Eggplant and Squash Satay on Fragrant Rice

6 ounces thai rice
2 strips lemon zest
1 cinnamon stick, broken
5-6 cardamom pods
pinch of saffron stamens
chopped coriander leaf
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon honey
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons salt
coriander seeds
salt and pepper
4 thick slices eggplant, skin on, cut into 1 1/4 inch cubes
4 thick slices pumpkin, cubed
1 yellow pepper, flesh cut into 1 1/4 inch squares
sesame oil
wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

1 tablespoon ground almonds
1 tablespoon skinned peanuts
dash of soy sauce
1 teaspoon tomato puree
1/4 red chili, diced
dash of worcester sauce
1 teaspoon redcurrant jelly
salt and pepper
2-3 drops tabasco
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon single cream

To make the rice, fry the onion and garlic in the oil until softened but not colored. Add 1 teaspoon honey. Add the rice and all the seasonings and mix together.

Add the hot broth and simmer gently for about 15 minutes until cooked through. Keep hot. Just before serving, remove the aromatics and stir in some chopped coriander leaf.

To make the satay, thread the vegetables alternately on to wooden skewers (2 per person). Rub with sesame oil and season with salt, black pepper and crushed coriander seeds. When ready to cook, roast in a hot oven for about 12-15 minutes until cooked through and starting to blacken on the edges. Turn the skewers halfway through. Baste with the aromatic oil.

Liquidize all the satay sauce ingredients together and check seasoning.

To serve, lay the skewers on a bed of rice with the satay sauce on the side

Serves 4

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