A Turkish main course and French starter made from the same basic ingredients. The organic aubergines I used were very ripe and damaged, in fact I was given them. Most people eat aubergines when the fruits are much too young and under ripe, which is why they then have a bitter edge and are often underated. Try these two delicious recipes and enjoy them at their best. If you can, make a big batch of Imam Bayildi, as it gets better with keeping and is just as good serves hot or cold. The spice I use Ras-el-hanout is a wonderful mixture from Morocco, in its true form it must contain at least twelve blended spices, sometimes as many as thirty, including rosebuds and violet roots. In my organic shop-bought version these two ingredients are sadly missing but it still adds a beautiful depth of flavour to the dishes.The Rice dish is my variation on the Middle Eastern 'Date Rice', which traditionally uses butter and olive oil. I have given the Vegan alternative in Coconut oil, which if you have never used it, is a wonderful alternative to animal fat. It has immense healing properties and I use it in many things from shampoo and moisturisers to pastries and vegetable dishes.
Music Link for The Dongas Tribe - http://www.archive.org/details/rainy_night_in_the_bell_tent