Beetroot and Eggplant Pilaf
  • 1medium eggplant
  • 1Tbsp sea salt
  • 2cups basmati rice
  • 4Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 1tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 2onions finely diced
  • 2 hot, green chilliesfinely diced
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 2large beetrootcooked, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 1/2cup nutschopped (almonds, cashews etc)
  • cilantro leavesoptional for garnish
  1. To cook beetroot, place whole, unpeeled beets into a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil then simmer until tender. Depending on their size this can take anywhere between 30-60 minutes. Cool slightly before peeling.
  2. Cut eggplant into cubes. Place in a bowl, sprinkle over the 1 tablespoon sea salt, mix though and set aside while you prep the remaining ingredients.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add washed rice and cook for 7 minutes over high heat. Drain off the water, cover tightly with the lid and set aside for 15-20 minutes while you prep the rest of the dish.
  4. Heat oil in a large frying pan over med-high heat, add cumin and mustard seeds and cook for a few minutes until popping. Add onion and chilli. Cook for around 5 minutes, stirring often until translucent and lightly golden. While they are cooking, drain the eggplant, rinse under cold water in a sieve and pat dry with the clean towel or paper towels. Add turmeric and drained eggplant to the onion mixture and cook for 2 minutes before turning down to low, covering with a lid and cooking for a further 5-7 minutes until golden and tender. Stir a couple of times during cooking to prevent the mixture catching on the bottom.
  5. Add diced beetroot and nuts, stirring through to warm. Gently stir in cooked rice so the beetroot stains the rice. Taste and add more sea salt if needed. Serve scattered with torn cilantro leaves if desired. Can be eaten warm or cold. Note: The longer this pilau is left to sit, the pinker your rice will become as the beetroot colours it’s neighbouring rice.