Wednesday, October 21, 2015

875. North African Aubergines and Couscous

While this vegetarian dish is not necessarily be authentically North African, the flavor combinations in it most certainly are. Preserved limes, briny olives, sweet sultanas, fresh coriander and mint, cooling yogurt, earthy cumin, nuttiness and the indisputable couscous among others.
Chermoula (شرمولة) is a seasoning commonly used in North African cuisine imparting intense flavor from its combination of preserved lemon or lime, spices, olive oil, and others. Aubergine halves are brushed with this marinade and baked, and then topped with a richly seasoned and flavored couscous.


For the chermoula:
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp preserved lime, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 whole medium aubergines

For the couscous:
1 cup couscous
1/4 cup sultanas
1/4 cup coriander, chopped
1/4 cup mint, chopped
1/2 cup olives, sliced
1/3 cup flaked almonds, toasted
2 spring onions, sliced
1 lemon, juice
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup yogurt, to serve


Preheat the oven to 350F.
To make the chermoula, mix together the garlic, cumin, coriander, chilli, paprika, preserved lemon, half cup olive oil and half a teaspoon of salt.
Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and score the flesh of each half with diagonal, crisscross lines, making sure not to pierce the skin.
Spoon the chermoula over each half, spreading it evenly, and place on a baking sheet.
Roast for 45-55 minutes, or until the aubergines are very soft.
Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large bowl and cover with 1 cup boiling water and cover with cling film the bowl; set aside for 10 minutes.
Fluff the cooked couscous with a fork and stir in the sultanas, herbs, olives, almonds, spring onions, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, taste and add more salt, if necessary.
Serve the aubergines warm or at room temperature.
Place one half-aubergine per portion on a serving plate, spoon couscous on top, allowing some to fall over the sides, spoon over a little yogurt, sprinkle with chopped coriander and finish with a dribble of olive oil.

 صحة و عافية


Abida said...

As salami alaikum Maryam. I love the sound of the tang of the chermoula and briny olives contrasting with the sultanas in the couscous. A great weeknight dinner!

Maryam Mohammed said...

Wa alaikum al salam Abida! Indeed, it is a very intense dish in its flavor. And it's vegetarian to boot.