If you are an aubergine fan, then this dish is sure to become your next favourite thing. The fried aubergine picks up on the aniseed notes of the fennel and the sour kick from the tamarind. The whole combination is just heavenly.
FOR THE CURRY
1 tbsp sunflower oil pinch of asafoetida (see here)
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp tamarind paste
FOR THE AUBERGINE
1 aubergine, cut into fingers 5cm-7.5cm long
1⁄4 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp sunflower oil
- To prepare the aubergine, place it on a plate, sprinkle with the salt and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil for the curry in a pan, add the asafoetida and let it sizzle for a few seconds. Then add the onions and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes until golden.
- Heat the oil for the aubergine in a large frying pan. Pat the aubergine fingers dry, add them to the hot oil and cook over a high heat for 2 minutes until golden.
- While the aubergine is cooking, heat a small frying pan, add the fennel seeds and dry-roast over a low heat for a minute. Then use a mortar and pestle to crush them.
- Add the crushed fennel seeds to the onions and cook for a minute. Then stir in the ground spices and add the fried aubergine with the 200ml water. Cook over a low heat for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the sugar and tamarind and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens, then serve.
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Chetna Makan’s new book Chetna’s 30-Minute Indian is published by Mitchell Beazley, priced £20. To order a copy for £17.80 until 27 June go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193. Free p&p on orders over £20.