Rice with Aubergine and Potatoes

An adaptation of a recipe from the west coast of India, Rice with Aubergine and Potatoes may be served with Raita, chntneys and Poppadnm for an economical meal.

10 oz. long-grain rice, washed, soaked in cold water for

30 minutes and drained

1 pint water

12 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons chick-pea flour

2 oz. clarified butter

12 oz. potatoes, peeled and cut INTO 2-inch cubes

1 large aubergine , cubed and degorged

2 oz. butter, melted

Put the rice in a large saucepan. Pour over the water and add

1 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to the boil over high heat. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to very low and simmer for

15 TO 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and all the water has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat. Set aside and keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, mix the turmeric, cumin, coriander, Rice with Aubergine and Potatoes is tasty and filling. cayenne, sugar, lemon juice, chick-pea flour and the remaining salt to a paste, adding more lemon juice if necessary. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 F (Gas Mark 4, 180 C).

In a large frying-pan, melt the clarified butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the potato and aubergine cubes and fry, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the spice paste and fry, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes, adding a spoonful or two of water if the mixture becomes too dry. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook the vegetables for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Spread half the rice over the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle 1 ounce of the melted butter over the rice. Spread the vegetable mixture over the rice and cover with the remaining rice. Sprinkle the remaining melted butter over the top.

Cover the dish and place it in the oven. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the ingredients are very hot.

Remove the dish from the oven and serve immediately, from the dish.

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