This dish, a favourite of Iraqi Jews, is the perfect egg sandwich.
Traditionally, it is prepared before the Sabbath, and thus, when served, the ingredients are cold and the eggs are hard-boiled. You can also fry the eggs if you like, but then you’d be breaking with tradition.
Makes: 4 servings
- 4 eggs
- 1 aubergine
- 1 cauliflower head
- Olive oil for frying
- Pitta bread
- Tahini sauce
To make Amba: Makes about 1¼ cups
- 4 fresh mangoes or 1½ pounds (675g) frozen diced mango
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 red or green chilli pepper
- ½ cup (100ml) neutral oil, such as sunflower
oil or peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons ground fenugreek
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard seeds
- ½ cup (100ml) distilled vinegar
- Boil the eggs.
- Slice the aubergine into ¼ inch (½ cm) rounds and salt them generously. Let the aubergine drain in a colander over a bowl for 10–15 minutes until they begin to release their liquid.
- In the meantime, break the cauliflower into small florets.
- After the aubergine has drained, pat it dry with paper towels to absorb any excess liquid.
- Prepare a frying pan with a decent amount of oil. Fry the aubergine slices on each side until they turn golden brown. Set them aside. Do the same with the cauliflower. Set it aside.
- To assemble the sandwich, fill a pitta or flat bread with the aubergine, cauliflower, boiled egg, hummus, tahini and amba.
To make Amba:
- If you are using fresh mango, peel and cut the fruit and place it in a bowl. If you are using frozen mango, place the cubes in a bowl. Salt the fruit and let it sit for about one hour.
- After one hour, chop the chilli pepper. Heat the oil in a saucepan. When the oil is hot, add the chilli pepper, fenugreek, turmeric and mustard seeds. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture is fragrant.
- Add the mango to the saucepan and stir until the sauce starts to simmer.
- Pour the vinegar into the pan. Stir to combine and let the mixture simmer. Remove the pan from the heat. Let the sauce cool before serving.
Extracted from Jerusalem Food: Bold Flavors from the Middle East and Beyond by Nidal Kersh, published by Sterling, priced £25. Available now.