600g baby aubergines
400g tin plum tomatoes
1 small portion root ginger
4 tablespoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 – 3 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Half small bunch of fresh coriander
Prep to Cook:
Frying pan, sharp vegetable knife, chopping board, teaspoon, spatula, ovenproof dish with lid, Oven on 190 C or Gas Mark 5.
Prep: Remove the stalk from the aubergine and slice in half lengthwise.
Peel and slice onion in half and then each half into strips
Peel two cloves of garlic and grate onto the chopped onion.
Peel the root ginger and slice thinly and then dice finely.
Heat the oil in a frying pan until it is hot.
Place all the aubergines cut side down into the pan and allow to brown.
Remove the aubergines and place in cooking dish.
Add the onions and garlic to the pan and fry off until golden tinges occur.
Add the curry spice and chillies, salt and black pepper and stir well.
Open the tin of plum tomatoes and chop the tomatoes up before adding to the pan.
Rinse the tomato tin and add this extra juice to the frying pan.
Chop half a bunch of coriander leaves and stir in.
Pour all the contents of the frying pan over the aubergines.
Cover with foil or with a lid and cook in the oven for 45 minutes.
Baby aubergines are fruits with many little seeds and a lovely purple skin. If a larger aubergine is used try to cut them into portions or slices to resemble baby aubergines.
If you find it easier, cover the pan and gently simmer the curried aubergines on the hob rather than use the oven.
Cooks Know How: Frying in hot oil sears the surface of the aubergine and adds some flavour from the browning that takes place. Frying also adds flavour and moistness to the onions as they start to caramelise and taste sweeter. Hot oil aids the development of flavours that emerge from the spices, garlic and ginger. Once the tinned tomatoes are added the whole mixture resembles a stew where all the ingredients need to blend and harmonise as the aubergines themselves become tender. The structure of the aubergines is softened during the cooking but they retain their shape. I believe it is nice to keep them whole as their texture is reminiscent of soft meat. The coriander leaves add a wonderful flavour to the stew. Harminder’s favourite dish is tasty and comforting and is excellent as a dish in its own right or as an accompaniment to meat or fish mains.
Increasing vegetables in the diet is healthy and an inexpensive way to increase the vitamin and minerals. Aubergines supply some vitamin A and calcium.
Try including some sliced mushrooms as an extra and serving this with hot naan breads. Curried aubergine is just as tasty when cold and drizzled with oil to accompany a salad.