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The Meaning Of Dinner

Aubergine, Potato and Tomato Curry for JB


This is a recipe slightly adapted from one in Atul Kochhar’s lovely Indian Essence. It’s aromatic and melt-in-the-mouth.

The Fresh Stuff:
  • About 450g aubergine
  • About 450g potato
  • About 150g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • coriander leaves for garnish
The Sauce and Spice:
  • 1 x 400g tin coconut milk
  • 5cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 tblsp coriander seeds
  • 4-5 dried red chilies
  • 5-6 fresh, or 10 dried, curry leaves
  • 1.5 tsp salt (or to taste)
The Steps:
  • If you can get baby aubergines for this, then just slice them in half lengthways. Otherwise, slice regular aubergines into discs about 1cm thick. I usually salt them at this stage so that they don’t absorb quite so much oil (so, scatter the slices with salt, leave for 30 minutes or so, then rinse and pat dry). Then cut the slices into bite-size pieces.
  • Peel the potatoes, cut into large chunks and parboil for 8-10 minutes
  • Finely chop the onion and garlic
  • Heat some oil in a pan and add the cinnamon stick, fennel seeds and curry leaves. Saute for a minute or two, until they start to crackle.
  • Add the onion and garlic to the pan and saute on a medium heat until softened and browned.
  • Meanwhile, toast the coriander seeds for a few minutes in a dry frying pan, then crush using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
  • Add the coriander seeds and dried chilies, also crushed, to the pan and saute for another minute or two.
  • Add the aubergine and potato and fry for a few minutes until the aubergine starts to soften.
  • Halve the tomatoes and add to the pan, along with the coconut milk, salt and some water to thin the sauce a little.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the aubergines are soft (maybe about 10 minutes for baby aubergines, about 20-25 for larger aubergines to get good and soft).
  • Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve with rice or appams.
The Portions:
  • About 5 good-sized helpings.