Spiced Aubergine & Chickpeas

Recipe: Spiced Aubergine & Chickpeas, Radish & Celery Salad, Quinoa & Minted Yogurt

This dinner is adapted from a few recipes in Yotam Ottolenghi’s fantastic book Jerusalem. We absolutely love this book and use it on a weekly basis. If you like this meal, you’ll love the book. Many of the recipes are vegetarian, healthy and really satisfying. This book alone has accounted for about half of the spices we now hold in our red kitchen pantry and well worth having around. A sprinkle of Za’atar on some scrambled eggs with a dollop of Greek yoghurt is a satisfying break from your usual breakfast routine.

One of our favourite things about this spiced aubergine and chickpea recipe is how easily adaptable it is for vegans, celiacs and those who choose to be gluten-free; dietary requirements we’re happy to cater for during our summer art programs, gap year program and artist residencies. There is plenty of protein provided in the chickpeas and quinoa and you can easily substitute the yoghurt for a vegan variety. This dinner has a lot going on. We love the contrast between the soft texture of the roasted aubergine and the crisp exterior on the chickpeas. The minted yoghurt cools off some of the kick in the salad and the crunch of the celery and radish work really well with the fluffy quinoa.

This is a complete meal and while it may look like there are a lot of steps, it’s quite easy to prepare. One of the nicest things is once the aubergines are in the oven there is very little work in front of the stove. The order you accomplish each task is quite important with this one. We recommend starting the aubergines then putting the quinoa on before moving to the other elements of the meal. One last note, don’t be afraid to cook the chickpeas for a few extra minutes. They really are fantastic when they have a nice crispy exterior.

(Serves 4-6)

Roast Aubergine


  • 3 aubergines (eggplants)

  • 3 garlic cloves, grated with a microplane or finely diced

  • 3 tsp ground cumin

  • 3 tsp ground coriander

  • ¾ tsp dried chillies flakes (you can reduce this amount or omit entirely if you’re sensitive to spice)

  • 1 ½ tsp paprika

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • a handful of fresh coriander and mint, roughly chopped

  • 140ml olive oil


Pre-heat your oven to 220C. Cut the Aubergine lengthways, in half and place on a tray, skin side down. Score the flesh, in diagonal criss-cross scores. In a bowl, add the remainder of the ingredients. If the mixture is too thick, add in a bit more oil. The mixture should have the consistency of honey. Spoon the spice mixture over the halved aubergine, and spread it across the surface evenly. Put them into the oven and roast for 50 mins, until the aubergines are completely soft

Quinoa: Ingredients

  • 300g quinoa

  • 600 ml water


Rinse the quinoa thoroughly. in a rice cooker add the quinoa and water then turn on the rice cooker. You can leave this to cook then keep warm until the rest of your meal is ready to plate.

If you don’t have a rice cooker, add the rinsed quinoa to a pot along with the water. Bring the pot to a rolling boil then reduce the heat as low as your stove will go and cover with a lid. Let the quinoa cook at this low temperature for 20 minutes. When done, place a tea towel on the lid and leave the quinoa in the pot to keep warm.

Spiced Chickpeas: Ingredients

  • 450g cooked chickpeas

  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin

  • 1 heaped tsp ground coriander

  • 1 heaped tsp cardamom powder

  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (you can reduce this amount or omit entirely if you’re sensitive to spice)

  • ½ tsp sea salt

  • 50ml rapeseed oil


Strain the chickpeas to remove any liquid. Place the chickpeas in a bowl, add in all the spices and mix together to coat well. Set aside. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Make sure the oil is very hot but not smoking. Fry the chickpeas for 5- 8 mins in a few small batches to ensure the oil doesn’t get too cool. Remove chickpeas into a bowl with kitchen roll to remove any excess oil.

Radish & Celery Salad: Ingredients

  • 3 x celery stalks, peeled and sliced

  • 2 red chillies cut into fine strips (seeds removed)

  • 2 green chillies cut into fine strips (seeds removed)

  • 8 spring onions, finely diced

  • 250g radish, sliced

  • juice of 1 lemon

  • salt and pepper to taste


Combine all the ingredients into a serving bowl. Season to taste.

Mint Yogurt Sauce: Ingredients

  • 400g yoghurt

  • 10 large mint leafs

  • 1 garlic clove, grated

  • juice from 1 lime

  • salt and pepper to taste


Combine all the ingredients into a serving bowl. Season to taste.

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