Indy Power: Aubergine with Smokey Chickpeas and Tahini
This smokey chickpea and aubergine main will even satisfy the meat-eaters out there
Aubergine with Smokey Chickpeas & Tahini
If anybody ever tells you that vegetable mains aren't as good, make them this. It will win them over.
Serves 4. Gluten free and vegan.
2 cloves of garlic, whole
4 tbsp of olive oil
2 tsp of smoked paprika
1 tsp of cumin
2 shallots, diced
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
2 tbsp of tomato purée
Fresh dill & coriander
For the sauce:
3 tbsp of tahini
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
75ml of water
Sea salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Slice the aubergines in half lengthways and drizzle olive oil over them, use your hands to coat them evenly. Place them on a roasting tray skin side up. Add the garlic cloves, still in their skin. Season with salt and pepper and roast for about 20 minutes until the aubergine skins are starting to char.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pan on medium heat. Add in the spices and let them sizzle for a minute. Add in the shallots and cook for a few minutes until starting to soften. Add in the chickpeas and tomato purée and cook, tossing often, for about 10 minutes.
Flip the aubergines and remove the garlic and set it aside. Cook the aubergines for another 5 minutes until completely tender.
While they're cooking, squeeze the garlic from its skin and add it to a bowl with the tahini, lemon zest and juice and water. Mix well until smooth and season with salt and pepper.
Score the aubergine flesh and serve them with the sauce generously poured over them and the chickpeas piled on top. Garnish with chopped dill and coriander.
Tried this recipe?
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Bit on the side...
My favourite way to have this dish is with a side of Greek salad and creamy hummus - I like mine super smooth and make a batch every week. Check out the 'Next Level Hummus' on thelittlegreenspoon.com for my recipe.
I always joke that I now love all the foods I used to hate - ketchup and anchovies are the only ones left on my black list (there's no convincing me). Dill is one that I always remember disliking when I was growing up and now it's one of my favourite herbs. It has such a unique, strong flavour and has so much more to offer than just seasoning for your pickles and smoked salmon. I love using it to garnish dishes like this for an instant hit of freshness and colour but it's also known for it's natural medicinal properties. The essential oils in dill stimulate the secretion of bile and digestive enzymes, helping to promote good digestion and relieve constipation. The flavonoids present in the essential oils are also known to help reduce menstrual cramps, and it's a carminative which means that it reduces gas formation, and is a popular home remedy for hiccups.
Middle Eastern food is one of my favourite cuisines. All my favourite flavours - lemon, garlic, sesame etc - are in there and I never get bored of them. My husband and I often get falafel wraps on weekends and a few weeks ago we stumbled across the best ones we've ever had at the Lebanese Tapas stall in Dublin's Blackrock Market (blackrockmarket.com). It's a small corner shop with grilled and roasted veg, olives and salads piled high on the counter. Everything looks so good that we don't even ask what of it goes into the wrap. We've been back the last few weekends and it's always just as good as the first time.