Basic, delicious vegetarian food, hearty and satisfying. Indian food is, in our opinion, some of the best in the world. The indian subcontinent has been refining its cuisine over centuries to produce complex, wonderful food that is both cost effective and healthy.
This is our take on a classic weeknight supper – bear in mind that all ingredients are approximations, and should be guided by your gut feel, and not the exact amounts. Spices vary in intensity depending on freshness, tomatoes vary in sweetness and sourness, chillis vary in hotness, and so forth – use your intuition.
Aubergine and chickpea curry
- 2 medium aubergines, chopped into bite sized chunks
- 2-3 ripe tomatoes, grated
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 can chickpeas
- 3 sprigs curry leaves
- salt and sugar
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1/2 cup yoghurt
- chopped coriander
- oil, for frying
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin, crushed
- 2 tsp coriander, crushed
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 cm ginger, crushed
- 1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
- Make the vagaar by frying all the vagaar ingredients in oil until the spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes. If you burn the vagaar, discard, wash the pot and start again - do not try and rescue the curry.
- Add the onion and fry until soft - about 8-10 minutes, adding water as necessary to stop the spices from sticking and burning on the bottom.
- Remove from the pot and blend in a food processor with some water to help the blending. Add the tamarind paste, if using, to a cup of warm water and mush around with your hands, removing any pips or hard bits.
- Fry the aubergine, curry leaves, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp sugar in some oil until starting to soften, adding water if necessary to stop the aubergine sticking/burning.Add the grated tomato, blended onion/vagaar, tamarind (if using, or a cup of plain water if not using), chickpeas, cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes, until the aubergine is cooked through.
- Taste at this point and add more salt, sugar or acidity (in the form of lemon juice/vinegar/tamarind) if necessary.Stir through the yoghurt, top with the coriander and serve immediately with basmati rice.