The list of ingredients for this Bangladeshi aubergine and courgette curry might look long, but once you’ve stocked your store cupboard you can make the dish again and again. Full of veggies and packed with plenty of spices, this curry is perfect if you’re catering for vegetarian guests or looking for a delicious way to get the family to eat their 5-a-day. Plus, once you’ve cooked up a big batch, this delicious dish still tastes great the next day. Simply spoon a serving into a dish, pop in the microwave for 3-4 minutes or until piping hot, and then enjoy!
- 600g Asian finger aubergines (or 2 Mediterranean aubergines)
- 200g pack baby courgettes
- 3-4tbsp vegetable oil
- 2tbsp freshly grated root ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
- 1-2 green cayenne (large) chillies, deseeded if you prefer and finely sliced
- 2tsp fennel seeds
- 1tsp cumin seeds
- 1tbsp roughly ground coriander seeds
- 1⁄2tsp ground turmeric
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- A good handful each of fresh chopped coriander and mint
- Rice or naan bread, to serve
Cut the stalks off the aubergines and then cut them in half lengthways (for large, cut in half and then slice each piece lengthways into 6 or 8 wedges). Halve the baby courgettes. Toss all the veg with a little salt and set aside in a colander for 20 mins.
Quickly rinse and dry the aubergines and courgettes. Lay them out, cut-side up on a large baking sheet, brush with oil and grill (for about 10 mins) until browned. Turn them over and grill for a few more mins.
Meanwhile, mix the ginger, garlic and chilli in a mortar with 3tbsp water and grind to paste with a pestle, or mix in a small bowl.
Put the remaining oil (2tbsp) in a frying pan, add the fennel and cumin seeds. When they start to sizzle, add the ginger paste and fry for another few mins. Add the coriander seeds and turmeric, fry for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes and season generously with salt and black pepper. Cover and leave to simmer for 8-10 mins until reduced and thickened slightly. Add a little water if it gets too thick. Stir in the fresh herbs.
Divide the vegetables between 4-6 warm dishes and spoon the hot sauce over. Serve with rice or naan bread.
Traditionally, the aubergine pieces would be fried in batches in hot oil. Grilling them all at once is a quicker and healthier way to cook them.