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{Day 28} Spicy eggplant ‘tagine’

As  I was plating up the South East Asian fried rice the other day, I noticed that the Royal Selangor jelly mould sitting in the little saucer of a plate looked exactly like a tagine!

Used in North African and Middle Eastern cuisines, the dish usually requires cooking on a stove top or in the oven for extended periods to reach tenderness. And while the mould is not stove top safe as such, nor can it go in the oven, it makes for a beautiful looking single serve presentation for this spicy eggplant tagine.

To accentuate the cooking dish’s origin I have used Sami’s Kitchen all natural Shawarma mix, a delicious Middle Eastern blend of fragrant spices that is all natural, MSG and preservative free, and which also goes perfectly well with beef or lamb. To make the sticky almost fruity sweet sauce, I used half a pottle of Anathoth‘s Farmstyle Pickle relish – also 100% natural and quite spicy. With some extra garlic and chilli the eggplant tagine was ready to eat in 20 minutes and the presentation in the Royal Selangor jelly mould ‘tagine’ definitely had the desired wow effect!

Giveaways – now closed

To win an Olympus VG-110 camera: comment on any of the 30 Royal Selangor Get Your Jelly On challenge posts on my blog – multiple entries allowed. Camera giveaway is open worldwide! Entries close October 30, midnight AEST. Winner(s) will be announced on the blog on October 31.

To win the Cuisinart ice cream maker: enter here.

Makes 2

Spicy eggplant ‘tagine’

The eggplant tagine is quite spicy, omit chilli if you wish. For best results cook in a wok with a lid, but a large fry pan will do just fine too. Serve with the Royal Selangor jelly mould over the dish to wow your guests. Vegan, gluten and dairy free too!

For the tagine:

  • 1 large eggplant (about 500g)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 red long chilli, sliced with seeds (omit this if you like)
  • 1 tsp Sami’s Kitchen Shawarma spice blend // or similar
  • 200g Anathoth Farmstyle Pickle relish
  • 2 tbsp guava vinegar // or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup water

To prepare the tagine: slice eggplant into 2cm slices, then cut into cubes. Heat oil in a wok or a large frypan. Add garlic and chilli and stir fry for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add eggplant cubes and keep stirring until it has softened a little. Sprinkle over with vinegar then add shawarma spices and stir again. Lastly pour in the relish and water, stir and cover with a lid. Turn down the heat to medium low and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the eggplant is nice and soft.

To serve: spoon hot eggplant into the cone and invert into a small saucer or tapas dish only slightly bigger that the rim of the mould. Serve with the mould and let your guests uncover the delicious meal inside.

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mycookinghut October 28, 2011 at 8:52 am

Excellent idea!

valens87 October 28, 2011 at 9:07 am

My an eggplant dishes lover so all I can say is: yummmmmy
The “tagine” idea is simply amazing.
Please, can you share other eggplant recipes?
Thank you!!!
Your hungry follower Valens

Wholesome Cook October 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Hi Valens! Thank you for your comment, I’ll be sure to post more delicious eggplant recipes soon!

Three-Cookies October 28, 2011 at 9:25 am

Creative use, even the inhabitants from MENA will WOW at this, except for the hard core patriots. They may call you:)

Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide October 28, 2011 at 9:36 am

Looks wonderful, as always!

Mez October 28, 2011 at 9:47 am


I’m such an eggplant fiend so ANY new way to cook it sounds pretty toot sweet to me. You’re so spot on about the shape being like a tagine, perfect!

Hope you have a gorgeous weekend lovely!


Sharni October 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Sounds delicious and looks great too, you’re right!

Nic October 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Great job Martyna! Another practical use of the mould that shows off its beauty! And the dish sounds nice.

Timothy R October 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I’ve been enjoying, hell loving even, all your posts in this challenge. You are so creative Martyna, and a great cook, stylist and photographer!

B. Lee October 28, 2011 at 1:39 pm

What a brilliant idea on how to use the mould and I love your eggplant recipe. Good luck in the competition, Martyna.


Lizzy (Good Things) October 28, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Simply amazing. You are a legend.

Mel October 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I’ve been using Anathoth jams for ages now, but didn’t realize they made pickles! Love that they are natural and how cute is the mould tagine!!! Want one so badly!

Anne S October 28, 2011 at 2:13 pm

You are so imaginative and creative. You see things when others can’t, reminds me of the opening pages of The Little Prince. And you cook beautiful food. I hope you win!

Wholesome Cook October 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm

The Little Prince is one of my favourite books of all time!!! I have to admit that elephant in the snake’s belly is hard to spot…
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Tammy October 28, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Super delicious and lovely presentation! A winning combination for me.

sara (Belly Rumbles) October 28, 2011 at 2:16 pm

What a fantastic idea. Nearly to the end of the challenge, can’t believe it, has gone by so quickly.

Jennifer (Delicieux) October 28, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I love the idea of using the jelly mould to make a tagine!!! So clever!

Sissi October 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm

The jelly mould use in tagine making is an extraordinary idea, but so obvious now that you say this: the cone looks exactly like the tagine dish top. It’s only that without your creative mind, no one would think about it!

Bree October 29, 2011 at 3:44 am

That looks great!

Courtney October 29, 2011 at 4:05 am

Are you counting down the days?? I don’t know what I’ll do when I come back and not see some amazing – cone-shaped dish. 😉 Looks fabulous, as always!

Nami | Just One Cookbook October 29, 2011 at 4:47 am

Ha! You are genius. When I saw the cover shot on your blog, I thought you took a break from the challenge. Then I saw the mold! Recently I saw 2 tagine recipes so I got the whole concept right away. It DOES look like tagine (and I also learned previously that tagine means both the name of dish and the container). What a delicious tagine you made and I always love your creativity!

TC October 29, 2011 at 5:38 am

sounds delicious!

Ming October 30, 2011 at 3:22 am

My sister likes eating eggplant so I think this recipe is something she’ll love too.

Hayssam @ Sami's Kitchen October 30, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Martyna that’s such a brilliant and original use of the Shawarma flavours. I went to an eggplant dinner this week at Efendy restaurant and I wish they’d made your dish. Would have fit perfectly in. Thanks. Hayssam


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