This recipe uses two of my all-time favourite North African spice blends and showcases them beautifully! The spice mix creates an aromatic outer crust and the eggplant becomes soft and silky inside. The zingy harissa yoghurt is the perfect picante, cooling finish to marry with the rich, deep notes of the Moroccan Ras el Hanout.
I either serve the two halves as a main meal with some salad or one half alongside some roast lamb or chicken as a side dish. This also makes the perfect dish as a side at a BBQ. If I have, I also love to top these with some pomegranate seeds as a sweet finishing touch.
Spices used in this recipe
Moroccan Ras el Hanout – Med
Moroccan Ras el Hanout translates in arabic to “top of the shop”, implying the spices used are the best the seller has to offer. There are as many variations as there are towns and no two are exactly alike. Our mixture uses sweet paprika, cumin, coriander, ginger, cassia, turmeric, fennel seeds allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, cayenne, caraway, galangal and sea salt to give it a complex and well rounded flavour without being overly spicy$3.45
Nth African Harissa – Hot
Tunisian Harissa is an integral ingredient in North African cuisine. It has an orangey-red and a vibrant colour and scent. It is made from chillies, garlic, and various other spices. It is characterized by its grainy consistency and its slightly smokey flavour. It is a favourite used in African countries to add heat & flavour and is often used as a condiment by mixing a little olive oil and a dash of lemon juice.
Heat rating: medium to hot$3.45
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius. Cut the eggplants in half and score a diamond pattern into each half – be sure not to cut through the whole way so the skin remains intact. Salt the eggplants and leave cut-side down on paper towel for 10-15 mins to remove some of the water.
While the eggplants stand, add the olive oil, juice of half the lemon, the salt, half the mint leaves, the Ras el Hanout and the garlic and stir to combine.
Spoon the spice and oil mix on the eggplant halves and rub it in well. Place them cut-side up on baking tray and place in the oven to cook for about 30 minutes, or until they’re soft inside.
While the eggplants are baking, combine the Harissa spice mix, yoghurt, the rest of the lemon and garlic and a pinch of salt and stir to combine.
Once the eggplants are finished baking, remove from the oven and serve with the harissa yoghurt and the remaining mint leaves and enjoy!