Aubergine pilaf with crispy halloumi

Aubergine pilaf with crispy halloumi

  • serves 4
  • Easy

A vegetarian's dream, this midweek winner with aubergine chunks, rice seasoned with ras el hanout, shards of golden halloumi and sesame seeds, is ready and on the table in 35 minutes


Make this aubergine pilaf with crispy halloumi, then check out our golden pilaf rice and chicken pilaf. Looking for more aubergine recipes? Try our aubergine lasagnevegan aubergine curry and aubergine chilli.



  • aubergines 2, cut into 2cm chunks
  • ras el hanout 2 tbsp, plus 1 tsp
  • olive oil 3 tbsp
  • vegetable stock 450ml, hot
  • saffron a pinch
  • onion 1, thinly sliced
  • garlic 2 cloves, crushed
  • cumin seeds 1 tsp
  • basmati rice 300g, washed
  • halloumi 225g block
  • sesame seeds 1 tsp
  • yogurt to serve (optional)


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Toss the aubergines with 1 tbsp of the ras el hanout and 1½ tbsp of the oil on a baking sheet and season well. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden and softened. Mix the hot stock with the saffron in a jug and leave to infuse.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a deep casserole over a medium-high heat. Fry the onions for 10-15 minutes or until golden and crisp. Scoop out with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper, leaving the oil in the pan. Add the garlic, cumin, 1 tbsp of ras el hanout and sizzle for 1 min, then stir in the rice, to coat in the oil and spices. Add the stock and some seasoning, and stir briefly, then put on the lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to steam for another 5 minutes.

  • Step 3

    While the pilaf is steaming, cut the halloumi into shards, and heat the remaining ½ tbsp of oil in a non-stick frying pan. Fry the halloumi for 1-2 minutes until crisp and golden, then flip and cook for another minute. Sprinkle over the remaining 1 tsp of ras el hanout, along with the sesame seeds, and toss to coat the halloumi.

  • Step 4

    Fluff up the pilaf with a fork, then stir in the roasted aubergines and golden onions. Serve topped with the crispy halloumi and a dollop of yogurt, if you like.

Check out our best halloumi recipes

Hasselback halloumi traybake

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 598
  • Fat 24.8g
  • Saturates 11.2g
  • Carbs 65.4g
  • Sugars 8.2g
  • Fibre 10.5g
  • Protein 22.9g
  • Salt 2.5g