Prepare the aubergines: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Score the aubergine halves diagonally into diamonds, cutting almost through to the skin.
Place on a baking tray, sprinkle with salt and pepper, scatter with thyme leaves and drizzle generously with olive oil, making sure it penetrates right through the cuts to the skin.
Cover with foil and cook for about 25 minutes.
Make the raita: Grate the cucumber on a cheese grater, place in a colander, sprinkle with a good amount of salt, mix well and leave to degorge for 10 minutes.
Squeeze out any excess liquid. Stir together the yoghurt, cumin and chopped mint in a separate bowl. Stir in the cucumber and then emulsify with a good quantity of olive oil – at least 4T or more. Add the lemon juice and rind. Taste, adjust the
seasoning and refrigerate.
Sear the tuna: Heat a cast-iron griddle pan until it is extremely hot. Place the tuna steaks on a plate, season both sides with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Drizzle with the tiniest amount of olive oil, rubbing it in on both sides with your fingers. Place the steaks on the griddle and sear for 40 seconds on each side. If the steaks are thicker than 2cm, extend the cooking time. Remove from the griddle and allow to rest on a plate for 1 minute or so.
Assemble the dish: By now, the aubergines are cooked. Spoon a good dollop of raita onto each plate, cover with an aubergine half and tear over a few mint leaves.
Top with seared tuna, each steak sliced in half to show off the lovely medium-rare colour. Drizzle the cinnamon-chilli oil over
the fish and then in a circle around the raita, using 2T per serving. Scatter with snipped chives and serve.Reprinted with permission of Quivertree Publications and Franck Dangereux.