2 eggplants, sliced into rounds
450-500g lamb mince
1 onion, chopped
1 bunch coriander
1 cinnamon quill
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
a pinch chilli flakes
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 x 400g can tomatoes
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained
1-2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
toum, to serve (see recipe)
12 cloves garlic, approx 1 head
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
juice of 1 lemon
250-300ml sunflower oil or a mix of olive and sunflower oils
2-4 tablespoons iced water

I’m a big fan of dishes that can work in a variety of settings and this Middle Eastern-inspired meal is great for a family meal or even a crowd as it is easy to stretch by adding more eggplant or chickpeas. It’s good to make ahead, too, as the flavours deepen and mellow.

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1.Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and set aside for 30 minutes.
2.Pat dry then brush or spray with oil.
3.Either grill, bake or pan-fry until tender and set aside.
4.Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wide pan and add the lamb mince, browning it and breaking it up.
5.Season with some salt and add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6.Chop the stems of the fresh coriander and add to the pan with the cinnamon, paprika, chilli flakes, cumin, and ground coriander.
7.Cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes and stock and bring to a simmer.
8.Cook gently for 20 minutes, until thickened, then add the chickpeas and eggplant and combine gently.
9.Add the pomegranate molasses and adjust seasonings to taste. Sprinkle with the coriander leaves.
10.Serve with the toum, flatbreads and a salad of sliced cucumber with dill and a Greek-style yoghurt, or coconut yoghurt if vegan.
12.Halve the garlic cloves and remove the bitter germ, if present.
13.Put into a small food processor (or use a mortar and pestle) with the salt and blend.
14.Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and blend again until smooth.
15.Slowly start drizzling in the oil, alternating with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, then using the water as required, until it emulsifies.
16.It may not be very thick, but will thicken in the fridge as it cools.
17.Keep refrigerated for up to a month.
18.VEGETARIAN/VEGAN Crumble 400g tempeh or firm tofu in place of the mince. Cook as per the recipe and use vege stock.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean/ Styling Jessica Hemmings