Fire-grilled aubergine, dressed with garlic, ginger, cumin, honey and lemon gets an additional kick from harissa, North African hot pepper paste. Long Japanese or small round Italian aubergines are excellent varieties to choose for this dish, as are the more usual large, oblong aubergines.
Preheat the grill (broiler) or a ridged griddle pan. Dip each aubergine slice in olive oil and cook in a pan under the grill or in a griddle pan. Turn the slices so that they are lightly browned on both sides.
In a wide frying pan, fry the garlic in a little olive oil for a few seconds, then stir in the ginger, cumin, harissa, honey and lemon juice.
Add enough water to cover the base of the pan and to thin the mixture, then lay the aubergine slices in the pan. Cook the aubergines gently for about 10 minutes, or until they have absorbed all the sauce.
Add a little extra water. If necessary, season to taste with salt, and serve at room temperature, with chunks of fresh bread to mop up the juices.
If you want to make a feauture out of this sumptuous dish, serve it with other grilled (broiled) vegetables and fruit, such as (bell) peppers, chillies, tomatoes, oranges, pineapple and perhaps with mangoes.
If you prefer, substitute the aubergines in this recipe for three large courgettes (zucchini). Thickly slice the courgettes, and griddle in a little olive oil. Then cook with the garlic, honey and spices exactly as you would the aubergine slices.
Recipe excerpted from The Complete Guide to Traditional Jewish Cooking with permission from the publisher.