Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Hot and Sour Aubergine Curry

I came home from work with just an hour and a half before my regular telecon with my colleagues in Cambridge. I felt like making the absolute most of my time and really pushing my cooking to the limit. So I cooked rice, two vegan curries, a raita, and some carrot bhajis in just under an hour :) We had a relaxed twenty minutes to eat and enjoyed a lovely glass of the SO's delicious homebrew lager. And the curries were amazing!! This was particularly great, since I usually have trouble making aubergines interesting, but in this they were absolutely exquisite, soft and melting. I adapted the recipe from 2-3 different sources on the internet, melding them together to get the best of both worlds in terms of ease-of-cooking and taste. The heat contrasted the sourness and it was perfect with the plain white rice and sweet red lentils. The quantities here serve four; I made enough for two nights for two people.


  • two large aubergines (eggplants)
  • one small white onion or half a large white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 thumb of ginger
  • 1 generous tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 generous tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (or 1-2 tsp if you like it hot)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • half a tin of coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses, or 2tbsp tamarind (1 tbsp tamarind concentrate)
  • a generous handful of frozen peas

Preheat the oven to 200 C. Cut the aubergines into large-ish bitesize pieces, about 2cm on each side (they will shrink loads in the oven). Toss in vegetable oil and roast for 40 minutes, until singed at the edges and edibly soft, but not dry or overcooked. Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and gently fry for five minutes, then crush in the garlic and add the finely chopped ginger, and fry for a further three minutes. Pound the fennel and coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle (you can dry toast them first if you have time/pan space), then add them and the rest of the spices to the onions, frying again for a couple of minutes. Add in the cooked aubergine pieces, the coconut milk and pomegranate molasses, stir gently and bring to a simmer (you don't want to curdle the coconut milk). Add the peas and bring up to a simmer again. Cook for just a minute or two, until the peas are hot. Serve immediately, or cover and sit until needed.

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