The truth is you didn’t owe me a recipe, I owed you one! Apologies for its grave delay. I’ve been wanting to send you another recipe from the Moro cookbook as you have actually been there now, but with moving house I haven’t found myself fully kitchen-equipped for some time. Anyway here it finally is. I had to dig the book out from the bottom of a box and everything.
1 large or 2 small aubergines
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic clothes, thinly sliced
1/3 tsp ground allspice
1x400g tin plum tomatoes, mashed and broken up until smooth
150g basmati rice, washed and soaked in salted water for three hours
1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
To prepare the aubergines, cut off the stalks and then slice each into 3cm cubes. Toss the aubergine in one heaped teaspoon of fine sea salt and leave for 20 minutes in a colander. The salt makes for a far softer and more delicious aubergine later.
Preheat the oven to 230°c.
Melt the butter and one tablespoon of the olive oil in a saucepan large enough to cook the rice. Gently fry the garlic until light brown, then add the allspice and tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile shake the aubergines and dry with kitchen paper. Toss them with the remaining olive oil and spread out on a baking tray. Roast for 15 minutes in the oven until golden and soft.
Stir the rice into the tomato and add just enough water to cover the rice by 5mm. Season with a little salt and pepper. Add the roasted aubergines, and cover with greaseproof paper and then a lid. Bring to the boil over a medium to high heat and cook fast for 2 minutes then turn down the heat to medium to low and cook for another 8 minutes. Let the rice sit for 5 minutes before serving with the parsley on top. At Moro we serve this rice with grilled chicken or lamb.
I started too late to soak the rice so I just cooked it – not sure what that does to the integrity of the dish – mine came out risotto-esque but who knows what you’ll get! I added some lemon juice (sacrilege?) and reckon it’d be good with chilli flakes too.
Image found here