Serves 6-8 if serving with a couple of other dishes (reduce the amount of aubergines if serving a smaller number)
12-14 small oval aubergines – slit (but not all the way through) crossways
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 Kashmiri chilli powder
10 fresh curry leaves
pinch of asafoetida
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 tsp salt
70g cashew nuts
2 tbsp white sesame seeds
3 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 tbsp coriander seeds
30g fresh coriander – leaves and stalks
1 tsp salt
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp jaggery/brown sugar
- First make cross incisions in all of the aubergines being careful not to cut all the way through. Place in a bowl of cold water with pinch of salt added.
- Next make the paste. First dry roast the cashew nuts and when they begin to brown very slightly add the sesame seeds and keep them moving around the pan for about 20 seconds before adding the coconut and stirring for a further 20 seconds. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before adding to your spice grinder along with the coriander seeds.
- As my spice grinder cannot take liquid I then move to my mini blender where I then add the fresh coriander, salt, tamarind paste, jaggery and a splash of water to loosen it slightly – although it is important it remains a paste as opposed to a runny liquid.
- You then want to stuff each of the aubergines with the paste and place to one side. If you have any paste left over this will go into the pan so also leave to one side
- Heat a deep pan and add the vegetable oil. When it is hot add the mustard and cumin seeds, followed by the asafoetida, curry leaves, Kashmiri chilli powder and turmeric powder. Move around the pan for 15 seconds before adding any leftover paste and the diced tomatoes. Keep on a gently heat for a couple of minutes before adding the aubergines.
- Add around 150ml of water – you can add more later if it becomes too thick and keep on a gentle simmer for 25 minutes with the lid on. Turn the aubergines over at intervals.
- Taste the sauce and add more water if too thick. Add more salt or jaggery if need be.
- Serve with a scattering of freshly cut coriander.
Read more about Torie of Chilli and Mint in her blog.