#TurkishByHJ – Babaganoush

Babaganoush - Happy scooping

Babaganoush – Happy scooping

Meze for 5 people

Including: Babaganoush, Broad beans hummus, Fresh tomato & almond dip and flat crusty breads.


  • 600g or 2 big aubergines (66p)

    Looks like a smile - Babaganoush

    Looks like a smile – Babaganoush

  • 100g or 1 small red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 Turkish pepper (6p)
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sesame seeds to garnish

Cost: The vegetables were bought on Surrey Street market; 3 Aubergines cost £1.00 and the Turkey peppers cost £1 for a bowl of 15 long green ones. Total cost of this dip 0.72p


The babaganoush is normally made with peeled aubergines, but I chose to keep the skin because of its nutritious value. Do you know fibre, potassium and antioxidants can be found in the purple robe of this vegetable? Just google it and see what else you can find.

The only downer about using the skin on this dip is the colour at the end. Not the greatest looking.

So, to make the babaganoush, peel and roughly cut the onion and the garlic. Cut the bottom of the aubergines, rinse and cut them in small pieces (cut each in about 12 pieces). Also remove the tail of cut the Turkish green pepper, rinse and cut in 3 pieces. Keep the elements separated.

In a pan which has a lid, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and put in the aubergines in it fry for 5 minutes until the pieces start to brown.

Now add the onion pieces, Turkish pepper garlic, cumin, paprika and salt. Add 100ml water, cover the pan and simmer for 10. The onion, which is the hardest should be the softness by the time the pan dries out. Taste and adjust the seasoning before mashing the whole content of the pan with a hand blender.

Pour the dip in a bowl and drizzle over it 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or any flavoured oil of your choice.


Next, the broad beans hummus

Meze by HJ

Meze by HJ

Green plantain and black beans stew

Green plantain stew

Green plantain & black beans stew

Menu for 6

Chicken 1kg – I used legs & thighs £ 2.25 – LIDL

The Marinade:

Marinated chicken

Marinated chicken

  • 50g diced onions – 10p
  • 2 stock cubes crushed – from cupboard
  • 1 teaspoon Chilli flakes – from cupboard
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin – from cupboard
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander – from cupboard
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil or any vegetable oil – from cupboard
  • 4 tablespoon water
  • Salt

Rinse the chicken, make some deep scoring on the chicken pieces. Pour the marinade over the chicken, mix well and leave in the fridge overnight.

The stew ingredients:

  • 1kg marinated chicken

    Dry black beans

    Dry black beans

  • 3 green plantains – £1.00 from the market
  • 2 big carrots – 10p
  • 200g black beans – soaked for 24hrs & Cooked for an hour if using dry bean like I did. 58p
  • 2 corncobs – shave off the kernels as on the picture – £1.38
  • 100g chopped tinned tomato 20p
  • 1 teaspoons chilli flakes – from cupboard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin – from cupboard
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander – from cupboard

    Ingredients for the stew

    Ingredients for the stew

  • 1 red onion – 10p
  • 3 big garlic cloves – 5p
  • Halves of 1 green, orange and yellow sweet peppers – 10p (20 pepper from the market cost £1.00)
  • 1L vegetable stock
  • Corn oil

Total spend: £5.81. Cost per person: £0.96p


Don’t forget to soak the bean the day before and boil them for an hour before using in the stew.

Also marinate the chicken for few hours before using it.

removing the plantain skin

removing the plantain skin

Remove the skin of the plantain and cut as in the picture, cut in 2cm thick and slanted. Do the same for the carrots. Set aside.

Remove the corn kernels from the cob.

Rinse the black beans now boiled. Rinse the corn kernel, set both aside.

Cut the red onion in big chunks or wedges, cut the sweet pepper in about the same size. Peel & crush the garlic, set aside.

Corn and palntain

Corn and plantain


Use a big pot with a lid. Heat 4 tablespoons of corn oil (or any vegetable oil) fry the chicken pieces to seal in the flavours and obtain a brown crispy skin. 2 to 3 minutes on each side should do. Once all the pieces have been fried. Set aside and cover.

plantain & carrots

plantain & carrots

In the same pan, add the onion and brown. Then, add the plantain, carrots, beans, corn and half of the stock. Also add the chilli, ground cumin, ground coriander, crushed garlic and salt. Stir and cover to simmer for 30 minutes. Don’t forget to keep an eye on it so the liquid won’t dry out.

After 30 minutes, add the sweet peppers, tomato, the fried chicken pieces the rest of the stock and adjust the seasoning. Stir.

Add another 200ml of water if necessary as the contents of the pan should almost (not completely) covered with liquid to keep everything moist. Cover the pan and leave it to simmer for another 30 minutes…

Sealed chicken

Sealed chicken

From the time the plantain is added the total cooking time should be 1hr and by adding the chicken half way, it means that the chicken won’t fall off the bones but will be very well cooked and ask soft as the plantain.

That is it! Enjoy!


Don’t forget to post a comment if you’ve tried it. Click to see the starter (Avocado Salsa & Paprika corn crackers) & desserts (Tropical fruits sorbet, Bunoelos, Mango & red grapes nectar) from this Mexican menu.


If you are using tinned potatoes, carrots and tin bean, cut the cooking time by half. As both the potato and beans are already very soft. Include the chicken at the same time as the other element and still cook it for the full 30 minute to allow it to absorb all the flavours.

Mexican-No Tacos!

Mexican-No Tacos!

Thank you for reading! See you next month.