No changes are needed to “veggie-up” this traditional dish that hails from the capital Algiers. It’s already vegetarian and is packed with fresh flavours so it’s as tasty as they come.
- 4 aubergines
- 1 cup of rice
- 1 cup of chickpeas (tinned, or soaked and boiled)
- 2 teaspoons of caraway
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 bunch of coriander
- 1 lemon
- Olive oil
- Cut your aubergines into small cubes and fry gently in olive oil until golden on all sides. Cook in batches if necessary to ensure that all of the aubergine is evenly cooked.
- Crush the garlic and add to the dish, cooking for a few more minutes.
- Add the paprika and caraway, then the chickpeas and rice. Cover with boiling water from the kettle and add salt to taste.
- Cook for around 10-15 minutes until the rice is tender, adding more water from the kettle if necessary to stop the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Adjust the seasoning and garnish with chopped coriander and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with lots of fresh bread.
If you can bear to break with old habits, resist the urge to peel your aubergines. The nutrients in most vegetables are most concentrated just beneath the skin and are lost during peeling. Plus, the skins will add colour, flavour and fibre to the dish. Just scrub your aubergines thoroughly before use!