Staff member
11 Oct 2012
Local time
8:58 PM
SE Australia
So with no electricity today, I've had to be more creative than usual and our evening meal is currently on the BBQ.
Yep, I had to clean it first, I had to remove quite a bit of insect life that I didn't need to cook (they didn't get any further than my helpers) and no second chances if you dropped anything either!

And because I'd forgotten to make a note that this makes far more than the 4 portions the recipe claims, I've got enough here for a feast. There is a lot of veg in this and if you are using a brown long grain rice you'll need to parboil it because it won't cook fully otherwise. The original recipe (Veggiestan by Sally Butcher) uses white basmati. My preference is to use brown basmati. The author uses a wok to make this in but I don't have one, so I'm using 2 skillets. They are large and flat so I need a touch more sliced veg to cover both of them completely.

3 large aubergines sliced 10-15mm thick
A head of garlic, smashed and peeled
2 onions, chopped anyhow
1 large or 2 medium courgettes, diced
2 large red pepper (3 medium sized ones) roughly chopped
4-5 tbsp baharat spice mix
1 tsp tumeric
4 tbsp tomato concentrate
8-10 medium large tomatoes (half sliced 5mm thick and half diced)
3 or 4 large potatoes sliced 5mm thick
500g uncooked brown basmati rice (rinsed and drained)
1 Litre vegetable stock
Roasted flaked almonds (optional)
Freshly chopped parsley (optional)

  1. Parboil your rice, drain and set aside
  2. Fry the aubergine slices, browning on both sides, then set aside to cool
  3. Fry the potato slices, browning on both side and partially cooking, set aside
  4. Add the garlic cloves, onions, courgette, and red pepper to the "pan" and fry for a couple of minutes till browning, add 2 tbsp of the baharat spice mix, the chopped tomatoes and the tomato concentrate, mix well, cook for a couple of minutes, remove from the heat and set aside in a bowl.
  5. Time to assemble! Lay the potato slices 1 slice thick to cover the bottom and sides of your cooking vessel.
  6. Repeat with the aubergine slices, again 1 layer thick.
  7. Now spoon in the tomato-courgette mixture and flatten it out, pushing it up the sides as well.
  8. Next lay the sliced tomatoes 1 slice thick, pushing up the sides to make a well for the rice and stock
  9. Mix 2 tbsp of baharat spice mix with the ruce, and add the partially cooked rice to the well, pushing it down into cracks etc.
  10. Finally top off with the stock. (It doesn't show in my photos because my rice was almost totally cooked). I sprinkle some more baharat on the top as well.
  11. Put the lid on the skillet(s) and simmer until the rice is cooked and the stock absorbed or evaporated. If you're using uncooked white basmati, this could be 50-60 minutes. I just left mine coming for 45 minutes using brown rice with 2 skillets on a BBQ. If you wanted to you could also put this in the oven if your skillet or cooking vessel is ovenproof. All options require a lid, so if you're using a wok, you'll need to create one or find something that will act as one.


P S. If you want to add loads of pictures and not be limited to only 6 per post, just use the media gallery.
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Whoa that is a lot of food! I've never tried brown basmati, only white, but I love other brown rice...
Whoa that is a lot of food!
Yeah it is. The book says served 4. It doesn't... maybe 14, but not 4.

500g of uncooked rice is 5 portions before the veg... and hubby and I don't eat full portions of rice either (usually 75g uncooked each). So I've got probably 10 or 12 servings there!

I much prefer brown basmati. The one we buy takes the same time to cook as white (same label) when you boil it, but takes longer for absorption cooking which I don't fully understand.
I much prefer brown basmati. The one we buy takes the same time to cook as white (same label) when you boil it, but takes longer for absorption cooking which I don't fully ununderstand.
Has it got that slightly nutty flavor and chewy texture that other brown rice does? That's what I really love about brown rice.
We made a dish like this a while back from a recipe from Milk Street. They spelled it differently and ingredients were different but it was same type of dish. It was really good.


4 chicken thighs, seasoned basmati rice, cauliflower, eggplant, almonds, garlic, spices.

It also made a lot, more than what the recipe said as far as servings. It was good, but wow, lots of rice. If I ever make again, it was a LOT of work, I will cut way down on the rice, make in a smaller pan and not worry about turning it out of the pan. It needed the rice for the structure to hold together when it was flipped out.
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They spelled it differently and ingredients were different but it was same type of dish. It was really good.
There are a variety of spellings mostly because Arabic doesn't have direct translations for sounds and letters. In my book the author has spelt it with a g not a q, but it's essentially the same dish. I can't remember ottomh if it is usually made with lamb or chicken, but with my book being vegetarian, more veg is used instead.
There is another dish that looks more like the one in your picture, called Tahchin Morgh that looks much more like your photo, but that features yoghurt and saffron with the rice. I'll be making that one later this week (well, a dairy free vegetarian version of it anyhow - it uses egg in it and caramelises the rice to give a crisp outer similar to your picture. That is traditionally made with chicken hidden inside. I'll either make it with tofu, mushrooms or leave it without.
That would have been labor intensive even cooking it in a regular kitchen, much less on a BBQ with no electricity. Bravo!
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