Aubergine Puree (spiced)
Baked aubergine puree with chilies and spices, makes a marvelous, creamy dip. Cumin seeds add crunch.
2 large aubergines, about 950 g/ 1 lb
4 red Anaheim chilies
4 garlic cloves
Grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
75 g/6 oz cream cheese
cumin seeds for the garnish
pitta bread and crudites, for serving
Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F/Gas Mark 6. Rinse the aubergine and prick each of them a few times. Place directly on a shelf in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until the aubergines are very soft and have begun to collapse.
Put the chilies and garlic on a baking sheet and place on another shelf. Cook the chilies and garlic for about I 0 minutes, or until the skins have begun to wrinkle. Remove from the oven and put into a plastic bag for 10 minutes. Peel and discard the seeds from the chilies and the skins from the garlic, and set aside.
Let the aubergines cool, then strip off the skin and put the flesh into a food processor with the chilies, garlic, lemon peel, and juice. Add the spices. Process to a smooth puree, then add the cream cheese and process again. Transfer to a serving bowl and flake the top.
Chill for at least 30 minutes. Garnish with cumin seeds and serve with pitta bread and crudites.