Recipe by Mrs B
This dish comes from North India and makes a delicious first course or side dish. Serve it hot or cold, with naan, chapattis or pitta bread. If you serve this cold, make it a day in advance. The recipe calls for 300ml of sunflower oil, which sounds a lot, but some of this is drained off and you may find you can get away with using less when frying the aubergines, especially if you salt and rinse them first (not specified in the instructions). Draining time for the oil is included in the preparation time. This recipe comes from “The World of Spice” and is posted for Zaar World Tour 2005.
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 1⁄2 inches gingerroot, cut into chunks
- 2 green chilies
- 1 kg aubergine
- 300 ml sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons salt
- cilantro, to garnish
Directions See How It's Made
- In a blender, whizz the garlic, ginger and chillies with just enough water to form a thin paste.
- Cut the aubergines lengthwise into four thick slices, then cut across into 1 ½ inch thick chunks; heat the sunflower oil in a wide lidded pan and fry the aubergines in batches until completely tender and reddish-brown on both sides; when each batch is finished, lift from the pan using a slotted spoon and place in a sieve over a bowl; leave for 30 minutes to drain off the surplus oil.
- In the same pan, use 2 tablespoons of the drained oil and heat through; add the cumin, fennel and coriander seeds and fry for a few seconds; add the tomato, tomato puree, garlic/ginger/chilli paste, turmeric and salt; cook gently, stirring well, for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Add the drained aubergines to the tomato sauce, cover the pan and cook gently for about 15 minutes.
- Serve at once, or leave overnight in the fridge for the flavours to develop; sprinkle with cilantro leaves before serving.