Chetna Makan’s aubergine and green pepper sabji

The aniseed flavour of carom seeds makes a lovely change from the more typical cumin in this aubergine and green pepper sabji recipe. It demands so little effort, it’s great for midweek meals and can be enjoyed with whatever you have at home: bread, naan, roti or rice – it goes well with everything.

chetna makan aubergine and green pepper sabji
Image: Nassima Rothacker. Food styling: Sian Henley. Props styling: Morag Farquhar


1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp carom (ajwain) seeds (available from Waitrose)
1cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp sugar
1 aubergine, cubed
1 green pepper, cubed
1 potato, cubed
100ml water

1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the carom seeds. Once they start to sizzle, add the ginger and green chilli then cook for a few seconds before adding the tomatoes. Cover and cook for 15 minutes on a low heat until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy.

2. Add the salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and sugar then cook for a minute, stirring.

3. Next add the aubergine, green pepper, potato and water. Cover and cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Serve hot.

4. This aubergine and green pepper sabji will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Reheat before serving.

Now buy Chetna’s brilliant book

chetna mayan healthy IndianOur recipes are from Chetna’s Healthy Indian Vegetarian by Chetna Makan, which is published by Mitchell Beazley, price £20. To order a copy go to