Prep Time: 40 minutes
Marinating: at least 1 hour
Cook Time: 8–10 minutes
These delicious spiced vegetable kebabs are ideal for a summer lunch party – they can be cooked on a barbecue as well as under the grill.
salt and black pepper
12 green cardamoms
2.5 ml/½ teaspoon turmeric
juice of ½ lemon
90 ml/6 tablespoons olive oil
1 spring onion
2 cloves garlic
14 bay leaves
30 ml/2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
2 red peppers
- Trim the ends off the aubergines, then cut them into 2.5 cm/1 in cubes. Place them in a colander, sprinkling the layers with salt. Set the colander aside over a bowl for 15 minutes.
- Split the cardamom pods and carefully scrape out the tiny black seeds into a mortar. Use a pestle to grind the seeds to a powder, then mix this with the turmeric and lemon juice in a bowl large enough to hold the aubergine cubes. Whisk salt and freshly ground black pepper into the spice mixture, then gradually whisk in 60 ml/4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Finely chop or snip the spring onion, add it to the mixture. Peel and chop 1 clove garlic and stir it into the mixture. Rinse and dry the aubergine cubes, then toss them with the spice mixture until they are evenly coated.
- Tear 2 bay leaves in half and place them in a bowl. Add the rest of the oil. Peel and crush the remaining clove of garlic, then crush the pieces of bay leaf so that they release their flavour. Add the chopped coriander and seasoning. Halve the red peppers, discard the cores, seeds and pith, then cut the flesh into chunks. Peel and quarter the onions, then cut the pieces in half width-ways. Add the red peppers and onions to the oil and bay leaf mixture, tossing them well to coat them evenly.
- Leave these vegetables to marinate* for at least 1 hour. They may be placed in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight: the longer the marinating time, the better the flavour. Thread the vegetables on to metal skewers, alternating the aubergines with the onions and peppers, and adding the whole bay leaves. Grill the spiced kebabs for about 4–5 minutes on each side, turning them once or twice, or until the vegetables are tender and browned.
* Serve boiled barley or wheat, or cooked rice with the cardamom kebabs, adding any leftover oil, crushed bay leaf and spices to the cooking liquid for the grains. A bowl of grated cucumber mixed with plain yogurt (raita) and/or a leafy salad (including rocket, parsley and watercress) would be ideal accompaniments.