Ignore the rice on the top, under the strict instructions to use up the freezer I thought frozen rice were frozen breadcrumbs… However, once I had picked it off the underneath was delicious and will defiantly become a staple dish! I am fairly sure mine isn’t true to the traditional dish but it was pretty simple to make and substantial enough to serve with just a salad.
aubergine, potato, onion, garlic, oil, tomato puree, tinned tomato, olives, lamb mince, milk, butter, plain flour, mild cheese, chilli flakes, cinnamon, cumin seeds, nutmeg, sugar, salt, pepper, oregano and bay leaves
Start by slicing 2 aubergines into cm wide slices, place on a baking tray with a little drizzle of oil and cook in the oven at 180 c for 10-15 minutes either side until soft and set aside when done. While the aubergine is cooking peel and slice 3 medium potatoes and par boil for 10 minutes until soft but not falling apart, drain and again set aside.
To make the meat part of the dish start by gently frying a large onion in a large high sided pan, once soft add 2 cloves of chopped garlic. Now for the herbs and spices add a pinch of chilli flakes, 1tsp cinnamon, 2tsp cumin seeds, 1tsp nutmeg, 1tsp oregano, 1tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper and mix together. Add a generous squeeze of tomato puree and now add the mince. Cook on a medium heat until the mince is brown all over and add 1 tin of chopped tomatoes and a further tin half filled with water and mix together, finally throw in a few bay leaves. Bring to the boil then turn down to a low heat and allow to bubble away stirring occasionally until needed.
To make the white sauce melt 1tbsp of butter. Once melted mix in 2tbsp of flour, then add 300ml of milk. Turn up the heat to medium-high and whisk away. As the milk heats it should thicken, once all the flour is mixed in the white sauce is done and finally time for the assembly!
In a deep sided oven proof dish stack the aubergine and potato slices in alternate layers, next add the tomato lamb mixture on top making sure it can find its way between the potato and aubergine layers. Finally top with the white sauce and a sprinkle of cheese if you’d like. Cook in the oven for about 30-45 minutes until golden brown at 180c. Enjoy with a crisp salad.