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Baked aubergine with cumin and yoghurt sauce

Course Main Dish, Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author Ramona Sebastian

Ingredients

  • 1 aubergines
  • 400 g cooked chickpeas
  • 1 pinch chilli flakes
  • 250 g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp cumin powder (shared between sauce, aubergine and chickpeas) * use more if want
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (crushed and chopped)
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for cooking
  • 1 tbsp salt plus one pinch for the sauce
  • 1/2 lemon organic small unwaxed (its juice and zest)
  • 4-5 springs fresh herbs (see recipe notes)
  • 1/5 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions

  • Prepare the aubergines ahead by washing them cutting them in half lengthways. Carefully score them with criss-cross cuts and sprinkle most of the salt over (leave just one pinch of salt for your yoghurt sauce) and put aside for 20-30 min.
  • Meanwhile prepare the yoghurt sauce by taking a bowl out and mixing the yoghurt with the cumin powder, the lemon juice, crushed garlic, half of the lemon zest (keep the remainder for sprinkling over) pepper and a pinch of salt.
  • Prepare your chickpeas by taking them out of the can, rinse and place in a pan over medium heat with 1 tsp of olive oil. Cook for 3 minutes shaking the pan every now and again so the chickpeas coat in olive oil evenly. Sprinkle some salt, one pinch of cumin powder, one of turmeric powder and a tiny one of cayenne pepper. Cook for a further 3 minutes.
  • Turn oven on now and preheat at 180C.
  • The aubergines should have released some juice. Carefully and very gently squeeze each aubergine to discard of those juices.
  • Brush each aubergine half with the olive oil, sprinkle some cumin powder and place them in a tray on baking paper. Repeat this with all 8 halves.
  • Roast for about 35-40 min at 190C until they have browned and softened nicely. They can also be grilled but best to slice them if you want them grilled.
  • Take the aubergines out dish out and sprinkle the chickpeas all over. To serve them drizzle the yoghurt sauce over and then sprinkle the chopped herbs.

Notes

• You can keep this as a vegetarian dish served with some herby couscous. It will serve 3-4 people as a main or 5-6 as a side dish depending very much on the size of aubergines.                                                                                                   • Add some pomegranate if you have to hand for an extra colour and subtle flavours. It makes the dish look absolutely superb.  I just didn't have any this time. • As herbs, the best to use are coriander or cilantro, dill, parsley and/or basil. I have also used 3-5 mint leaves finely chopped which can be sprinkled over or could be mixed in the yoghurt. It would be particularly delicious when eating this salad as a side to grilled or barbecued lamb.                                                           • As an alternative to cumin powder if not too keen on it, you could use any Paprika smoked or unsmoked, zaatar, or coriander powder.
grilled aubergine cumin yoghurt sauce