Ingredients (serves 4):
- generous pour of olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed into a paste with a pinch of sea salt
- 2 aubergines, trimmed and cut into 1 inch / 2.5 cm cubes
- 1 small onion, cut in half and into thinly sliced moons
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ red pepper, cut into thin strips and halved
- 400g/ 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 2 Tbsp clear honey
1. Heat a good glug of olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the aubergines and sauté until golden brown. Season with a generous pinch of salt halfway through. Once browned, remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to a pan and the onion slices on a low temperature. Cook until caramelised, not blackened. Then add the garlic paste, cumin, cinnamon and paprika and stir. Add the pepper strips and continue to sauté until the vegetables soften and the peppers are not longer raw.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes, the add the red wine vinegar, sugar and honey.
4. Increase the temperature and stir-fry the mix for a few minutes (ensuring it doesn't burn!). Reduce the temperature to low and, using a potato masher, lightly mash the mixture and stir it until it is evenly cooked.
5. Stir in the cooked aubergine and cook for another 5 minutes over low heat, then turn off the heat and allow the flavours to blend.
6. Serve on its own or as a side with chargrilled lamb or sea bream.
Recipe and photo by Sabrina Ghayour in her own book, Persiana