Iranian stuffed aubergines with coconut and almond sauce
For the spice mix
For the aubergines
- 3 medium aubergines
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely sliced
- 1 green pepper, diced finely
- 60 ml/2fl oz orange juice
- 100g/3½oz chickpeas, cooked weight
- 150g/5oz roasted cashews
- 100g/3½oz dried apricots
- 100g/3½oz dates, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp of fresh coriander, chopped
- salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas7.
Cut the aubergines in half lengthways, place on a roasting tray cut side uppermost and cover with silver foil
Roast in the preheated oven until soft and cooked through (about 30 minutes). Leave the aubergines to cool, then scoop out the middles leaving enough flesh for support. Coarsely chop the innards and set aside.
Re-hydrate the apricots in boiling water for 30 minutes, then finely chop.
Fry the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and chilli and stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the spice mix and stir-fry until fragrant. Add the green pepper and orange juice, stir well. Fry until the pepper is soft.
Roast or toast the cashews - be careful they don t burn.
Mix the cashews with the cooked chickpeas, chopped apricots, chopped dates and diced tomatoes.
Add the cashew mix to the onion spice mix along with the chopped aubergine innards, lemon juice, coriander, salt and lots of black pepper. Reserve some coriander for the garnish.
Pile the filling into the aubergine skins and bake for 15 minutes.
For the coconut and almond sauce: Gently fry the onion in the margarine until soft, add the garlic and ginger and fry very gently. Make sure the onion and the garlic don t brown as this will ruin the colour of the sauce.
Add the spices, stir into the onion mixture, then add the coconut milk, water and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Take off the heat and remove the cinnamon stick
Add the ground almonds, lime zest, juice and a pinch of salt.
Blend the sauce in a liquidizer. Check the seasoning.
Serve the aubergine, garnished with fresh coriander with the coconut and almond sauce and a green salad.