Stuffed Eggplant

A freekeh-ly good recipe to boost your immune system

Perfect for maintaining energy levels and boosting the immune system, this meal is a total nutrition bomb! Rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium, higher in protein than most grains and with an excellent balance of low-GI carbs and fat, freekeh is a tasty alternative to rice or couscous. Eggplants are also an excellent source of fibre, vitamins and minerals, while pomegranates come packed with potassium, vitamin C and iron.

Ingredients

4 medium eggplants
150g freekeh (use bulgur wheat as an alternative)
3 tbsps olive oil
200g minced lamb
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 red capsicum, deseed and finely diced
1 and a half tsp ground coriander
Half tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp garam masala
100ml chicken stock
1 tbs pomegranate molasses (optional)
Juice of half a lemon
2 red chillis, deseeded and finely sliced
Seeds of one pomegranate
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Large bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
250ml natural yoghurt

Method

1. Pour the freekeh into a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak. Cut eggplants in half lengthways and score the white flesh with a sharp knife in a crisscross pattern.  Sprinkle generously with salt and leave for 30mins.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Pat the eggplants dry with kitchen paper, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and bake for about 30-40mins, until the edges start to caramelise and the flesh becomes soft. Remove from the oven. Scoop out some of the flesh, leaving about 1cm still intact on the eggplant so that it keeps its shape. Cover theeggplants with foil, turn oven down to about 100°C to keep warm.

3. Drain the freekeh and cook in fresh salted water for about 15mins. Drain and set aside. Prepare the yoghurt sauce. Stir in half a clove of crushed garlic and season with a pinch of ground coriander, salt and black pepper. Set aside.

4. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium-sized non-stick frying pan and sauté the lamb mince over a high heat for about 5mins until nicely browned. Transfer to a plate then add a little more oil to the pan. Gently sauté the onion, garlic and red capsicum for 5mins, stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent and the capsicum begins to soften.

5. Stir in the cinnamon, coriander and garam masala and sauté for 1min. Then add the lamb and chicken stock and cook for 2-3 more mins, stirring frequently. Season well then gently stir in the freekeh, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, pomegranate seeds, red chilli and chopped parsley. Add more stock if mixture is dry. Remove eggplants from the oven, fill with the freekeh mixture and serve with the yoghurt sauce.

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