North African Lamb & Cous Cous Stew | home | Morrocan Chicken and Red Lentil Pilaf

Eggplant Rice Pilaf with Hilbeh and Yoghurt

This is a fairly fast recipe for those times when you:

  • have┬áto eat fast
  • have spare eggplants that need eating


In Australia eggplants although easy to get, don’t seem to feature much in the local cuisine, so recipes like this (from the Mediterranean region) make a nice change.

This may be a Greg Malouf creation or it might be something I whacked together after consulting his books for inspiration, I can’t remember which right now, and in reality is probably a fusion on both.


  • 2 medium sized eggplant (aubergine)
  • salt
  • 400g (14 oz) long-grain rice
  • 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley
  • 500 ml (16 fl oz) stock or water, boiling


Cut the eggplant into 1cm (1/3 in) dice, put them into a colander and sprinkle lightly with salt. This draws out some of the moisture and reduces the amount of oil absorbed during cooking.
Leave for 20 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
Put the rice into a bowl and wash under cold running water until it runs clear – you want to wash away as much of the excess starch as possible.
Heat two thirds of the oil in a heavy-based pan ( I tend to use an old Sunbeam Electric pan, you know the sort made of cast aluminium ) and gently saute the eggplant until they are lightly coloured. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spon and set aside.
Add the rest of the oil to the pan, then the onion and garlic, and fry gently until they soften.
Return the eggplant to the pan and tip in the tomatoes.
Season with salt and pepper, then throw in the mint and parsley and mix well.
Add the rice to the pan – you dont want to mix it in, but rather layer it on top of the vegetable stew. This stops the eggplant from breaking down into the rice.
Carefully pour on the boiling water or stock.
Return it to the boil without stirring, cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 25 mintues
When the cooking time is up, turn off the heat and remove the lid. Cover the pan with a tea-towel, replace the lid and leave to stand for 10 minutes to steam.
To serve, gently mix the rice and braised vegetables together, and serve with the accompaniments of hilbeh and yoghurt and plenty of Arabic bread.


A lovely thick and sticky rice dish, full of satiny chunks of eggplant in a rich tomatoey base, while the mint adds a nice refreshing balance. Serve the hilbeh on the side as a spicy relish, and add a blob of creamy smooth yoghurt to smooth it all out in the mouth.
Serves 6 – 8


“Moorish – Flavours from Mecca to Marrakash”:
Authors: Greg and Lucy Malouf
ISBN: 1-876719-98-2
Published: “Hardie Grant Books”: , 2001

posted to Moorish,Recipes @ 11:10 pm

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  • At 7:23 am on 4 May, 2010, Joan commented:

    Found your website by ‘googling’ for the tahini & yoghurt dressing, which I enjoy. Can’t remember what it is supposed to ‘dress’?
    Can you direct me to some dishes I can use it with?

  • At 6:24 pm on 4 May, 2010, David commented:

    Hi Joan,

    I enjoy it with a wide variety of Moorish/Middle Eastern dishes. It goes beautifully with Moroccan Lamb Stew or even a rice pilaf.

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North African Lamb & Cous Cous Stew | home | Morrocan Chicken and Red Lentil Pilaf