Stuffed Aubergines with Pomegranate and Mint

Aubergines, or Eggplant as they are known in English, are one of the more uninteresting of vegetables when it comes to taste, but they are quite spectacular-looking and are one of the most eminently stuffable of any. Large and deep purple in colour, they can be hollowed out and stuffed with an almost endless variety of ingredients in all sorts of combinations. This particular example uses pomegranate molasses, cumin and fresh mint, as well as yoghurt, giving it a rather ottoman taste. Take care with the molasses; a little goes a long way.

 

Ingredients.

1 large aubergine.

½ cup plain yoghurt.

2 tsp pomegranate molasses.

A little olive oil.

250g beef or lamb mince.

1 tsp cumin powder.

Salt and pepper to taste.

3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped.

½ cup red wine.

2 tblsp sesame oil.

A little more sesame oil.

½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves.

 

Method.

Slice the aubergine in two lengthwise and hollow the two halves out using a spoon or a melon baller, taking not to penetrate the outer skin, leaving two boat-shaped halves. The walls should be about 10mm thick all around. Finely chop and reserve the pulp, and set aside. In a small bowl, beat the yoghurt and molasses together until evenly mixed. Set aside.

Heat a little oil in a wide pan over a hot flame. Brown the mince all over and add the cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Add the garlic, the aubergine pulp, and the wine. Stir well and reduce the heat. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the liquor at the bottom is almost gone. Add the sesame oil, stir through and cook gently for another 5 minutes. Remove from the element.

Drizzle a little sesame oil in the aubergine boats. Line the bottoms with the chopped mint then spoon the meat mixture on top, tamping down to make sure it is reasonably solid. Using a small spatula, smear the tops of the aubergine boats with the yoghurt mixture until they are fully covered. Place on an oven tray.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the aubergine boats in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Serve immediately with salad and rice on the side.

 

Serves: 2.

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