Henry & Ian’s Lebanese Stuffed Aubergines
Henry Firth & Ian Theasby (Bosh!)
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
2 tbsp harissa paste (leave out or use half if you aren't a big spice fan)
handful of flaked almonds
1 fresh red chilli (leave out if not a fan of spice)
handful of fresh mint
handful of fresh coriander
80g pomegranate seeds
For the stuffing:
2 tbsp olive oil
200g soya mince (you can use regular mince if not vegan)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
For the tahini dressing:
1 tbsp dried mint
Veg Portions / Serving: 2
Speedy BOSH! by Henry Firth & Ian Theasby is out 17th September (HQ, HarperCollins). / Food photography credit: Lizzie Mayson / Headshot credit: Nicky Johnston.
A cheeky twist on the classic dish Imam Biyaldi, these stuffed aubergines are to die for. Imam Biyaldi roughly translates to ‘The priest fainted’, and folklore tells us that a priest was so impressed by the dish upon first eating it that he swooned. Our version is definitely delicious enough to make a holy man topple… The mince and onion stuffing browns brilliantly and packs a spicy punch, while the traditional tahini and mint dressing cools the whole thing down. If you’re a fan of aubergine, this is a must-try! We prefer to use a new, tasty brand of plant-based mince for this, available chilled in most good supermarkets.
Grill the aubergine • Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and lay them flesh-side up on the baking tray • Score the flesh in a crisscross pattern, being careful not to pierce the skin • Brush the scored flesh with the harissa paste and sprinkle with salt • Place under the hot grill to cook until soft, about 13–15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the stuffing mixture • Add the olive oil to the hot frying pan • Peel and dice the onion and add it to the pan • Cook for 4 minutes until soft • While the onions are cooking, hydrate the soya mince according to the packet instructions • Drain, pressing the mince with the back of a spoon to remove excess water • Add the mince and the ground spices to the onions and cook until golden and fragrant • Taste and season to perfection.
Make the dressing • Combine the tahini, mint and water in a bowl • Cut the lemon in half and squeeze in the juice • Whisk to a pouring consistency, adding extra tahini if the mixture is too loose, or extra water if it’s too thick • Taste and season with a little salt, to taste.
Serve • Take the tray out of the oven and transfer the aubergines to a serving dish • Tip the flaked almonds onto the tray and toast very briefly under the grill • Finely slice the chilli and tear the leaves from the fresh herbs • Tip the spiced stuffing mixture over the aubergines • Drizzle with the tahini dressing • Scatter over the herbs, chilli, pomegranate seeds and toasted flaked almonds, then serve.
Kids in the kitchen:
Let the kids brush the aubergines before grilling. Have them make the tahini dressing and help you plate it all up.
Dr Clare Bailey and Justine Pattison
Jeanette Orrey MBE