Being a huge curry fan, imagine my delight at receiving a copy of Madhur Jaffrey’s cookbook, Curry Easy Vegetarian as a Christmas gift. Ok, it was on my wish list, but I was still beyond excited! Indian food is one of the cuisines that caters so well to the vegetarian diet and I couldn’t wait to choose the New Year’s Day menu – I’ve never really been one for traditional Christmas or New Year fare! I spent a happy couple of hours flicking through the pages, checking ingredients and choosing the menu. Happy days!
I find curries a delight to cook, especially when using new recipes that allow you to explore and absorb the wonderful fragrances and flavours. After a couple of hours at the beach on New Year’s Day, I spent the next couple of hours in the kitchen preparing my pots of joy (the beautiful dishes and serving spoons are also a new purchase, and imported from India).
This dish was one of the three that I chose, along with Black-eyed Peas with Coriander and Green Chillies and Chana Dal with Spinach & Tomato (the other two recipes will follow over the next couple of weeks). It is more like a chutney or accompaniment, as opposed to a main dish, but it’s amazing, fresh flavours work well with some warm flatbread. It was a hit with my partner and we could both very easily live on food like this. I will definitely be making it again. Thanks to the most talented Madhur Jaffrey for this wonderful book.
Roasted Aubergine & Tomato – serves 4 as a side dish with warm flatbread, preparation 20 minutes, cooking time 40 minutes
- 450g slim, tender aubergine (I used 2 of the Italian ones), whole
- 2 medium plum tomatoes, whole
- 1/2 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 fresh green chilli, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp shallot, peeled and finely chopped (I couldn’t get these and used red onion)
- 2 tsp fresh mint, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 3 tsp lime juice
- 3 tsp extra virgin olive oil (the recipe called for mustard oil, but I didn’t have that)
Pre-heat the grill. Prick the aubergine all over with a fork and piece the tomatoes a couple of time. Place them on a foil lined baking tray and place under the grill as close to the heat as possible. Turning regularly, cook until the skin in charred and the flesh soft. Smaller aubergines can take 20 minutes, but the ones that I used were medium sized and actually took around 40 minutes (I removed the tomatoes when cooked and allowed extra time for the aubergine). When cooked place them in a sieve over a bowl and allow them to cool.
Once cooled removed the skin from the tomatoes and aubergine, chop them finely and place in a bowl. Add all the other ingredients: salt, pepper, chilli, shallot, mint, coriander, lime juice and oil and combine.
This dish is best served cold, so pop in the refrigerator until needed. Serve as a side dish with warm bread. Delicious!