I can take absolutely not credit what so ever for this wonderful recipe. It is taken in almost its entirety from the wonderful Yotam Ottolenghi. The man is a genius and the more of his food there is in the world, the better place it would be for all of us.

This one is super cheap and healthy and tastes incredible every time. I’ve tried the aubergines with a few different carb options, they’d taste great with sweet potato or couscous but I always find that the sweet creaminess of the coconut rice works really well.

The creamy buttermilk works as a great contrast to the crunchy pomegranate. It’s a bit of a myth that it’s impossible to get hold of, it’s actually super easy to make from every day ingredients. Olivia Rose’s post on how to make the perfect buttermilk is a great place to start, you can read it here.

roast aubergines

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 aubergines, sliced head to toe and criss-crossed with a knife
  • A good glug of olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • A few sprigs of fresh lemon thyme (regular old thyme works well too)
  • 1 cup of basmati rice
  • A good shaving of coconut cream (you can buy blocks of the stuff from the supermarket)
  • 2 tablespoons of yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of milk
  • 1 pomegranate, de-jewelled

image by Rachel Cooks


  1. Preheat an oven to gas mark 6.
  2. Prep the aubergines by slicing them from head to toe leaving the stem intact (because it looks pretty). Slice the flesh in deep criss-crosses leaving the skin intact and rub all over with oil, salt & pepper.
  3. Lay to roughly chopped onions and garlic cloves on a baking tray and place the aubergine halves on top. Sprinkle over the lemon thyme and pop them in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until soft and tender to the touch.
  4. Once they are almost ready it’s time to start on the rice. Add one cup of rice to 2 cups of water on a high heat and cook until all the water has reduced away and the rice is soft and fluffy. Stir in a good grating of coconut cream. It should become lovely and sticky (and taste delicious too).
  5. To make the buttermilk, stir the 2 parts yogurt with 1 part milk until smooth and silky.
  6. Serve the rice first with the aubergines on top, pour over the butter milk, drizzle over a little pomegranate juice, scatter the pomegranate jewels and top with a few of the lemon thyme springs from the roasting tin.

aubergines in buttermilk

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