Fast Recipes

Calamari with spiced eggplant

For a fast and easy midweek dinner, barbecued calamari does the trick.

By Elizabeth Fiducia
  • Serves 4
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Eggplant becomes a substantial and aromatic base for this sustainably caught calamari. It's also great piled on toast.


  • 160 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 2 eggplant, cut into 1.5cm pieces
  • 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tsp finely grated turmeric or 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) lemon juice
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped, plus extra sprigs to serve
  • 1 cup coriander, coarsely chopped, plus extra to sprigs to serve
  • 1.5 kg whole southern calamari, cleaned, skin off
  • Lemon wedges, to serve


  • 1
    Preheat a barbecue to high or a char-grill pan over high heat. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until very soft and golden (12-14 minutes).
  • 2
    Add onion and cumin, and cook until onion has softened (3-4 minutes). Add garlic, turmeric and paprika, and cook, stirring, until fragrant (2 minutes).
  • 3
    Remove pan from heat, stir through lemon juice and 2 tbsp oil. Season to taste and add herbs just before serving.
  • 4
    Slice calamari into 5mm-thick rounds including wings, then toss in remaining oil. Grill calamari, turning occasionally, until just cooked and charred
    (3 minutes).
  • 5
    Spoon warm eggplant onto plates and top with calamari and herbs. Drizzle with oil and serve with lemon wedges.