This recipe looks like a bog standard veg tagine dish but it really is lovely, greater than the sum of its parts. It works even if you don’t have a few things to hand: no fresh coriander, nuts or lemons. Plain couscous is fine. We’ve tried substituting carrots for the peppers and butter beans for the chickpeas (dice the carrots small as they take a while to cook.) So, next time an aubergine appears in your veg box, we cannot recommend this dish enough! Recipe based on one from bbc.co.uk/food.
- 1 small-med aubergine
- Olive oil
- ½ medium onion, finely chopped
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp hot chilli powder
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- Tin of tomatoes, chopped
- ½ red pepper, deseeded, diced (or 2 medium carrots, diced small)
- 1 medium courgette, cut into 1.5cm chunks
- 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 heaped tbsp chopped fresh coriander plus extra to garnish
- 400ml vegetable stock
- ½ small lemon, juice only
- 15g chopped pistachio nuts or flaked almonds (optional)
- 100g natural/Greek yogurt, to serve
- For the couscous: ½ vegetable stock cube
- 80g wholegrain couscous
- ½ small lemon, finely grated zest only
- 2 heaped tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Cut the aubergines in half (top to bottom) and score a criss-cross pattern through the flesh. Smear some oil on a baking tray and put the aubergines on it. Season with a little black pepper and bake for 30-40 minutes or until very tender and lightly browned.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add onion (and carrots, if using) and cook for five minutes, stirring regularly until softened. Add the cumin, coriander, chilli and cinnamon and cook for a few seconds, stirring constantly.
- Pour the tomatoes into the pan. Add the red pepper, courgette, chickpeas, coriander and stock. Season with a little salt and lots of black pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 20 mins, stirring now and then until the veg are tender and the sauce thick.
- Just before the sauce is ready, make the couscous. Dissolve the stock cube in 100ml/3½fl oz just-boiled water in a medium bowl. Stir in the couscous, cover and rest for three minutes. Add the lemon zest, coriander and season to taste. Toss well, using a fork to break up the couscous.
- Put an aubergine half on each plate. Stir the lemon juice into the chickpeas and season to taste. Spoon the mixture over the aubergines. Add couscous on the side and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Garnish with coriander and yoghurt.