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Try this Persian aubergine bake, then check out more aubergine recipes such as our za’atar roasted aubergines.

Ingredients

  • 150ml olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp, plus 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 6 really large ones or 8 medium aubergines
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 500g tomatoes, roughly copped
  • 100g dates, stones removed and diced
  • 100ml pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 680g jar passata
  • 200g walnuts
  • a small bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 400g barrel-aged feta

Method

  • STEP 1

    Whisk the olive oil with the lemon juice, 2 tsp cumin seeds, sumac and oregano, plus some salt and pepper. Slice the aubergines into 1cm-thick slices and brush with the herby oil mixture.

  • STEP 2

    Heat a griddle pan over a medium heat and fry the aubergine slices in batches for around 10 minutes per batch – don’t let the pan get too hot. You want them nicely charred but also cooked through.

  • STEP 3

    Once all the aubergines are cooked, tip any remaining oil and the spices into a casserole (if there’s no oil, add 1 tbsp). Add the garlic and 1 tbsp of cumin seeds, and fry gently until fragrant. Stir in the coriander, ground cumin and cinnamon for 30 seconds, followed by the tomatoes. Fry for 5 minutes, then add the dates, pomegranate molasses, honey and passata. Rinse out the passata jar with 250ml of water and add this to the pan too. Simmer for 20 minutes until thickened. Finely chop 1/2 the walnuts and stir into the sauce with the parsley, and some seasoning, and cook for another 5 minutes.

  • STEP 4

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. In a deep baking dish or tin, layer the aubergines with spoonfuls of the sauce between each layer. When you’re roughly halfway, break over 300g of feta in chunks, then layer over the rest of the aubergines and sauce until it’s all used up. Roughly chop half the remaining walnuts and scatter over with the whole ones, and crumble over the remaining feta.

  • STEP 5

    Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the sauce is bubbling fiercely, and the edges are crisping up.

Check out more of the best aubergine recipes

Fish-fragrant aubergines

*This recipe is gluten-free according to industry standards

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