I love ethnic food. It’s a celebration of the beautiful produce and spices a certain geographical region has to offer and of the culinary creations the people of that region have come up with. As my ancestry is Moroccan on my dad’s side, I grew up with those unique north African flavours which dominate my grandmother’s kitchen. We were lucky enough to come across a pair of ripe yellowish quince fruits during our grocery shopping trip so I took them, having no plan whatsoever, but I knew I’d figure out what to make of them eventually. This is the result.
Yields: 3 servings
For the bulgur-
1 cup of bulgur
zest of peel of 1/2 an orange
2 cups of water
a dash of salt
For the roast-
1 large quince, or 2 small ones (if you don’t have access to quince, you can either leave it out or try to replace with apples)
1 red bell pepper
1 elongated aubergine/eggplant (1/2 of a regular one)
1 medium potato
1.5 cups of pre-cooked chickpeas *
The sauce for the roast-
2 cups of water
3 Tbs of coconut milk
2 pinches of cayenne pepper powder
4 pinches of turmeric powder
3 pinches of ground coriander seeds powder
3 Tbs of organic maple syrup
salt (to flavour)
- Preheat your oven to 180oC / 350oF
- Slice and dice all the vegetables for the roast and place them in a ceramic dish (suitable for the oven) along with the cooked chickpeas.
- Mix all the dry spices together in a small bowl and then add the rest of the ingredients for the sauce for the roast. Mix it all well and then pour all over the vegetables.
- Cover the dish with silver foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- In the meantime prepare the bulgur by mixing it with 2 cups of water and salt in the pot and cooking it lidded on the stove at a low temperature until you notice that all the water has absorbed into the bulgur. It will cook faster than rice, as bulgar is semi-cooked cracked wheat and it cooks faster.
- After the bulgur is fully cooked, grate the peel of 1/2 of an orange into the bulgur using the small blade of your grater and mixing it all in evenly while it’s still steaming and cover with the lid for a few minutes, so that the aroma from the peel will soak through the grain.
- After 45 minutes in the oven, remove the silver foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Poke the potatoes to make sure they’re soft, if they’re not fully soft, leave in for a few more minutes and then broil/grill for another few minutes if you like it crispy on top.
- Serve the vegetable-chickpea medley along with the bulgur and make sure to pour some of the sauce on top of the bulgur so that all the flavours combine.
If you liked this recipe, please let me know in the comments 😛
* Soak some chickpeas (around 3-4 cups of dried chickpeas) in a bowl of water so that the water is well above the chickpeas. The chickpeas should be around 1/3 of the contents of the bowl and the rest should be water nearly till the top. Leave them soaked overnight.
The next morning, drain the water. Throw the chickpeas in a pot and add water (around the same ratio as we did in the soaking bowl) and start cooking with the lid on, on a low-medium heat. We should be getting small bubbles. Cook the chickpeas until most of the water is gone and check whether they are tender enough— they should be super soft and tender. If not, add more water and check again once the water is evaporated.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour