Coconut rice pilaf with baby aubergines is a delicious vegetarian recipe that you can which you can have on its own for lunch, as a side dish or as a sharing dish. It’s also happens to be vegan, but it’s so full of flavour that everyone will enjoy it – in fact, you won’t even realise! The list of ingredients might look quite long, but once you get cooking it couldn’t be easier. The baby aubergines, mixed nuts and pomegranate make this dish extra smart.
- 2tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 whole cloves
- 6 cardamom pods, bruised
- 400g basmati rice, rinsed in cold water
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 200ml coconut milk
- 1tsp honey
- Pinch ground coriander
- 400g baby aubergines, quartered lengthways
- Good squeeze lime juice
- 20g cashews
- 20g toasted flaked almonds
- 35g fresh coconut, finely sliced
- 50g pomegranate seeds
- Handful coriander leaves, chopped
Heat half the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Cook the onion, garlic, cloves and cardamom for 4-5 mins. Add the rice and mix well. Add the stock and coconut milk, bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 14 mins, remove from the heat and keep the lid on.
Heat the oven to 200C, gas 6. Mix the rest of the oil with the honey and ground coriander, and brush the inside of the aubergine. Roast for 15 mins or until lightly browned and cooked through. Stir the aubergines and lime juice into the rice, and season well. Sprinkle over the nuts, coconut, pomegranate seeds and coriander.
If you can't do without fish or meat then you can easily add grilled prawns or chicken to this recipe.