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Sticky, spicy aubergines with toasted sesame seeds & spring onions

SERVES 4–6 AS A SIDE

vegetable oil

3 large or 4 medium aubergines, halved

lengthways and cut into 2.5cm-thick half-moons

about 2 heaped tablespoons rose harissa, plus extra as desired

4 tablespoons clear honey, plus extra as desired

Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

TO GARNISH

2 teaspoons sesame seeds, lightly dry-toasted

1 teaspoon nigella seeds

½ small bunch (about 15g) of fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped 4 spring onions, thinly sliced from root to tip

Heat a large saucepan over a high heat and add enough oil to fill 1cm up the side. Line a plate with a double layer of kitchen paper. Add the aubergines to the pan and coat them in the hot oil. The aubergines are like sponges and will immediately absorb the oil but, once cooked through, they will release some oil again. Fry the aubergines for 10–12 minutes, adding more oil as necessary to help them cook and tossing them every few minutes, or until they begin to shrink, soften and take on an even golden brown colour on all sides. Using a metal slotted spoon, transfer to the paper-lined plate. Lay a further 2 sheets of kitchen paper over the aubergine pieces to absorb excess oil.

Use kitchen paper to wipe any remaining oil from the fryingpan. Transfer the aubergines back into the pan and add the harissa, honey and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Stir well until the aubergine pieces are evenly coated in the mixture.

Serve with the sesame seeds, nigella seeds, coriander and spring onions scattered over.

Recipe extracted from Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour