1 large aubergine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
200g tinned brown lentils, drained + rinsed
2 tbsp tomato paste
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp smoked paprika powder
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
10g pine nuts
salt and pepper
For the rice:
160g basmati rice
25g butter, melted
a pinch of saffron threats
2 tbsp dill, chopped
1 tbsp tarragon, chopped
20g pistachios, chopped
150g Greek yoghurt
½ preserved lemon
1 small garlic clove
Serves 2 – Prep: 1h – Oven: 1h 20 min
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.
Cut the aubergine lengthways in half, then cut a criss-cross pattern in the aubergine flesh. Put in a roasting tin and brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until nicely browned.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the onion. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion on a medium heat for 8 minutes until soft and browned. Peel and crush the garlic and add to the onion for the last minute of frying.
Add the lentils, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, spices, parsley and pine nuts. Add a tablespoon of water and fry for a couple of minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and set aside.
When the aubergines are out of the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 170°C.
Lightly tear open the aubergine flesh with two forks. Distribute the lentils all over the two aubergine halves.
In a jug, mix 200ml water with the remaining tablespoon of tomato paste and a pinch of salt, and pour this in the bottom of the roasting tin with the aubergines. Close the tin tightly with foil and bake the aubergines for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes, so that the lentils become a bit crispy.
While the aubergines are baking, prepare the yoghurt and the rice.
Put the yoghurt in a bowl. Remove and discard the flesh from the preserved lemon. Finely chop the lemon rind and add to the yoghurt. Peel and crush the garlic clove and add to the yoghurt, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Put in a saucepan with the water, the melted butter and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed (check rice package instructions).
Meanwhile, put the saffron in a little bowl and crush with a spoon. Add two tablespoons of just-boiled water and leave to infuse. Once the rice is cooked, pour over the saffron water, then top the saucepan with a clean teatowel, put the lid back on and leave to steam for 10 minutes.
Fluff the steamed rice up with a fork and fold through the dill, tarragon and pistachios.
Before serving, sprinkle each aubergine half with pomegranate seeds and parsley, and serve with a generous portion of rice and a dollop of lemon yoghurt.