Made with silky soft, smoky aubergines, this is one of the world’s great sarnies. It’s an Iraqi recipe, that you now find all over Tel Aviv, which is where I first tried this dish. Traditionally, it’s served with a sauce called amba that’s made from green mangoes and fenugreek. It has a very distinct flavour. The sauce is hard to find here in the UK and have had the time to make my own. To give the aubergines welly, I use a generous pinch of chaat masala, a brilliant Indian spice mix that is made with dried mango powder. The flavour of the spices, aubergines, fresh salad, pickles and tahini are just rocking. Get the softest pittas you can and if like heat, add in some good chilli sauce or zhoug.
- Heat a griddle or non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Pour the oil into a shallow dish and add a good pinch of salt. Toss the aubergine in the oil. Griddle or fry for about 2-3 minutes a side or until charred and really tender. Return to the dish and squeeze over the juice of half a lemon. Season well with the chaat masala and toss together.
- Meanwhile, chuck the cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions, parsley and remaining lemon juice into a bowl. Season with a little salt and mix well.
- To serve, lay the aubergine slices onto the pitta breads. Top with salad, egg and pickles. Drizzle over plenty of tahini and serve immediately.
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 small aubergine, cut lengthways into strips
The juice of a lemon
1 tsp chaat masala
1/4/ cucumber, finely chopped
1 tomato, deseeded and finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
A small handful of roughly chopped parsley leaves
1 hard boiled egg, sliced
Pickles to serve
Tahini to serve