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Badargani

Honey & co strikes again with a great veggie Sunday supper and fab left-overs for lunch-boxes on Monday. They suggest serving with yoghurt and green salad – we had some steamed rice too.

Wine Suggestion: a conundrum in matching this with the slight bitterness from the walnuts, the earthy, smoky, velvety aubergine and the sweet-sour-crunchy pomegranates. In the end we went with the Chapelle en Rosé from Chateau St. Jacques d’Albas in Minervois which was red-fruited, sappy and minerally dry. If you can’t find this then open a dry rosé made in the style of Provence.

Badargani – Aubergine rolls filled with walnuts & pomegranate – serves 4

  • 4 large aubergines, trimmed
  • olive oil

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 1 large red onion, diced finely
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100g toasted walnuts, roughly chopped (keep 2 tbsp for garnish)
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled & grated
  • 15-20g parsley, chopped
  • 100g fresh pomegranate seeds (keep 2 tbsp for garnish)
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper

Heat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas Mark 7.

Slice each aubergine into 5 or 6 slices lengthways. Keep the outside slices for the filling and the long inner slices for the rolls. Brush a couple of baking trays with oil and lay the inside aubergines slices flat on them. Drizzle with more oil and season with salt and black pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until golden and soft, turn the trays around mid-way to make sure they cook evenly. Set aside to cool.

Cut the aubergine trimmings into small dice (similar to the onion). Fry the onion in the olive oil over a medium heat until starting to soften, then add the diced aubergine and salt. Cook until the aubergine goes very soft. Take the pan off the heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and season again if needed.

Put a large spoon of filling at the end of each aubergine slice and roll into thick sausages. Put the filled rolls into an ovenproof serving dish. Spoon any leftover filling around the edges. Put into the oven for 5 minutes to warm through before serving.

Sprinkle the rolls with the reserved walnuts and pomegranate seeds. Serve about 3 rolls per person with a dressed green salad, some yoghurt and steamed rice.

(Original recipe from ‘Honey & Co. Food from the Middle East’ by Sarit Packer & Itamer Srulovich, Saltyard Books, 2014.)

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