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Dinner with Rukmini

Browse all of the recipes in Rukmini Iyer’s cookbooks by ingredient.

All-in-one Smoky Aubergine and Pepper Tagine With Halloumi Croutons

This recipe may have a slightly longer cook time, but don't let that put you off - it requires very little hands on work, and the resulting rich, glossy aubergine tagine with halloumi croutons is worth every minute.

From the book


This is a perfect prep-ahead dish – you can make a batch of it at the beginning of the week for a couple of lunches, then put extra portions in the freezer for a rainy day. It’s so warming with the spices and smoky aubergine and requires little more from you than to chop a few ingredients and chuck them in the oven. I’m a bit unorthodox when it comes to spicing tagines – good pre-mixed spice blends like ras el hanout or baharat pack in so much flavour, and you won’t need to rummage for lots of spices if you haven’t much time on your hands.

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2 aubergines, cut roughly into 3cm chunks
3 mixed peppers (not green) cut into 3cm chunks
1 red onion, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp baharat spice mix
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 tsp sea salt flakes
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
200ml boiling water or vegetable stock (gluten-free, if required)
1 x 700g jar or 2 x 400g tins haricot beans, drained and rinsed
225g halloumi, cut into crouton-sized cubes
To serve:
smoked or ordinary sea salt flakes
drizzle extra virgin olive oil
A handful of toasted flaked almonds
chopped fresh mint and/or coriander
quinoa, couscous or flatbreads (gluten-free, if required), to serve


Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/gas 7. (You’ll need to use a fan oven to cook the croutons on another shelf; if not, fry or grill the halloumi croutons instead.)

Mix together the aubergines, peppers, onion, olive oil, baharat, smoked paprika, garlic and salt in a large roasting tin. Transfer to the oven and roast for 40 minutes until the vegetables are just charring around the edges. Add the tinned tomatoes, water or stock and haricot beans, mix well, then return to the oven for a further 40 minutes to reduce the tomato sauce. Twenty minutes before the tagine is ready, pop the halloumi on a baking tray and transfer to another shelf of the oven to roast.

Once the tagine is ready, taste and adjust the salt as needed, transfer to bowls and drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil. Scatter with the halloumi croutons, flaked almonds and chopped herbs before serving hot, with quinoa, couscous or flatbreads on the side.

FREEZE: This freezes very well – defrost in the fridge overnight and warm through in a pan or in a tin in the oven before adding the toppings.

VEGANISE: Just leave out the halloumi croutons, it’s a lovely dish by itself.

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