Yogurt with aubergine

Yogurt & aubergine

Yogurt with aubergine is just one of the variations to accompany any rice dish.  In Iran and in the Middle East people are very fond of yogurt and add just about anything to it before serving with rice.  You can add cucumber of course, spinach, onions, cooked diced potatoes and even cooked, grated beetroot!  


1 medium tub of Sojade natural yogurt (Sojade is available at As Nature Intended and Wholefoods)
1-2 cloves garlic, grated fine
Small aubergine, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch strips
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried mint
Chilli flakes or black pepper (I use mild Aleppo Pepper sold as Pul Biber in Middle Eastern shops)


  1. Mix garlic with yogurt and set aside
  2. Saute the aubergine in 2 tablespoons oil – cover and stir intermittently – this will allow the aubergines to cook and brown
  3. Place the aubergines on top of the yogurt
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small frying pan, take off the heat and add mint and immediately spoon the mint over yogurt – no need to pour all the oil on it
  5. Sprinkle chilli flakes or black pepper

Turnips, celery & fresh apricots stew


2 regular portions, serve with rice or quinoa


1 large onion, sliced
3 tablespoons oil
3 medium turnips, cut into quarters
2-3 sticks celery, cut into 2 inch pieces
8 fresh apricots, deseeded and halved (you could use dried apricots but soak them in a little hot water for 20 minutes and add the water to the stew)
1 teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup water
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon sugar (optional – only if apricots are tart)


  1. Fry onion in oil until golden
  2. Take off the heat and add turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, turnips, celery and salt
  3. Fry gently for a 2-3 minutes, add apricots and small cup of water
  4. Cook on low until turnips are cooked
  5. Check for taste – if the apricots are too tart you may wish to add some sugar at this point.
  6. Simmer for a few minutes and serve with rice or quinoa


Rice with green lentils

Rice with green lentils(2)

Rice  with green lentils (you could also use brown lentils) is one of my favourites – it’s light and doesn’t sit heavy on the stomach unlike richer biryanis, and very quick and simple specially if you use tinned lentils.  You could cook the lentils yourself of course but this works fine and is much quicker specially if you find yourself caught short for time.  I have added some soya mince as this enhances the taste and texture but there again you could do without – it’s your choice so feel free to adapt and use the recipe as a basic guideline.

4 servings


250 grams Basmati rice  – soak for an hour
1 tin green lentils
4 tablespoons oil
2 medium onions, sliced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 cup TVP mince (soaked for 15 minutes) or 1½ cup frozen vegan mince eg Linda McCartney’s
2 tablespoons tomato puree

Rice with green lentils(3)


  1. Fry the onion in 3 tablespoons of oil until golden brown
  2. Remove about a third of the onion and set aside
  3. Add 1 teaspoon turmeric and mint to the onion in the frying pan and give it a quick stir – mint burns easily so take off the heat
  4. Add the lentils, tomato puree and mince with ½ cup water and half a teaspoon salt
  5. Cook uncovered over low heat for about 15 minutes until dry – set aside

The rice

  1. Rinse rice and bring to boil with 1 teaspoon salt (always boil rice in a lot of water as this keeps the grains separate & fluffy)
  2. Once it comes to the boil, the rice should be ready in about 3-4 minutes (depending on soaking time). Don’t allow the rice to get soft – it should be just cooked and slightly al dente
  3. Strain the rice in a colander
  4. Put 1 tablespoon oil and 4 tablespoons of water in the pan
  5. Put one-third of the rice into the pan and then lay the lentils and mince on top of it
  6. Spoon rest of the rice on top of the lentil and mince mixture
  7. Wrap lid with a tea cloth and place tightly on the pan
  8. Steam on low heat for 15-20 minutes – carefully lift the lid and if steam is pouring out of the pan, the rice is ready
  9. Sprinkle the fried onions you set aside earlier before serving
  10. Serve with salad and Yogurt with aubergine

Avocado, red onion & tomato salad
Avocado, onion and tomato salad

Yogurt & aubergine_copy

Yogurt with aubergine