Aubergine takes centre stage again! This dish brings so many memories of the wonderful smells from my mother’s kitchen that filled the whole house. You can prepare the aubergines in different ways for this recipe: roast it in the oven (like below), roast on your stove (for some smokiness) or cut it in thick slices to grill or fry. Whatever you choose to do, the combination with the tomato sauce and chickpeas is a guaranteed success. Too often people tend to cook rice a bit too ‘simple’: in plain water which makes it taste bland. You can do so much to pack it with wonderful flavours. I usually cook rice with stock, not just water, and that already makes it more flavoursome. You can also try some spices en herbs as well as dried fruits and nuts. Instead of it being a simple ‘belly filler’ your rice will become a lovely addition to your dish.
For 2 persons
- 2 aubergines
- 250 gr chickpeas, drained
- 1 tin tomato cubes
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon seven spices mix (see infobox below)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 200 gr rice
- 400 ml vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 2 tablespoons hazelnuts
- Cut the aubergines in chunks and roast them in the oven at 200ºC, until tender about 25 minutes.
- Bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Add the rice and raisins, reduce the heat and leave to cook gently until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Once the rice is done, roughly chop the hazelnuts, add them to the pan, cover and leave to rest.
- Chop the onion in thin stripes and crush the garlic.
- Heat a bit of oil in a pan and gently fry the garlic and onion until tender.
- Add the seven spices, cinnamon and cayenne pepper, increase the heat and fry until fragrant.
- Add the chickpeas and tomato, reduce the heat and leave to simmer.
- When the aubergine is cooked, add it to the sauce and bring to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve it warm with the cooked rice.