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Eggplant pilaf with moroccan spices, pomegranate molasses and chickpeas

Eggplant pilaf with moroccan spices
Time
1 hour
Contributed by
@est.elle.rose
Serves
8-10 servings

SHORT DESCRIPTION

Estelle’s Moroccan-inspired Eggplant Pilaf is a fragrant and satisfying dish that combines tender roasted eggplant with aromatic spices and fluffy basmati rice. As the temperatures begin to dip, this hearty and nourishing dish is guaranteed to bring comfort and satisfaction to your table, allowing you to savour the joys of the season. This dish is a delightful blend of textures and flavours that will infuse your kitchen with warm and fragrant spices.

INGREDIENTS

For eggplant marinade: 

  • 1 large eggplant 
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon ras el hanout spices (or sub for a mix of cumin and paprika) 
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

For pilaf:

  • 400g white basmati rice (2 cups) 
  • 1 small brown onion, diced 
  • 400g can diced tomatoes 
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
  • 1/4 cup currants 
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp ras el hanout spices (or sub for a mix of cumin and paprika) 
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds (cut in half preferably) 
  • 750ml stock + 125ml water (3 cups stock, 0.5 cup water) 
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint leaves 
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils 

DESCRIPTION

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside in a bowl of water to soak.

  2. Slice the eggplant into finger slices 1.5cm thick.

  3. In a bowl, combine minced garlic, olive oil, ras el hanout spices, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper and then toss the eggplant through the mixture.

  4. Place the eggplant slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.

  5. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with extra olive oil if required.

  6. Roast the eggplant in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until they are caramelised and tender.

  7. While the eggplant is roasting, prepare the pilaf.

  8. In a large and deep casserole dish, heat some oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté until it becomes translucent and slightly golden.

  9. Add the rinsed rice, almonds, turmeric, ras al hanout spices to the pot and cook for a minute, stirring frequently.

  10. Pour in the diced tomatoes (including the liquid) and stir well.

  11. Add the drained chickpeas, currants, chopped mint leaves, salt, and pepper to the pot. Stir to combine.

  12. Pour the stock and water into the pot and bring it to a boil.

  13. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the pilaf simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Avoid stirring the pilaf while it's cooking to prevent the rice from becoming mushy.

  14. Once the pilaf is cooked, fluff it up gently with a fork. Cut a portion of the eggplant slices into cubes and mix through the pilaf for extra flavour.

  15. To serve, place a generous portion of the pilaf on a plate. Top it with the roasted eggplant finger slices.

  16. Garnish with additional chopped parsley and pomegranate arils and enjoy - you can pair it with a roast chicken and spicy yoghurt to make a complete meal!

Method

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