Aubergine Curry. What can I say? Dad first introduced me to this beauty by Madhur Jaffrey but I’ve tweaked it somewhat since. Firstly to improve the shockingly-bad-for-you-clot-inducing-fat-content, but also to deepen the flavour to appeal to a more ‘British Curry Lover’. Who, to be fair, would probably never order a vegetarian curry over a madras/vindaloo/balti anyway!! Despite living in Northern UK regions these days, this recipe evokes music filled nights at my dad’s in Smethwick, West Midlands. Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Willy Nelson, all croaking out the oldies on the CD player whilst P.Bickers (the lads call my dad P.Bickers – it bears no resemblance to his name) rustles up Kashmiri Lamb Stew, Aubergine Curry, rice and pickles, all with NO ingredients in the cupboard except his treasure trove of spices, love of cooking and a tea-towel slung over his shoulder. Love you dad. Here’s one for you.
Aubergine Curry, Lake Palace Pickling Style (adapted from Madhur Jaffrey)
1 aubergine chopped (I prefer the baby ones, chopped). They are slightly more tender.
1 tin chopped tomatoes.
6 cloves garlic, crushed.
1 inch piece ginger, grated.
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp kaljoni (black onion seeds) – CAN BE OMITTED
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp tumeric powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
15 ml lemon juice
1/2 low-salt stock cube
1/4 tsp sea salt (table salt if you don’t have sea salt)
Fresh coriander, chopped
1) Chop aubergines into bite-sized pieces, place on an oven proof tray and spray/drizzle/douse with low-calorie fry-light/olive oil/ghee (depends on your health preferences!). Bake for a good half an hour.
2) In a deep pan, fry cumin/kaljoni/fennel seeds in a little oil (or simmer in a touch of water/lemon juice) until cooked through a little.
3) Add tin of tomatoes. Simmer for two minutes.
4) Add spice powders/lemon juice/crumbled stock cube/salt. Stir, cook for two minutes.
5) Add aubergines and simmer for 30 mins until aubergines are tender.
6) Sprinkle in chopped, fresh coriander. Stir.
This can taste bitter before the addition of salt. REMEMBER, it is Lake Palace ‘pickling style’, hence the salt. Use ‘Lo-Salt’ if watching sodium intake.
ALWAYS tastes particularly good the next day. HONEST!