Aubergines with honey, chilli and cumin



Pops of flavour from Cumin seeds plus sweetness from honey are typical of Moorish food. This recipe comes from an old copy of Sainsbury’s Magazine.



  • 2 medium aubergines
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp clear honey plus 1 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt plus extra for salting the aubergines
  • 1.5l vegetable oil for deep frying

Serves: 6



Trim the ends off the aubergines and cut into slices no more than 1 cm thick. Sprinkle lightly with salt then set aside for 30 minutes to draw out some of the moisture.

To make the dressing, lightly toast the cumin seeds until fragrant. Gently crush one tsp of the seeds in a pestle and mortar and then mix with the chilli, one tbsp each of honey, olive oil and vinegar, half the thyme leaves and seasoning. Set aside ready to serve.

In a large bowl whisk the flour, salt and remaining cumin seeds with 150ml of tepid water. Leave this batter to rest for 10 minutes.

Pat the aubergines dry with kitchen towel. Heat the oil to 170 C in a deep sided pan. If a small piece of bread dropped into the oil sizzles immediately, then you can begin to cook.

In batches, lightly coat the aubergine in the batter and lower into the oil, making sure not to overload the pan. Fry until golden on both sides, drain on kitchen paper and season well. Place in a warm over and repeat until all the aubergine is cooked.

Serve the crisp aubergine slices with the rest of the honey, the chilli dressing, and the remaining thyme leaves scattered over each plate.

Moorish aubergines