This is our take on a Kashmiri speciality curry. It’s meant to be red, rustic and spicy. We’ve used our favourite vegetable – aubergine – and coconut yoghurt to give the creamy texture, but you could use different veggies if you prefer. Serve with our Naan and Perfectly Boiled Rice (both in the book), or on its own for a lighter dish.
4 garlic cloves
4cm piece fresh ginger
3 fresh red chillies
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 large aubergine
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 green cardamom pods
6 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1½cm cinnamon stick
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
100g coconut yoghurt
large pinch of garam masala
handful coriander, to serve
handful desiccated coconut flakes, to serve
Liquidiser | Large frying pan on medium-high heat | Large saucepan with a lid
1. Peel the garlic and ginger and put them into the liquidiser. Rip the stems from 2 of the chillies, removing the seeds if you prefer a milder sauce, and add them to the liquidiser. Add the tomato purée and 60ml water and blend to a smooth paste (add more water if needed).
2. Trim the aubergine and cut it into 1 x 3cm chunks. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to the large frying pan. Add the aubergine and cook for about10–15 minutes, turning regularly, until well browned on each side.
3. While the aubergine is cooking, put the cardamom pods in a mortar and pestle and bash them to release the seeds (or use the end of a rolling pin). Discard the shells. Peel and finely chop the onion.
4. When the aubergine is browned, tip it on to a plate and set aside. Add the remaining oil to the pan along with the cardamom, peppercorns, bay leaf and cinnamon and fry for 2 minutes. Add the chopped onion and sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté for about 10–15 minutes, stirring the onions until they’ve softened (add a splash more oil to the pan if the onions begin to stick).
Add the ginger paste from the liquidiser to the saucepan. Add the ground cumin and coriander and mix everything together well. Put the pan on a medium-high heat and fry for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the aubergine cubes and stir well. Add the coconut yoghurt and stir it in (if it’s too thick, add a little water to loosen – you want a thick, gravy-like consistency). Cover with the lid and cook for 5 minutes.
5. Rip the stem from the remaining chilli, cut it in half lengthways and remove the seeds if you prefer a milder flavour, then slice finely. Taste the curry and season with salt or garam masala as necessary. Serve up on to bowls or plates, sprinkled with a little fresh coriander, desiccated coconut flakes and the finely sliced chilli.
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