I have found Gabe Merkins book has some interesting ideas for recipes
but in general far too bland. However have gathered some real winners
from it. Our favorite uses his Berebere Spice mix to make a
Barley, Eggplant and Chickpea dish which is loosely based on his
recipe for Spicy Eggplant Melange. I have substituted barley for
the brown rice and vermicelli because I like its flavor and it has
a lower glycemic index (the speed at which carbs are converted to
blood sugar) I also use 5 times the amount of spice he recommends
and more garlic. We have made the recipe below several times and
really really like it. The latest version is given below. (I am
one of those cooks who never leaves a recipe alone)
I have dug out the book and will post some of my notes I have written
in the margins when I get time.
We like our food moderately hot. If you like it milder cut it down or
do not put as much red pepper in the spice mix.
BEREBERE EGGPLANT AND BARLEY
Based on recipes from Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Book "Fat Free and Full Flavor"
2 Large Eggplants or 3 Smaller Eggplants
1 large onion chopped
6 cloves of garlic minced
2 Cups Boullion of your choice
6 Roma Tomatoes (could also use 3 - 4 regular tomatoes)
3/4 Cup Pot or Pearl Barley
2 Cups Cooked Chickpeas (or 1 can undrained)
1 Cup (or more) rasins
fresh ground pepper
Chopped green onions and or fresh cilantro
5 teaspoons Berbere Spice Mix (See next post for recipe)
Pierce Eggplant and place in hot oven (about 400 degrees). Put barley in
boullion and start cooking. After most of the water is absorbed by the
barley add the onions, garlic, spice and rasins. Cook until onions
just starting to get soft. Remove the eggplant from the oven when soft and
skin black. Chop eggplant. Add eggplant and tomatoes to barley mix.
Heat thoroughly. Serve garnished with chopped green onions and/or
fresh cilantro. My husband likes more rasins in it than I do.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada