This fragrant and tasty Eggplant Mujaddara is a simple Middle Eastern dish of lentils and rice, topped with eggplant (aubergine) and dill. Ready in just 40 minutes, it’s vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free.
We can all get stuck in food ruts sometimes, reaching for the same old faithful meals particularly when we’ve had a long day or are pressed for time. One great solution is recipe boxes. They’ve absolutely surged in popularity over the past year, so I’m sure you’re aware of how they work: you choose the meals you want online and a week later a box of portioned ingredients and recipes to follow arrives on your doorstep, waiting to be cooked. No shopping, no wondering what to cook. And a part that I particularly like: no food waste.
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Marley Spoon have done this so well. They sent me three meals to try and they were all healthy and made with fresh ingredients. They were also easy to veganise by just substituting yogurt or cheese for vegan versions that I had in the fridge.
One thing that I really liked was that Marley Spoon have step-by-step pictures in the recipe, making it so easy to cook. The box comes insulated with upcycled sheep’s wool, and inside are separate recyclable paper bags for each meal that contain all you need for each one.
In addition to this amazing, fragrant Spiced Aubergine Mujaddara from Olia Hercules for Marley Spoon, we tried flatbread pizzas and cherry tomato spaghetti. Both meals were really quick to prepare and the portions were so big that there was plenty for us to have leftovers for lunch the next day. The flavours were so good and the recipes weren’t complicated. I will definitely be ordering these boxes again in the very near future.
A delicious and quick meal of broccoli, Kalamata olive and pine nut pizzas on fluffy clouds of Lebanese flatbreads, with radicchio salad. So delicious!
The humble Middle Eastern dish of lentils and rice has made a comeback as a simple but flavourful meal that can be jazzed up with delicious trimmings. Olia’s version of the pilaf is combined with spiced, roasted aubergine rounds and topped with natural yoghurt, fresh dill and golden, crispy shallots.
Olia Hercules' Spiced Eggplant Mujaddara
- 2 eggplants (aubergines) sliced into 1/2" thick rounds
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 shallots peeled and thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup (150g) uncooked rice
- 1/2 cup (150g) plain yogurt (dairy or vegan yogurt)
- small handful dill
- 15 oz (400g) can of brown or green lentils drained and rinsed
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- olive oil
- salt black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 430F / 220C. Heat 1tbsp of olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat, add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon and rice and cook for 1min or until the spices release their aroma. Stir, so the rice is coated in the spices.
- Cook the rice - Add 350ml of cold water and 1/2tsp of salt to the spice saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and cook on a low heat, without stirring, for 15mins or until the water is absorbed.
- Then gently stir in the drained lentils with a fork and leave to rest with the lid on for 5-8mins.
- Cook aubergines - Meanwhile, brush the eggplant slices generously with olive oil, sprinkle over the garam masala and season well with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for 10mins. Then flip them over and cook for another 5-8mins or until soft.
- Fry shallots - Meanwhile, heat 5tbsp of vegetable oil in a small frying pan and shallow fry the shallots on medium heat, stirring often for 2-3mins until dark golden. Lift with a slotted spoon or some tongs and drain on kitchen paper.
- Serve - Use a fork to fluff up the lentils and rice. Roughly chop the dill and stir 1/2 through the rice. Serve the eggplants on top of the rice, drizzle over some yoghurt, top with the crispy shallots and the remaining dill.
Make it gluten-free: this recipe is naturally gluten-free.
Recipe for aubergine mujaddara by Olia Hercules for Marley Spoon Photography by Alex Freundorfer