 2

    Cut the pepper in half and cut away the stalk and remove the seeds. Cook under a hot grill until the skin is black and blistered. Remove and allow to cool.
  • Step 3

    Cook the rice per packet instructions with the stock cube in the cooking water. Finely chop the chilli, chives, parsley and mint.
  • Step 4

    When the aubergines have had 15-30 mins, squeeze each piece to release the excess water, and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. In a large bowl, mix the yoghurt and Baharat spices together and season with salt and pepper. Add the aubergine and mix to coat evenly. Leave to marinate for 15 mins. Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas mark 5.
  • Step 5

    Peel and discard the blistered skin from the peppers. Cut into slices, drizzle with a little olive oil and season.
  • Step 6

    Roast the aubergines for around 25 minutes, turning halfway through. Once done, they should feel soft to touch and look lightly browned all over.
  • Step 7

    Mix the chilli, parsley, mint and raisins into the cooked rice. Add a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and mix again.
  • Step 8

    On a large plate, spread the curd cheese out to cover most of the plate. Place the aubergines on top with the slices of pepper, and finish by sprinkling over the toasted almonds and chives. Serve with lemon wedges and a small sprinkle of Baharat. Serve alongside the bowl of rice and plate up at the table.

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