Aubergine Curry ~ vegetarian / vegan friendly and packed full of spices!
I like finding new ways to cook with aubergine and come to think of it, I like finding new ingredients to cook with
in steps Asian aubergines (eggplants) a.k.a finger aubergines which should be easy enough to find at your local Asian grocers.
Aubergine is a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1, and copper. It is a good source of manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Aubergine also contains phytonutrients such as nasunin and chlorogenic acid. source
The original recipe uses both finger aubergine and baby courgette and claims to be Bangladeshi in origin however, instead of traditionally frying the veggies they are grilled =healthier. I stuck with grilling and used olive olive oil although, I’m sure my husband would have preferred fried.
On the plus side if you want to fry the aubergines, salting and leaving to drain for 20 minutes will cut the amount of oil they soak up. I did this even I was grilling as it’s also said to draw out any bitterness from the aubergines.
Onto the spicy tomato sauce; a long but necessary list of spices and herbs including fennel seeds, ginger, cayenne and mint. Each spice brings something to this party in your mouth.
Aubergines grilled, spiced tomato sauce made,
put the two together place aubergines on a plate, cut side up and spoon sauce over each aubergine or else it will look even more like a dogs dinner albeit a really tasty dogs dinner.
Everyone seems to be planning their Ramadan menu’s and as someone who never manages to plan a menu but always intends to, this would be a great addition to a light Iftar meal.
- 600 grams Asian finger aubergines (or 2 Mediterranean aubergines)
- 3-4 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon root ginger, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)
- 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 400 gram tin chopped tomatoes
- pinch of sugar
- a good handful each of fresh chopped mint and coriander
- rice or naan bread
- Cut the stalks off the aubergines and then cut them in half lengthways (for large, cut in half and then slice each piece lengthways into 6 or 8 wedges). Toss all the veg with a little salt and set aside in a colander for 20 mins.
- Meanwhile, mix the ginger, garlic and chilli in a mortar with 3tbsp water and grind to paste with a pestle, or mix in a small bowl.
- Quickly rinse and dry the aubergines. Lay them out, cut-side up on a large baking sheet, brush with oil and grill (for about 10 mins) until browned. Turn them over and grill for a few more mins.
- Put the remaining oil (2tbsp) in a frying pan, add the fennel seeds. When they start to sizzle, add the ginger paste and fry for another few mins. Add the cumin, coriander and turmeric, fry for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, sugar and season generously with salt and black pepper. Cover and leave to simmer for 8-10 mins until reduced and thickened slightly. Add a little water if it gets too thick. Stir in the fresh herbs.
- Divide the vegetables between 2-3 warm dishes/plates and spoon the hot sauce delicately over each aubergine. Serve with rice or naan bread.