RECIPE

For the Iman Bayaldi

(Makes enough for all the Tacos with plenty left over)

2 aubergines, cut into long slices about 1 1/2cm thick

Olive oil for cooking

1 onion, finely chopped

1 red pepper, finely diced

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp dried oregano

200g chopped or blended tomatoes

pinch of sugar

salt and pepper to taste

RECIPE

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp onion granules

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp chili flakes

1/2 tsp cinammon

1/2 tsp salt

A few twists of black pepper

200g cooked, drained chickpeas

200g cauliflower, cut into small, bite-size florets

8 mini flour tortillas

4 tbsp hummus

8 tbsp Imam Bayildi

Fresh coriander, roughly chopped, to garnish

And so my plant-based diet continues apace. I just can’t help myself. It’s like discovering the joy of cooking and eating all over again. Every mealtime is now an exciting new journey of texture, colour and flavor, and utterly guilt free. I can eat as much as I want without fear of being woken by tooth- clenching acidity while reaching way-too-late for yet another Rennie. I know that the mind-bogglingly complex internal workings of my body are giving high fives, fist-bumps and whoops of pleasure as another nutritional maelstrom of goodness goes down. And in-spite of the heat, I’ve still got energy to spare as I negotiate for the umpteenth time today the zillion steps from the calle to our front door. Result!

Makes 8 mini tacos

There’s something about food you eat with your fingers that adds an ethereal pleasure to the act of simply eating. Whether the psychology of this is based on harking back to more primitive times, or simply feeling more physically connected to our food by removing the middle men I don’t know – and really, who cares. This little plant-based version of a favourite genre not only feels good – it tastes amazing so let’s leave it at that.

Heat a heavy based, non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Lay out the aubergine slices and drizzle with just enough olive oil to coat with a light film. Spread the oil with your fingers or a brush to get a light coating – you don’t want to saturate them with oil. Place the slices, oiled sides down into the pan and cook for about five minutes until brown and golden. Oil the upper side, turn and cook until both sides are brown and golden. Remove from the pan and set aside (you will need to do this in batches). When slightly cooled, chop the aubergine to a pulp and set aside until required. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

In the meantime, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the onions. Cook for a few minutes until softened. Add the diced red pepper and cook for a further few minutes until softened. Add the garlic, cumin, oregano and chilli and cook gently for another couple of minutes, stirring. Add the tomatoes and sugar and stir well to combine. Add the reserved aubergine pulp. Bring to a simmer and then turn the heat to low before putting on a lid and cooking gently for two minutes. Remove from the heat to cool. Serve at room temperature, or slightly warmed. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep well for three or four days.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C degrees. Combine the oil, spices and seasoning to form a paste. Put the chickpeas and cauliflower in a bowl and add the paste. Use your hands to combine until the chickpeas and cauliflower are evenly coated. Place a sheet of baking parchment paper on an oven tray and spread over the spiced cauliflower and chickpeas in a single even layer. Roast for half an hour. Heat the tacos according to the instructions. Put half a tbsp of hummus into the centre of each taco and spread the mixture with the back of a spoon. Divide the roast cauliflower and chickpea mix amongst the tacos, spooning onto the spread hummus. Divide the Imam Bayildi amongst the tacos putting a spoonful on top of the roast cauliflower and chickpea mix, and finally garnish with the chopped coriander before serving.