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Friday, April 9, 2010

Aubergine Rice

Aubergine is my favorite vegetable on earth.  It's very tasty and you can make a lot of different dishes with it.  In the Turkish cuisine and in the Mediterranean kitchen, the aubergine has a very distinctive place.  It can easily be combined with any other vegetable, with cheese or meat.  I buy a couple of them every week.  They are kind of like olives to me.  I have to have them in my fridge just in case I run out of everything else.  Aubergines are always there to rescue me.  It was one of days where I didn't know what to cook.  Then I remembered my purple friends in the fridge.  I generally try to cook some rice or pasta or anything with grains to complete the meal for the kids.  Because mine love rice and pasta and pizza, just like all the other children.  This rice was a good idea to cook, especially because it combined vegetables and rice in the same dish and it was a success.
This actually is a typical Turkish rice (pilav), which I have learned from my mother.  When I was looking around for alternative recipes, I have seen that in most of them tomatoes were added to the rice.  I haven't used tomatoes here as I believe they will shadow the taste of aubergines here.

(Serves 6 as a side dish)

2 Aubergines ( peeled partially in stripes and chopped)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
about 250 g (1.5 cups) rice ( I used long grain white rice here)
about 600 ml (3 cups) water

about 1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley to garnish

Start with stir-frying your aubergines with the olive oil in a non-stick deep pan over medium-high heat.  Don't worry if aubergines absorb all of the oil in the pan.  They will release the oil after they are cooked.  When they are done, take them out to a plate.  Put your onions in the same pan and using the oil that is left in the pan saute your onions.  After the onions are cooked, put your rice in and add the water and salt.  Put the lid on and cook it for about 20 minutes.  Check regularly in between if there is still some water left in the pan.  Right before almost all of the water is absorbed, turn off the heat, add the aubergines on top of the rice, cover the pan and leave the rice to rest for about 10-15 minutes. When it's ready, garnish it with chopped parsley leaves and serve.

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