‘Two Old Fools on a Camel’ is finished, apart from the twiddly bits, and choosing the Arabic recipes. I’m so lucky to have Nadia Sawalha’s permission to use her recipes from ‘Stuffed Vine Leaves Saved my Life’.
The Gin Twins came to stay this week, and they always cook up something delicious. This time, they chose three recipes from Nadia’s book, and served up an Arabian banquet, oh my! They chose Tepsi, Poor Man’s Coq au Vin (not so poor as it includes a bottle of red wine) and Creamy Pea and Bacon Pasta. Strictly speaking, the Coq au Vin and Pasta aren’t very Arabic, even though they are delicious, but the Tepsi recipe definitely deserves a place in ‘Two Old Fools on a Camel’.
Aubergine, Onion and Potato Bake
This dish fills the house with a delicious aroma and will soothe guests the moment they enter your home!
(1) Sprinkling salt over the aubergines, although not essential, does draw out the bitterness that sometimes can be found in them. It also means they absorb less oil during the frying stage.
(2) If your oil is not sufficiently hot, you may end up with very greasy aubergines.
2 aubergines, thickly sliced
Salt and black pepper
2 large potatoes, peeled
2 large tomatoes
2 large onions, peeled
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2-3 tsp ground mixed spice
200ml (7 fl oz) lamb or vegetable stock
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 tbsp tomato purée
Preheat the oven to 180⁰C/Gas mark 4.
Place the sliced aubergines in a colander. Sprinkle salt all over them and leave aside for an hour.
Slice the potatoes, tomatoes and onions, to the same thickness as the aubergines.
Thinly slice the garlic.
Pour 2-3 glugs (maybe more) olive oil into a frying pan. Gently fry the onions and garlic until they just begin to brown. Remove the onions and garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add a splash of vegetable oil to the olive oil and bring slowly up to heat.
Fry the potatoes slowly until they are golden brown and almost cooked through. Remove the potatoes and set aside.
Rinse the salt off the aubergines and thoroughly dry them with kitchen paper.
Add a bit more vegetable oil and bring slowly up to heat. Gently fry the aubergines until they are golden brown.
Place on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
In a baking dish, alternately layer the aubergine, tomato, onion and garlic, and potato.
Sprinkle each layer with spice, salt and pepper.
Pour the stock, lemon juice and tomato purée into the dish.
Bake, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes.
Serve and enjoy! We certainly did, and so did the Gin Twins (below).