Orginating from the North Africa and Middle Eastern cuisines, harissa has a lovely smokey, spicey taste which lends itself perfectly to stews and casseroles. This is a lovely comfort dish for these cold winter days and a great source of fibre, B vitamins, protein and much more.
1 aubergine, chopped into bite size pieces
1 tin chickpeas, drained
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Water (use the tin of tomatoes to fill with tap water)
1 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsps harissa paste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
Salt & pepper to season
Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. When it is hot, add the onion and garlic, the mustard seeds, cumin and paprika. Cook, stirring regularly until the onion has turned translucent. Add in the aubergine and harissa, stir to mix well, you might want to add a little more olive oil at this point. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for around five minutes then add the tomatoes and then fill the can with tap water and add this in too. Turn the heat down and cover. Let it simmer for around 20 minutes on a low heat. Check it at this point and give it a stir, add some more water if it's drying up. Taste it and check the seasoning. Cover and let it carry on simmering away for another 20 minutes.
I've served mine with a side of wild rice and quinoa with fresh spinach leaves, but it works well with just short grain brown rice, bulgar wheat or a similar grain.
Note: This dish also works well with cauliflower, squash or swap the chickpeas for lentils, just make sure you have enough liquid so they're cooked through.