This delicious tagine has unmistakable Middle Eastern and Turkish notes influenced by the nation’s history of invasion. Served with toasted flatbreads and a salad, this tagine is both warming and nourishing.
Roasted Aubergine, Tomato and Chickpea Tagine with Yoghurt
2-3 tbsp ghee or smen, or 1 tbsp olive oil plus 1 tbsp butter
2 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 cinnamon sticks
2 aubergines, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1-2 dried red chillies, finely chopped
8-10 cherry or baby plum tomatoes, halved
1-2 tsp sugar
2 tsp dried thyme
a 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp thick, creamy yoghurt
freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
dried mint, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
Heat the ghee in the base of a tagine or in a heavy-based casserole, stir in the cumin seeds and cinnamon sticks and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Toss in the aubergines, cover and transfer the tagine to the preheated oven. Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning the aubergines once or twice in the ghee and spices during cooking, until tender and golden brown.
Remove the tagine from the oven and toss in the garlic, chilli and tomatoes. Sprinkle the sugar over the top, then return the tagine to the oven for a further 15 minutes. Remove from the oven again, toss in the thyme, chickpeas and preserved lemon, and season well with salt and pepper. Return the tagine to the oven for 10 minutes.
In a bowl, beat together the yoghurt and lemon juice. Drizzle the yoghurt over the tagine, then sprinkle a little dried mint over the top to garnish before serving.
Extracted from The Modern Tagine Cookbook by Ghillie Basan (Ryland Peters & Small, €12.95). Photography © Ryland Peters & Small.