Harissa Aubergine with Spiced Vegetable Stew and Maneesh

It’s no secret that we’re pretty obsessed with Moroccan flavours, we thought we were before we went to Marrakech and it’s only got worse since then! The main body of this dinner is so easy – roasted vegetables with spices and chickpeas but we jazzed it up a little with some harissa infused chargrilled aubergine, homemade maneesh (middle Eastern flatbreads with herbs) and a dip/sauce to drizzle on. If you want to find the basic recipe for the roasted vegetables and maneesh then check out our recipe here – we’ll note any variations. The end result was like a big hug on a plate (that analogy doesn’t really work), warming, filling yet with some freshness from the abundance of vegetables and the tang of the pomegranate molasses. We’re praying that this miserable weather buggers off soon but while it’s hanging around this is exactly the sort of food we love to eat.

If you want to make the maneesh it does take a few hours so best save this one for when you’ve got a bit of time. Alternatively you could make the dough (mixing and kneading) the night before, leave it to prove overnight and the next day in the fridge so you would just have to do the shaping, the second rise which is shorter and the baking after work which is definitely do-able. Find the full recipe here.

Ingredients for the vegetables

  • 1 red pepper, roughly diced
  • 1 green pepper, roughly diced
  • 1-2 courgettes, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion (red or white), sliced into wedges
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 carrots, roughly diced
  • A handful of tomatoes – we used a mix of salad and cherry as it’s what we had around but cut into roughly half-cherry-tomato size
  • 1 heaped tsp of ras el hanout
  • ½ tsp sumac
  • A large pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • A splash of water
  • 1 tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Veg for Moroccan stew

As we explained how we made this in an earlier recipe we’ll be brief – throw the chopped vegetables in a large roasting dish, coat with the oil, salt and spices and put in an oven at around 190 for half an hour stirring after 15 minutes. After the half hour add the chickpeas, enough water to make a light sauce and the pomegranate molasses and put back in the oven for 15-20 minutes. All done!

Moroccan stew in progress

Ingredients for the aubergine

  • 1 large aubergine, sliced into 1-2 cm strips
  • Table salt
  • 1 heaped tsp of harissa paste
  • 2 tsp olive oil

After you’ve sliced the aubergine salt it by sprinkling both sides with table salt and then standing up to let the water run off. We don’t bother doing this if we’re cubing and roasting the aubergine with other veg but it makes a real difference doing it this way if you’re chargrilling, they’ll crisp up much better. Leave them for about 10-20 minutes and then wipe with kitchen paper. Get a griddle pan really hot and then turn the heat down to fairly low, it should stay really hot! Mix together the harissa and oil and then brush one side of an aubergine slice with this mixture and lay it down in the pan. Repeat with another couple of slices (being careful not to overcrowd the pan) and then brush the tops of them as they’re cooking. They should take about 1-2 minutes per side, try not to move them too much or you won’t get the nice griddle lines on them. Once they’re cooked pop them on a plate together and keep on cooking them in batches. Once you’ve done them all you can put the plate in the oven just for a couple of minutes to warm them up.

Harissa aubergine

Ingredients for the dip

  • Natural yoghurt
  • Moroccan chutney, but you could use harissa mixed with a little pomegranate molasses instead
  • Tahini

Simply pop some yoghurt in a dish, marble through some chutney/harissa and drizzle with tahini – the quantities are up to you but for each of us we used about 2 tbsp of yoghurt, 1 tsp of chutney and half a tsp of tahini.

Tahini and chutney dip

Now put your dinner together, just whack it all on a plate and get stuck in… it can get very messy! These would all make really nice dishes in a meze style evening too, try serving smaller quantities on little plates/bowls with the maneesh sliced into strips for dipping.

Moroccan feast done!

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