Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Spice Up Your Life!

Melanzane Semplice con Riso al Ras el Hanout Jaune & Crespelle
Simple Eggplants with Ras el Hanout Jaune & Barberry Rice

A lot less complicated than you may think, this is in fact a very simple dish, all made in one pan and finished in just half an hour... Just perfect for a weekday night!

This is a very mild dish, but tasty and aromatic with the lovely, yellow, Ras el Hanout "jaune" spice mix that I brought back from a Moroccan market in Marseille... Isn't travel a wonderful thing?


The other thing that made this special, of course, was the addition of the little, tangy, red, barberries that I picked up from a Persian spice merchant over here in Frankfurt, haha! all kidding aside, both ingredients are relatively easy to find and well worth having in the kitchen. Although, those little berries really DO need rinsing 4-5 times to get rid of the invisible dust that tends to cover them... You will see what I mean once you start rinsing them! But it's worth it!!!

To make 2 nice portions, I needed; 2 small eggplants, 1 lemon, 1/2 of a red onion, 1 small carrot, 1 1/2 cups of rice, 1 cup of barberries, 1 tablespoon of Ras el Hanout Jaune spice, salt, pepper, olive oil and some fresh mint and parsley.


Whether you serve up the eggplant separately, or mix it in with the rice, it is a beautiful dish... I had 2 so I took the liberty of trying both and can assure you that either is as good as the other! And both versions are equally pretty as you can see! So... How did I make this? Click onto the following pics and find out!


Preparing the vegetables was simple. I cut the eggplants in half and then scored them with deep cuts, sprinkled them with salt and set them to one side for 5 minutes. I halved the carrot and onion and then cut them into thin slices... And that was it! I was then ready to go!

I began by frying the eggplants face down in a little olive oil for 4-5 minutes to give them some nice color.


I fried them from both sides, just until they were golden brown and beginning to soften, then set them to one side and got busy with the rice.


I fried the rice, together with the carrot and onion and a few slices of lemon, in a little olive oil, until the rice was all nicely coated and translucent.


I then added enough boiling water to cover the rice by about 1" and added the barberries and spices. I stirred everything through, seasoned with salt and pepper and reduced the heat to a gentle simmer. I let the rice simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on and then placed the eggplants back on top of it. I replaced the lid and turned off the heat, allowing the rice and eggplant to finish cooking in the residual heat and steam, keeping all of the aroma right there in the pan until I was ready to serve.


With a generous scattering of fresh herbs and a good squeeze of lemon juice, my simple and yet slightly exotic little meal was ready... And it was totally delightful too!


And with as much flavor as it had color, this was not only a feast for the eyes!


Healthy, colorful and a whole lot of fun too! You know you want to try it... So just get into the kitchen and do it!

No comments:

Post a Comment