I bought all three of Ottolenghi’s cookbooks and even visited his Islington restaurant before I made a single Ottolenghi recipe, and now I’m hooked.
Living in Northbridge and having The Re Store, Kakulas Brothers, Torre Butcher and many great Asian food stores has probably helped, as I now have access to such great, inexpensive, and sometimes hard to find produce like quinces, barberries etc.
I have slightly tweaked this recipe, cutting out the preserved lemon (which I liken to dishwashing liquid!) and adding yoghurt. Such a lovely dish which I served with a really simple rocket salad. This recipe is from his third book Jerusalem.
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4)
- 4 medium aubergines; halved lengthways
- 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 ½ Tbsp sweet paprika
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 2 onions; finely chopped
- 500g minced lamb
- 50g pine nuts
- handful flat-leaf parsley; chopped
- 2 tsp tomato puree
- 3 tsp caster sugar
- 150ml water
- juice of one lemon
- 1 tsp tamarind paste
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- yoghurt to serve
Place aubergine halves skin side down in a small roasting tin, brush flesh with olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper. Roast at 220C for 20 minutes until golden brown, then remove from oven and let cool slightly.
While aubergines are cooking, make the stuffing. Mix together cumin, paprika and ground cinnamon and add half of this mix to a fry pan with olive oil and onion.
Cook on a medium-high heat for about 8 minutes then add lamb, pine nuts, parsley, tomato puree, one teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of sugar and some black pepper. Cook a further 8 minutes until meat cooked.
Place remaining spice mix in a bowl and add water, lemon juice, tamarind, remaining sugar, cinnamon sticks and ½ teaspoon of salt. Mix well.
Reduce oven to 175C. Pour spice mix into the roasting tin, spoon lamb mixture onto aubergines, cover with foil and cook for another one and a half hours.
The aubergines should be soft and the sauce thick. Twice through cooking baste aubergines with the sauce, adding water if the sauce dries up.
Serve warm or at room temperature, not hot.