Hot and sour eggplant curry
Eggplant (aubergine) goes particularly well with coriander, cumin and coconut rich, warm flavours but is surprisingly amenable to a wide range of ingredients, such as the curry-scented fenugreek and anise-flavoured fennel used in this dish.
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Flavours collide in a delicious way.
- 1 large (about 500g) eggplant
- 2 small tomatoes
- 2 tbsp oil
- 3 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 3 tsp fennel seeds
- 4 cloves, crushed garlic
- 1 large, finely diced onion
- 4 curry leaves
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 125ml (1/2 cup) tomato juice
- 2 tbsp tamarind purée
- 2 red chillie, finely sliced
- 125ml (1/2 cup) coconut cream
- 1 handful leaves, chopped coriander
1. Cut the eggplant into 2cm cubes. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside for 1 hour. Drain and rinse.
2. Chop the tomatoes into rough dice. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the fenugreek and fennel seeds. When they start to crackle, add the garlic, onion and curry leaves and cook for 3-5 minutes or until onion is transparent. Add the eggplant and stir for 6 minutes, or until it begins to soften. Add the ground spices, tomatoes, tomato juice, tamarind and sliced fresh chillies.
3. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and continue to cook for about 35 minutes, or until eggplant is very soft. Stir in the coconut cream and coriander and season to taste.