Although the dish can be eaten on its own though, i made a Turkish style grilled chicken dish to accompany it. A tangy marinade made from a combination of yogurt, lemon juice and spices was used to season the chicken.
I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest : West Asia hosted by Shannon of Just As Delish
Signing off for the year with wishes for a very Happy New Year to all my friends out there and
some memories from my holidays in Turkey for viewing pleasure. It's a beautiful country, enjoy!
Recipe - Eggplant Pilaf
Source: Food Thought For who adapted from Ghillie Basan
- 1large aubergine/eggplant (3 medium size ones)
- 1 cup of rice. Long grain is better (2 cups)
- 1 small onion. Sliced (2 small onions)
- 2 cloves of garlic. Slivered (4 cloves)
- 1/2 tsp of sugar (1 tsp)
- 1/2 tsp of whole cumin (1 tsp cumin powder)
- 1/2 tsp of whole coriander (1 tsp coriander powder)
- 2 small tomatoes, diced (1 large tomato, seeds removed)
- 2 tsp of tomato paste or puree ( 1 1/2 tbsp tomato puree)
- 2 cups of water. Lukewarm or at least room temperature. You can use stock as well (Water, as per noted on rice cooker)
- 6-8 tbsf olive oil. Not extra virgin
- Salt and pepper
- Parsley for garnish, optional
- 10 pieces of dried apricot, diced
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Soak aubergine/eggplant in salted water for at least an hour but no more than three. Drain, squeeze the pieces and dry with paper towels. Heat 5 tbsf olive oil ( do not sear the oil as the smoke point for olive oil is low) and gently add the aubergine pieces. After adding in the aubergine, reduce heat, add a tsp or so of olive oil from the top, mix and cover as they fry gently. Check often. Drain on paper towel and set aside.
- Wash and soak rice (if you have the time), skipped. Soften onion and garlic in olive oil. Stir in the sugar, cumin, coriander cooking for a couple of mins. Add the tomato puree and tomatoes. Cook for 3-4 mins. Add the rice. Coat everything.
- Add the water or stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer. About 20 min. Keep an eye.
- When rice is done, mix in the aubergine, apricot and raisins. Leave aside for around 15 minutes for aubergine and fruits to soften slightly.
- Garnish with parsley and cubed tomatoes. Serve warm.
- My variations are in blue.
- The original recipe recommended toasting the spices (cumin/coriander) then ground for best results if used in whole.
- I used a rice cooker for step 3. Simply transfer everything into a rice cooker after step 2 and add in water as per manufacturer's recommendation.
Recipe - Turkish Style Grilled Chicken
- 2 Tablespoons cumin seeds (1 tbsp cumin powder)
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 to 6 cloves garlic, finely minced (4 cloves garlic)
- 1 Tablespoon paprika (1/2 tbsp chilli powder)
- Juice of 1 lemon (1/3 lemon)
- 1 cup plain yogurt (1/2 cup yogurt)
- 12 boneless chicken thighs, about 2 to 2-1/2 pounds, or 4 half broilers (8 drumettes)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Toast the cumin seeds in a small saute pan over medium heat until the seeds are fragrant and start to pop in the pan. Remove from the heat and grind in a spice grinder.
- Place the cumin, onion, garlic, paprika, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender and pulse to liquify. Add the yogurt and pulse just until blended.
- Put the chicken thighs in a shallow non-aluminum baking dish or bowl. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss well to coat. Let stand at room temperature at least 2 hours or cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade (discard marinade).
- Place the chicken on a broiler rack and broil until browned on top, about 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F(205°C) and bake until the chicken is juicy and just cooked through, about 15 minutes longer. (Thigh meat will appear dark pink, even when cooked through.)
- Serve immediately.
- My variations in blue.
- Skipped step 1 since i substituted with cumin powder.
- The chicken pieces didn't turn out pinkish in color, probably because i replaced paprika with chili powder and the amount added was not much to suit my son's acceptance level.