Kamut, chickpea and aubergine salad with saffron yogurt recipe

Kamut, chickpea, and aubergine salad with saffron yogurt recipe
Kamut adds a rich and nutty element to salads - Haarala Hamilton

Kamut, otherwise known as khorasan wheat, is an ancient grain. The grains are quite large (sometimes up to three times bigger than modern wheat) and have a buttery kind of taste that works well with really big flavours (harissa, preserved lemons, blush tomatoes, green olives), though you do have to soak it overnight before cooking. You can find kamut in wholefood stores or online.


Prep time: 35 minutes (including infusing time)

Cook time: 1 hour 5 minutes


6-8 as a side dish


  • 175g kamut (available at heath food stores), soaked overnight and drained

  • 1 aubergine

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1½ tsp cumin

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 x 400g tin cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1 roasted pepper

  • 50g green olives, pitted and chopped

  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and very finely sliced

  • 3 small preserved lemons

  • 10g parsley, chopped

  • 10g coriander, chopped

  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

For the dressing

  • juice of 1 lemon

  • 60ml olive oil

  • 2 tsp harissa

  • ½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

For the saffron yogurt

  • good pinch saffron strands

  • 250g Greek yogurt

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Cook the kamut in boiling water until tender (45-50 minutes).

  2. Cut the aubergine into 2cm cubes.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the aubergine until golden all over and soft right through (about 10 minutes). Add the cumin and cinnamon and cook for a further three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Drain the kamut and run cold water through to cool it. Make sure you shake the sieve to get rid of excess water, otherwise it dilutes the dressing.

  5. Put the kamut into a serving bowl with the aubergine and chickpeas.

  6. Cut the pepper into thin strips and add that too, along with the olives and chilli.

  7. Halve the preserved lemons, discard the pulp and cut the rind into shreds.

  8. Add to everything else along with the parsley and coriander. Mix together all the ingredients for the dressing and fork it into the salad.

  9. Taste for seasoning. Scatter the toasted sesame seeds on top.

  10. To prepare the saffron yogurt, put two tablespoons of boiling water in a glass and add the saffron.

  11. Leave to infuse for 15 minutes.

  12. Put the yogurt into a bowl and stir in the garlic.

  13. Spoon the saffron liquid on top – you can stir it in partly, but don’t do it completely – and drizzle on the olive oil. Serve on the side.

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