Harissa eggplant recipe

Moroccan couscous with harissa glazed eggplant.
Moroccan couscous with harissa glazed eggplant. Photo: Christoper Pearce

The eggplant is incredibly soft and moist on the inside, and the harissa has a strong kick. The harissa paste has many uses – it is delicious brushed over lamb chops or smeared over grilled fish – but this dish is big and bold enough without any meat.


2 large red capsicums

30ml olive oil

1 large red onion, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

5 long red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped

½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted and crushed

½ tsp caraway seeds, toasted and crushed

30ml sherry vinegar

1 tsp preserved lemon, finely chopped

sea salt and pepper

2 large eggplants, cut into 2.5cm slices

200g natural yoghurt

½ bunch mint, finely chopped

½ lemon, juice and zest


1. Turn the barbecue or gas hob to high and place capsicums on the flame, turning until they blacken.

2. Place charred capsicums in a small bowl and cover with plastic film for 10 minutes. Peel skin off capsicums and discard cores and seeds. Roughly chop the flesh.

3. Add olive oil, onions, garlic and chili to a medium sized pot on high heat. Cook until the onions become translucent, then add the cumin and caraway seeds.

4. Add capsicum flesh and cook on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly. Add sherry vinegar and preserved lemon.

5. Using a food processor, whiz mixture into a smooth paste, then season with salt and pepper.

6. Drizzle the eggplant slices with olive oil and generously smear paste on both sides.

7. Char grill on a medium-hot barbecue for about 10 minutes on each side, on until they become soft and tender. Combine yoghurt, mint, lemon juice and zest in a small bowl and season. Drizzle yoghurt mix over the eggplant and serve with the couscous.

This recipe goes with Mark LaBrooy and Darren Robertson's Moroccan couscous.