1 aubergine, roughly diced
1 tbsp olive oil, plus a bit extra
2 small poussins
¼ tsp allspice, plus 2 good pinches
2 bay leaves
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
100g/4oz basmati rice
2 tbsp pine nuts
½ tsp ground cinnamon
good pinch of ground cloves
200ml/7fl oz hot chicken stock (or gluten-free alternative)
2 tbsp currants
1 large tomato, chopped
1 tbsp each chopped mint and dill, plus a few leaves and sprigs to serve
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses sumac, for sprinkling (optional – I used Bart)
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas. Toss the aubergine in 1 tbsp of the oil until well coated. Pour into a large roasting tin, then push to the sides of the tin to make a space for the poussins. Rub some oil onto the skin of the poussins, sprinkle with the pinches of allspice, salt and lots of black pepper, pop a bay leaf inside each bird, then roast for 35 mins. (Leave to cook for about 10 mins before you start the pilaf so they are ready at the same time.)
To make the pilaf, heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in a medium pan and fry the onion for 5-8 mins until golden. Tip in the rice and pine nuts, stir for about 1 min, then add the spices, including the ¼ tsp allspice. Pour in the stock, stir in the currants, then cover the pan and cook for 7 mins.
Take the lid off the pan, add the tomato, mint and dill, then cover and cook 2-3 mins more until the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Set aside, covered, to keep warm.
Meanwhile, once the poussins have had their 35 mins, drizzle the pomegranate molasses over them and return them to the oven for 10 mins more until they and the aubergines are tender.
Set the poussins aside to rest for a few mins while you toss the aubergine into the pilaf. Serve the poussins whole, or portion and serve on top of the pilaf. Scatter with the dill and mint leaves, and sprinkle with a little sumac, if you like.