Baharat aubergine steaks recipe


Baharat is the Turkish word for ‘spice’, but it is also a mixture used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s an aromatic and fairly kick-ass combination of cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom and is easily bought as a ready-made blend, but is great to make at home too. It transforms oven-baked aubergine/eggplant slices into something incredible, and when they’re served alongside caramel-sweet dates, salty feta and slightly sharp physalis berries and a sesame paste and yogurt sauce, the result is quite positively, a coup de maitre (which is French for something like ‘a stroke of genius’). A peppery rocket/arugula salad makes a great accompaniment.

  • Yield: 3 Servings


  • 1–2 tbsp baharat spice mix
  • 3½ tbsp (50 ml) olive oil
  • 1 aubergine/eggplant, thinly sliced
  • ⅔ cup (100 g) medjool dates, stoned/pitted and halved
  • 3 tbsp date syrup
  • 7 oz (200 g) feta cheese
  • 3½ oz (100 g) fresh physalis berries, halved
  • mint leaves, to garnish
For the Tahini Yogurt
  • generous ½ cup (120 g) full-fat natural/plain yogurt
  • 1–2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 generous tbsp tahini paste
  • ½ lemon juice
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C (375˚F) Gas 5. Mix the baharat spice with the olive oil and paint this liberally over the aubergine/eggplant slices. Arrange them on a sheet pan and bake for about 15–20 minutes, until they are soft and a rich golden brown.
  2. In the meantime, mix the dates with the date syrup and a splash of hot water and leave them to plump up while the aubergine/eggplant is in the oven.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven. Break the feta cheese into chunks and scatter it over the aubergine/eggplant slices. Arrange the dates here and there, drizzle the syrup over the aubergine/eggplant slices, and return everything to the oven for just 5 minutes, to warm through.
  4. In the meantime, for the tahini yogurt, beat the yogurt, garlic, tahini paste and lemon juice together until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Remove the sheet pan from the oven, and dot the physalis halves here and there. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and serve warm, with the tahini yogurt.

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