Sunday, 22 November 2009

Aubergine Moussaka

This is a great recipe - a good moussaka with a lebanese theme according nigella.  I think the addition of the chick peas makes it a bit more middle eastern, as does the use of pomegranate molasses.  However, given that i was at wittering rather than home in london, this was a bit tricky to find.  I had to use dark sugar with a squeeze of lemon as a substitute which seemed to work.

- Peel 500g aubergines in lengthways stripes, cut into 1.5cm cubes and saute for a few mins in 3 tablespoons olive oil.
- Remove to a dish covered in kitchen roll.
- Add 2 more tablespoons olive oil and saute 1-2 thinly sliced onions and 10 cloves thickly sliced garlic for about 5 mins until soft.
- Add 150g chickpeas (don't use the whole 200g tin or they will dominate) and cook for another 5 mins.
- Add 1 1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses and return the aubergines to the pan.
- Peel and quarter 500g tomatoes and add to the pan together with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 200ml water.
- Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 1 hour.
- Serve sprinkled with parsley or coriander.

We had this a couple of times, once with the couscous, which didn't really do the moussaka justice, so the second time, i made some fresh chappatis which were perfect with it.

The chappati recipe i got, not from nigella, but from a guide on a 2 day camel trek in the Great Thar Desert in India.  In the middle of the dunes, he got out a small bag of flour, added a bit of salt and water to it, and gently kneaded it for a few mins.  Then he flattened it out as thin as possible into small chappatis, heated a metal pan over the fire until very hot, then cooked them without oil for a couple of mins on each side.

I have used this method of making bread many times since, and its as easy as bread making gets.  Whether or not, you've ever made bread before, i suggest you give it a go.

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