Sometimes all we need is a comforting plate of food. And sometimes we also need it to be quick & uncomplicated! As a mom and wife, some of my best hacks for daily life are a good handful of recipes that are just that: simple & satisfying. The other day I happened to create one of those dishes and I knew I wanted to share it with you. A delicious hearty aubergine stew with sweet plums in tomato sauce and a simple side of couscous and green salad. It’s healthy, ready in about 25 minutes and just heart warming whatever the season!
First of all, aubergines haven’t been always my favourite vegetable – and that’s mildly put. I definitely had some aubergine failures in my kitchen (and my husband would be the first to confirm this). They never seemed to cook to that melt in the mouth perfection. Until I figured out why: often the problem was the acidity from the tomato sauce! Cooking the aubergine nice and soft first before adding the tomatoes does the trick! Et voila. Bliss.
The plums in this recipe are another story altogether. I recently bought some from the local veg man, but they were just unripe and never really softened properly. All I could think to salvage them was to cook them into some sort of dish so I randomly added them to this stew. And it was perfection really. The plums are juicy, sweet and bring the perfect balance to the acidity of the tomato sauce and the fleshy aubergines.
This aubergine stew uses one of my favourite spice mixes called Ras El Hanout, a North African mix which is super fragrant and warming. It transforms a dish in no time so I always have some on hand and use it probably weekly. If you can’t get your hands on it, here’s a guide to make your own.
This dish only requires 9 ingredients and will be ready on the table in less than 25 minutes. It’s vegan, healthy and simple to make. You can make it ahead and let the flavours marinate even more – but it’s just as good straight after cooking! It’s also very versatile – don’t like aubergines? Sub for another vegetable like courgette or sweet potato. Not into plums? Apricots (dried or fresh) or raisins work perfectly. Serve it with couscous OR anything else of your liking. I’m thinking pearl barley, quinoa or some simple toasted pita’s. Dress it up or down – either way I know you’ll love it.
Make this as a comforting weekday dinner. Or for a big family feast on the weekend with lots of side dishes. Any leftovers make the perfect lunch. You can keep this in the fridge for a couple of days or save leftovers in the freezer for a quick meal grab when cooking is no option (read: all you want is take out).
Well, let’s make some delicious stew shall we?
Moroccan Spiced Aubergine Stew With Plums And Couscous
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp Ras El Hanout spice mix
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 aubergines
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 cup tomato passata (or canned tomatoes)
- 5 small plums
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/ cup couscous
- 1 lemon
For serving (optional):
- Chopped up parsley, pumpkin seeds, almond flakes and/or crumbled white cheese.
- Heat up a big heavy bottomed pot (I like using cast iron) while you chop up the onion and garlic. Add a tablespoon cooking oil to the pot, then add the onion, garlic and Ras El Hanout.
- Fry for a couple of minutes while you chop your aubergines. Cut them in thumb thick slices and then into dice sized cubes. Add the aubergine to the pan, together with the salt and 1 cup of water. Cover and let simmer on medium heat until soft (about 10 minutes).
- In the meantime, prepare the couscous: add the couscous to a bowl together with a pinch of salt, the juice of half a lemon and a drizzle of olive oil. Add 1 1/2 cup of boiling water and cover for 5 minutes.
- Halve the plums, take the stone out and cut into pieces. When the aubergines are soft, add the plums together with the tomato puree and passata. Once boiling, turn the heat down and let simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Add a little more water if needed and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle with little olive oil and and serve the stew with the couscous, a wedge of lemon, some fresh cut flat leaf parsley and a green salad.
Let me know if you try this Moroccan spiced aubergine stew and leave a comment and rating down below! Also, tag @eatyourdailygreens on Instagram to share the love!