Aubergines roasted to perfection, spiced with zaatar and pul biber, sat atop rice, with the umami flavours of fried rice


Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 20 mins Total Time 30 mins
Servings: 2
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


I love aubergines! or eggplant as they are also know. Baingan in India.

They are such a versatile vegetable. Roasted or smoked and mashed, baked or fried, used in Indian curries or Italian pastas, they are equally delicious. 

This is one of the quickest ways to enjoy aubergines, with no compromise to flavour. It is a gluten-free meal, and vegan too if you use plant based yoghurt like Alpro for the side garnish. 

The rice is moreish - the fried onions gives it a real umami flavour, and coupled with the lovely tang from the spices in the aubergines, this is a dish your family wont be able to resist. 

Options: You can add a cupful of grated carrots or courgettes or both into the rice along with the fried onions.

This makes a lovely side dish with grilled meats. 

Top tip - Double the quantities, It goes pretty quick!!



  1. Heat your oven to 210 C

    Put the aubergines slices in a baking tray. Add the olive oil, sprinkle sea salt, pepper, zaatar, pul biber and smoky paprika.

    Mix everything by hand so all the slices are coated.  

    Roast in oven for 20 mins, till aubergines are charred on the outside, but still soft on the inside. Stir once in between. 

  2. While the aubergines are roasting, Heat the oil and butter in a non stick pan. Add the drained rice and coat all the grains, frying lightly. 

    Add the water, salt and onions, Bring to a boil. 

    Lower heat, put a tight lid on and let the rice cook through - about 15 mins. Check its cooked. Run a fork through it to fluff it up.

    Sprinkle a little more water if the rice is a little al dente. Let it cook in its own steam after turning the heat off until you are ready to serve.  

  3. Pile the rice on a plate. Arrange the aubergines on top. You can decorate with a little spiced yoghurt (vegan if you prefer)- I didn't here, as I was serving it to someone who doesn't like yoghurt. 

    Serve with a crunchy salad (tomatoes and cucumbers work really well ) and a spiced yoghurt or raita (add grated carrots, cucumber and seasoning and whisk) 

    It makes a lovely delicious meal. And so quick and easy to boot!

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