Damn, that’s mouthful of a recipe title isn’t it.
Full disclosure: I have absolutely never been to Morocco. I’m not even sure exactly what characterises Moroccan food, but something about pairing aubergine and pomegranate seemed to demand that particular spice blend. And due to the sparseness of my food supplies at the moment, that’s precisely how this recipe for Moroccan Baked Tempeh was born. Sometimes the best dishes are created when you have the least amount of ingredients to work with. When you have none of your failsafe options available to you, you’re forced to try something new.
My tip of the week: sign up for a veg box scheme. They’ll send you a ton of stuff that would never normally see the inside of your fridge and unless you figure out a tasty way of using it, it’ll only find its way into the bin. That’s gross.
So pop the ingredients you have into google and see what it comes up with:
Full disclosure: Tempeh looks disgusting. Seriously. It reminds me of cat poop in a litter tray. Too much disclosure? However, once you cook it up, it’s actually delicious and has a texture that I find a lot more appealing than tofu. Less like eating a smooth sponge, and more… Burger-like? Okay, maybe you’ll have to get back to me on that one… Just don’t look at it too much before you eat it.
Moroccan Baked Tempeh with Aubergine and Pomegranate
1 block tempeh
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
8-10 tbsp water
1-2 tbsp chopped coriander
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
Sweet Garlic and Almond Bulgar Wheat
1/2 cup uncooked bulgar wheat
1 cup boiling water
Salt & pepper
2 garlic cloves, skins left on
1 handful almonds, chopped
First, whack your oven up to 200C and poke holes in your aubergine with a fork. Pop it in the oven and set the timer for 1 hour.
Next, cut up the tempeh into bite-sized cubes and make the marinade. Combine the oil, lemon juice, spices and water, then pour over the cubed tempeh in an oven dish with a lid. Add more water if you need to; just enough so you can stir and coat all of the tempeh pieces.
(Told you it looks gross)
Leave to marinate until there’s 20 mins left on the timer.
When there’s about 30-35 mins left to go, pop your garlic cloves for the bulgar wheat in the oven to roast.
Now you can get on with those pomegranate seeds. Yum.
You get put them straight into whatever bowl you’re going to serve the final dish in.
Okay, so by now you should probably have put the tempeh in the oven. When there’s 15 minutes left to go, pour the cup of boiling water over the bulgar in a saucepan with a lid, season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes. After all the water has been soaked up and it looks all pale and fluffy, take off the heat but leave the lid on.
Ding ding! Timer’s gone off. Take out the garlic, squeeze out of the skins, chop up and add to the bulgar pan. This is where the sweetness comes from; roasting gives garlic a completely different flavour. Also add your chopped almonds, stir up and replace the lid to keep it all warm.
Then take your wrinkly aubergine out and chop up into cubes (with difficulty). Add to the pomegranate dish. Take out the tempeh and pour into the dish too. Add 1-2 tbsps of fresh coriander and mix up.
Full disclosure: authentically Moroccan or not, this was completely delicious.
Now, if someone wants to whisk me away to sample the real thing, I’d be more than happy to oblige… All in the name of research of course. Who’s offering?
(By the way, I’ve written and edited this post entirely on my new iPhone – yeah I did! – because my home wifi is broken, so if it looks like crap I apologise. Things’ll all get back to normal soon, promise.)