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Veggie Hairy Recipe: Aubergines stuffed with Freekah

2 large aubergines

1 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp cayenne

Generous pinch of saffron, soaked in a little water

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tomato, finely chopped

1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

150g freekah

Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

A handful of mint leaves, finely chopped

1 tsp preserved lemon, finely chopped

2 tbsp breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways, then cut out most of the flesh, making sure you leave a border of around ½ cm. Finely chop the aubergine flesh and set aside. Spray the aubergine shells with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put in a roasting tin and cover with foil. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until the aubergines are soft.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the red onion and aubergine flesh. Saute on a gentle heat for several minutes until soft, then add the garlic. Cook for a further couple of minutes, then add the spices, including the saffron, the lemon zest and juice, the tomato, the aubergine flesh and the pomegranate molasses. Add 100ml water and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for a few minutes until the tomatoes have collapsed down and the aubergine is cooked through, then add the freekah, all but 2 tbsp of the parsley and the mint.

Spoon the stuffing into the aubergines. Mix the reserved parsley, the preserved lemon and the breadcrumbs together with a crack of black pepper and sprinkle over the stuffed aubergines.

Bake in the oven for a further 25-30 minutes until the filling is piping hot and the top is well browned.


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