Cumin Rice with Eggplant and Peas

by on March 6, 2007
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Well, it may not be the most beautiful dish in the world, but my whole family liked this cumin-filled rice, adapted from a recipe by Deborah Madison. It even had E. eating eggplant without even realizing it!

It’s based on the recipe “Cumin Rice with Eggplant and Peppers” in The Savory Way. Since it’s not a vegan book, Madison suggests adding cheese, but I opted to use peas instead. (Hey, at least it rhymes!) The seasonings are mostly the same, but I removed the oil and butter, omitted a red or yellow pepper that I did not have, and used an undrained can of diced tomatoes instead of fresh. The results were delicious. My only regret is that I did not wait until it came out of the oven to add the peas–after 50 minutes of baking, they’re not very green anymore. Oh well. They were still tender and tasty, but I’m instructing you to add them at the end. The heat from the rice will cook them enough and they’ll retain more of their spring-like taste and color.

Cumin Rice

Suggested accompaniment: Asparagus is back in season, so I served this with a whole lot of simple roasted asparagus. Preheat the oven to 400F. Place trimmed asparagus in a large, oiled baking dish and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast, stirring every 5 minutes, for 10-15 minutes, until asparagus are just starting to brown. Heaven!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 doemora August 28, 2009 at 9:14 pm

i just made this- i substituted trader joe's succotash (edamame, corn and red pepers) for the peas and peppers. then green of the edamame remained through the cooking- i added it to the dish before baking- absolutely fabulous!! i have turned a number of people onto good vegan/vegetarian food via your website. many thanks from the heart of the navajo reservation.


2 Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Just made this last night and while it was quite good, it came out way too spicy to be considered kid friendly in my family. I used cayenne, so next time I'll just cut that out completely, and maybe use just a tiny bit of chili powder. Watch the spice on this one. Mine came out with quite a kick.


3 Bex July 9, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Made this dish this evening. The only change was that I added a leek that needed using up.
Very tasty indeed, thank you Susan for once again posting a super recipe 🙂


4 Guy from Hoboken September 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Made this tonight and it came delicious. However, I altered the recipe a little:

-cut the required amount of cumin to two teaspoons instead of four. Cumin just has a strong flavor and felt that four would have overpowered it

– added one diced apple to it and baked it. Came out so good with the other flavors.

– cooked with vegetable stock instead of water. Added nice flavor.

All in all, fantastic dish!


5 Julie & Marty June 20, 2011 at 9:23 pm

We had this tonight. It was very good. It will be a dish we make again! One could leave out the eggplant entirely, I didn’t feel it added much to the flavor, but as my husband said, leave it in because it is good for you!


6 Jessica May 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Perfect timing! I was looking for something to do with eggplant tomorrow evening.


7 mac1000 November 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm

LOVE this website…please keep up the gooood work..!!!!


8 Sudie July 26, 2013 at 7:22 pm

I made this for dinner, but I used quinoa and it was delicious! This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thanks!


9 Donna D. July 28, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Do you think it would be possible to make a variation of this recipe in a crock pot? I know that rice is tricky that way, but it is simply WAY too hot to turn on the oven here in Puerto Rico. Any tips would be lovely. Thanks for always posting such great recipes.


10 Susan Voisin July 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm

You could try looking up other recipes that cook rice in a crockpot to check how much liquid you need and then adapt this recipe. That’s my best suggestion since I’m not experienced in cooking rice in a crockpot.


11 Sally Rosloff March 7, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Another keeper! Made this last night as written (except cut the onion in big pieces so I could pick out later, don’t do well eating them). Easy, delicious. Thank you!


12 Mr Cakes May 19, 2015 at 2:50 am

I have made this a few times now and it’s very tasty. My new favourite dish!


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