About this recipe:Middle Eastern flavours infuse these aubergines filled with a mixture of lamb and rice. Try serving with Moroccan Carrot Dip and Marinated Leeks (on this website).
2 medium aubergines, about 325 g (11½ oz) each
250 g (9 oz) lean minced lamb
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
150 g (5½ oz) onions, chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
100 g (3½ oz) long-grain rice
300 ml (10 fl oz) stock or water
Salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
To garnish: chopped fresh mint and flat-leaved parsley
To serve: natural yoghurt, or half-fat crème fraîche, optional
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:45min › Ready in:1hr
Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, cut the aubergines in half lengthways, cut out the flesh, taking care not to puncture the skins, and chop it into 1 cm (½ in) chunks.
Put the aubergine shells in the boiling water, reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes until they have softened. Remove the shells, then place them cut side down on kitchen paper to drain and pat them dry.
Heat a large nonstick frying pan and dry-fry the minced lamb until it has browned, stirring frequently to break up any lumps. Remove the meat, drain off any fatty juices and wipe the pan clean with kitchen paper.
Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Add the oil and 2 tablespoons of water to the frying pan and sauté the chopped aubergine flesh, garlic and onions for 5 minutes, or until they have softened. Return the meat to the pan, stir in the coriander, cumin and rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
Stir in the stock or water, add seasoning to taste and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Stir in the mint or dill and parsley, and remove from the heat.
Put the aubergine shells into a shallow ovenproof dish and spoon in the filling, piling it up. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the filling is lightly browned. Serve the aubergines hot, garnished with parsley and mint, and topped with spoonfuls of yoghurt or half-fat crème fraîche, if you like.