Eggplant and chickpeas with minted couscous


  • Serves 4 people

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tagine spice blend (see note)
  • 450 gm (about 1) eggplant, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 400 gm canned whole peeled tomatoes
  • 400 gm canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • To serve: thick natural yoghurt
  • Minted couscous
  • 300 gm (1½ cups) couscous
  • 40 gm (¼ cup) currants
  • 1 lemon, finely grated rind and juice only
  • 20 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) mint leaves
  • 20 gm (¼ cup) flaked almonds, toasted
01   Heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add onion, garlic and tagine spice blend and cook until onion starts to soften (about 5 minutes). Add eggplant and 1 cup water, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover and cook until eggplant is soft (about 10 minutes). Add tomato, breaking up with a spoon, and chickpeas. Cook uncovered for another 2 minutes to heat through.
02   Meanwhile, combine couscous, currants and lemon rind in a bowl. Pour over 1½ cups boiling water, cover with plastic wrap and stand until water is absorbed and couscous is tender (about 5 minutes). Add butter, then fluff grains using a fork. Add mint leaves, almonds and season to taste with lemon juice, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve couscous with spiced eggplant and yoghurt to the side.
Note Tagine spice blend is made up of cumin, coriander, white pepper and a dash of cinnamon. It’s available from Herbie’s Spices or you can substitute with any good Moroccan spice mix.







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