Middle Eastern rice wrapped in Eggplant, Vegan/gluten free
Hellooo beautiful people, and a BIG welcome to all the new members.
I have made another Middle Eastern dish for you, surprise surprise. (I actually made it a while ago but forgot to post, better late then never)
This dish is usually made with meat or chicken, but I prefer to make it meatless.
This dish looks really impressive and looks like hard work, but it’s quiet easy to make. If you like/love Middle Eastern spices, nuts and eggplant, then get ready to rock and roll, because this is your dish.
You can make this dish mild in flavour or you can go to town with the spices. I have written quantities but you can use half the amount of spices or double the amount, depending on your pallet.
Same for the nuts: go nuts with the nuts if that’s what floats your boat. You can use your favourite ones because there are no rules and you choose the quantities. Ingredients below are a rough guide only. I’m nuts about nuts so I use a variety of them and lots.
It was really hard for me to describe the method I hope it makes sense. Feel free to contact me if you want further instructions.
Highly recommend this dish!
Ingredients for eggplant
2 eggplants sliced length ways
1-2 tablespoons oil or oil spray
For the rice
1 Spanish onion, diced
2 cups rice
1&1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon all spice
1 teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup assorted nuts
Pepper to taste
1/4 cup assorted nuts
1/4 cup sultanas
Handful of continental parsley roughly chopped
Pre-heat the oven to 180c
Slice eggplant into thinnish slices and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Spray the eggplant with oil or brush each slice with a little oil. Cook in the oven until golden brown in colour: approx. 20-25 minutes.
While the eggplant is cooking, you can make the rice.
In a pot, fry the onions with 1 tablespoon oil until golden brown. Stir in the rice, the salt and the spices and cook rice the way you would usually do. Once rice is cooked stir in 3/4 cup nuts and set aside.
In a round 22cm springform cake tin lined with baking paper. Arrange the prepared eggplant by placing one end of each slice near the centre of the cake tin, lay it on the bottom until you come to the side and then let it continue up until the other end is hanging over the edge of the tin. You will wind up with about a third of each slice at the bottom of the cake tin, the middle third along the wall of the cake tin and the final third hanging down over the outside of the cake tin. Place the next slice of eggplant over lapping the first slice and repeat along the cake tin. There will remain an empty space in the centre of the cake tin. Just cover it up with eggplant.
Set aside 1 1/4 cups of cooked rice and fill the eggplant covered interior of the cake tin with the remaining rice. Finally, fold the hanging eggplant to cover rice. If the eggplant doesn’t cover the entire rice on top that’s ok. If you have any left over eggplant then use the left over spies to cover.
You can turn the cake tin upside down onto a serving dish and release the spring. Remove the baking paper and spoon the rice you set aside on top of the eggplant dish.
In a small bowl mix the sultanas and 1/4 cup mixed and throw on top of rice. Garnish with parsley and serve.