PREP TIME: 15mins
COOKING TIME: 30mins
This dish is impossible to resist! Chermoula is a North African spice paste which I used here to create a Middle Eastern take on a Italian Caponata with the combination of tangy, sweet and fresh which I like. This was a Adre’s Kitchen early creation and one that I have enjoyed ever since. My easy Egyptian Dukkah would be a good addition to this. For best results make a day before ensuring the flavours develop.
Serve as part of a mezze platter/spread with
Would also be lovely topped on some roasted sweet potatoes or alongside a big tray of roasted vegetables.
Dukkah would be excellent sprinkled on this
Serve warm or at room temperature
- 2 aubergines, trimmed and cut into 5cm cubes
- 1 large red onion (brown is fine) cut in half and thinly sliced into half moons
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and cut lengthways into thin strips
- 1 x 400g canned chopped tomatoes
- 1 small bunch (30g) parsley – finely chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sweet smoked Spanish paprika
- handful plump raisins
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2-4 tablespoons honey
We are going to work in batches here
- Heat a good glug of olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the aubergines and saute until golden brown*, you might need to add a bit more oil halfway through if the aubergines looks like it sticking to the pot. Season generously and once browned and golden remove from the pan and set aside.
- Reduce the heat slightly and add the onion slices and cook until golden (taking care not to burn), the best way to avoid this is by constantly stirring them.
- Once your onions are golden, add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon and paprika and stir
- Add the pepper strips and continue to cook until the peppers are softening and no longer raw.
- Add the raisins and chopped tomatoes, half the red wine vinegar, sugar and honey.
- Now is a good time to taste the mixture and season well with the remaining red wine, salt or tad more honey.
- Increase the heat and stir the mixture constantly for a minute or two to make sure the mixture is nice and hot
- Reduce the temperature to low and slowly cook until the mixture is meltingly soft – about 20minutes – let the mixture cool slightly and then season again looking for the perfect combination of sweet, salty and tangy
- Once cooled stir in the parsley *
You could mash the mixture with potato masher if you prefer a stewy mixture
*see kitchen note on how to cook aubergines
HOW TO COOK AUBERGINES
Aubergines will go brown when you cut them, to avoid discolouration, cut just before cooking. In the past, recipes called for aubergines to be sliced and salted before cooking to reduce their bitterness. As modern varieties are much less bitter that’s no longer necessary, BUT aubergines like oil! if you’re planning to fry them; aubergines soak up oil like a sponge and salting helps reduce that, sprinkle the raw sliced aubergines with salt and leave it to ‘sit’ for a while. The salt will draw out the moisture and will help the aubergine soak up less oil.
more on Aubergines here
Recipe adapted from Persiana