Discover a gorgeous way to serve your eggplant/aubergines! Roasted in spices and then mixed with a creamy dressing with rocket leaves with crunchy honey pumpkin seeds. Goodness on a plate!
Today started off as a good day. We went to one of my favourite cafes in Auckland called ‘Bestie’. It’s a relatively new cafe and serves amazing, tasty, fresh and inventive food. Any day that starts of with a yummy breakfast is a good day in my book! It is going to be one of my first cafe write ups so look out for it on my site soon.
We are heading into Summer at the moment so finally eggplants/aubergines are starting to come down in price. Yay! So now is a great time to start making lots of delicious eggplant/aubergine recipes. And believe me I will. I love eggplant/aubergine.
Did you know that eggplant/aubergine is actually a fruit? In fact it’s a berry! Hands up if you are confused by this. My hand is up! I had no idea that this was the case until I was doing a bit of very quick google research for this recipe. I just assumed it was a vegetable, but nope, it’s a berry! Feel free to use that fruity fact in conversation to look like a big smarty pants 🙂
One of the other semi interesting things is that it has 2 commonly used names, which is why I keep putting eggplant/aubergine! I am more comfortable calling it aubergine as I’ve spent a large part of my adult life living in Europe. But of course here in New Zealand we call it eggplant. So, I guess I will choose eggplant from here on in . . . so eggplant it is!
When choosing your eggplant go for the ones with firm, glossy skin. Size and colour are very different among types, but they should feel heavy.
This recipe doesn’t really contain any tricky elements. It’s all pretty straight forward so I don’t think it will be too hard for anyone to throw together with limited time. Also, it contains a lot of spices, so even though the list of ingredients looks large, if you take a closer look you will see that the majority of them are just pantry staple spices and herbs. Good stuff!
This is a gorgeous, flavoursome, creamy, chewy, dinner delight. It’s quick and easy to make and shouldn’t break the bank.
- 2 egg plants/aubergines chopped into 2 cm cubes
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 clove garlic, minced (leave out if you prefer)
- ¼ cup olive oil (60 ml)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 Tbsp honey or agave syrup
- 4 large handfuls of fresh rocket/arugula leaves, washed
- juice of 1 lemon or lime
- For the dressing:
- 1 cup plain yoghurt (use hummus if making vegan)
- ½ tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup fresh coriander/cilantro, chopped
- 2 Tbsp chilli sauce (you can use a sweet chilli sauce if you like, if you use a sweet sauce then do not add the honey/agave syrup)
- 4 drops honey/agave syrup (or more to your taste)
- **If you are making vegan then replace the yoghurt with hummus and don't add the additional garlic. Add a splash of water to make it a sauce consistency.**
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Toast your coriander and cumin seeds together by putting into a frying pan (with no oil) and dry frying until there is a nice aroma. Remove from the hot pan.
- Put your toasted spices into a pestle and mortar (or grinder) along with the smoked paprika, curry powder, chilli flakes, ground cumin and salt. Grind.
- Tip the spices into a large bowl with the oil and garlic and mix well.
- Add the eggplant/aubergine pieces to the bowl and make sure that they are completely covered with the oil/spice mix.
- Place the eggplant/aubergine pieces on a large oven tray and cook, in the oven, until just turning brown (about 25 minutes).
- Meanwhile put all of your dressing ingredients into a bowl and whisk together. Season with salt and pepper and place in the fridge until needed.
- Toast your pumpkin seeds by placing them into a dry frying pan and toasting over a fairly high heat. when they start turning brown stir in 1 tablespoon of honey/agave syrup and stir quickly so that all of the seeds are covered in honey/agave syrup. Remove from the pan and then leave on a plate until needed.
- When your eggplant/aubergine pieces are cooked remove from the oven, allow to cool and season.
- Grab a large platter and assemble your dish by placing a layer of eggplant/aubergine on the platter and covering with a layer of rocket/arugula leaves, then some dressing. Repeat the layers.
- Finish with some large dollops of the dressing and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the top.
- Garnish with fresh coriander/cilantro and a squeeze of lemon/lime juice.