Tonight was my turn to cook, for a change. I decided to make Claudia Roden's Lebanese Mussaka'A Menazzaleh or aubergines with tomatoes, chickpeas and pomegranate molasses. You can get pomegranate molasses from any Middle Eastern grocery, of which there are many on Green Lanes near where we live. It has a syrupy texture and sweet and sour taste. The dish itself, beginning to end, takes around 45 minutes.
I chopped a medium aubergine into 1 inch pieces and grilled them for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I diced and sauteed 3 plump cloves of garlic quickly in olive oil and stirred in 3 chopped, medium tomatoes. After 5 minutes, I added a tin of plum tomatoes and cooked the mixture for 15 minutes. By this time the aubergines had turned a lovely colour and I added them to the tomato stew along with a tablespoon of pomegranate molasses. I added a teaspoon of sugar and seasoned with salt and pepper. Then I simmered the stew for 20 minutes.
Towards the end of cooking, I added a can of chickpeas. I served it sprinkled with several tablespoons of chopped parsley and hot Turkish flat bread. And of course, a nice bottle of Malbec. The result was a deliciously warm and moreish dinner and M loved it.
Just in time for Ugly Betty!