A couple of weeks ago we went out for an Indian dinner and I wanted to try something different than my usual go-to dishes. An aubergine curry on the menu caught my attention and being a fan of this vegetable, especially in grilled form, I thought of giving it a try. It was very tasty and although the aubergine was mostly melted in the curry, you could definitely taste the distinctive earthy taste of the aubergine. The mixture of spices used definitely oomph’d the dish and my taste buds were dancing to the rich and intense flavours.
I decided to try and replicate this dish at home. Although I don’t know the exact recipe the restaurant used, it came out quite close taste-wise, and I am super happy with the result.
Aubergines are in season at the moment and you could find them easily around. Therefore, this recipe is ideal to take advantage of the local produce and eat fresh vegetables.
I started by roasting the whole aubergine, drizzled with olive oil and added some garlic cloves and lightly crushed fennel, cumin and coriander seeds to enhance the flavour of the aubergine. While the aubergine was roasting, I made a simple tomato curry. The key for an deep flavoured curry is to let the onion sauté slowly and let it cook until soft and starting to brown, obviously coupled with the right mixture of spices. The spices should be there but not overpowering to the extent that they conceal the flavour of the remaining ingredients.
On the whole, this is an easy and healthy recipe. As in the case of other curries, it actually improves with time and I can guarantee that any leftovers are much better the next day! 🙂 This recipe can be served with a side of rice and/or naan bread.
Creamy Aubergine Curry
A rich and creamy bowl of spicy aubergine goodness
- 1 large aubergine
- 4-6 tbsp olive oil
- 8-10 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 large yellow onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger
- 1 inch piece fresh turmeric (or 1/2 tsp turmeric powder)
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp garam masala powder
- 250ml vegetable stock
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Wash the aubergine and cut it in half lengthwise. Cut criss-cross on each half but do not cut all the way through. Roughly chop 8-10 garlic cloves and lightly crush the fennel, cumin and coriander seeds. Drizzle the aubergine halves with olive oil and in the gaps scatter the garlic and crushed seeds. Put the halves back together and wrap the aubergine in aluminium foil. Place on a small dish and in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes.
- In the meantime, thinly slice the onion and the remaining garlic cloves. Finely grate the ginger and the turmeric if using the fresh one.
- In a large saucepan, heat the coconut oil. Sauté the onion for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric and chili flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes stirring all the time.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, garam masala and vegetable stock. Simmer gently for 25-30 minutes.
- Take the aubergine out from the oven and using a fork pull out the flesh from the skin. You can chop the skin into small pieces or you can just eliminate it.
- Add the aubergine to the tomato curry and simmer for another 5-10 minutes allowing the flavours to mingle together.
- Sprinkle some fresh coriander on top and a dollop of natural yoghurt (optional) and serve warm with a bowl of turmeric rice and/or naan bread.