So yes there’s a definite theme to my cooking still. Turkish food is dominating! Although truth be told there’s not a whole lot of cooking going on at all here at the moment. What with mega work deadlines and sunshine, the last thing I’ve been thinking of is slaving over a stove. But tonight I missed it and thought I’d treat Scott to one of his favourite dinnertime combos – aubergines and rice (with his favourite dill) all smushed up in a Turkish pilau. It was truly delicious, but I can’t take the credit because I used Claudia Roden’s recipe from Arabesque, a not-new book that’s new to me (a purchase inspired by this rather wonderful looking Gather & Graze recipe). All I did to alter it was add chickpeas (I had some leftover, but they worked nicely) and an accompaniment of my standard tahini-yoghurt-lemon-garlic sauce. I’d definitely advise serving with a sharp sauce like this if you’re eating this dish as a main.
You will need:
3 medium aubergines, chopped into rough cubes
1 red onion, chopped
3 tbspns pine nuts
100g cooked chickpeas (optional)
2 tbspns sultanas
200g white long grain rice, well rinsed and drained
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1.5 tspn sugar
350ml water (I used the leftover water in which I peeled the tomatoes)
1 tspn cinnamon
1/2 tspn allspice
4 tbspns chopped dill
At least 8 tbspns olive oil
- Preheat your oven to the highest setting. Place the aubergine in a baking tray and season well with salt and pour over a generous 2-3tbspns olive oil. Roast for 25 minutes until golden, turning occasionally, adding more oil as needed.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tbpns olive oil in a deep saucepan and add the onion. Cook until lightly golden, then add the pine nuts. Continue to cook until the nuts turn golden, the stir in the rice.
- Stir the rice well to coat with oil then add the tomatoes and sugar. Simmer for a few minutes before stirring in the sultanas, chickpeas if using and spices. Season well the pour over the water.
- Cover the pan with a lid and leave to simmer for around 10 minutes until the rice is cooked. You may want to remove the lid a few minutes before cooking to allow the liquid to evaporate.
- Stir the browned, cooked aubergine into the cooked rice and then stir in the dill, then 4 tbspns of olive oil.
- Tip into a serving bowl and leave to cool before serving either warm or at room temperature with a sharp and creamy tahini sauce.