Curried Aubergine with Tomato and Chickpeas

29 Jul

The first of the seasons aubergines are starting to peek out from inside their pretty lilac flowers in the fields where I walk the dog.

I have lots of aubergine recipes saved from Spain to China that will make even the most stubborn aubergine haters out there succumb to its deeply, dark and delicious charms.

I can say that because I used to be one of them – a hater I mean, not an aubergine obviously. If they are cooked incorrectly, which they generally are, they can be a spongy, chewy, watery, bland and disgusting disaster. Which is why there are so many haters out there.

The first recipe from my aubergine collection that I am going to share with you is a curry. I chose the curry because my chillis on the roof terrace are turning for green to red very quickly right now and every morning there is a fresh crop of jewel-like peppers twinkling at me from the bush. 

These chillis are just asking to be used, and there are lots of them.

So expect lot of chilli recipes in the next few weeks including: my homemade Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce and some spicy Chickpea Tikka Masala Burgers. It’s going to be a long, hot summer.

This curry is delicious, the aubergine is meltingly soft and the sauce well reduced to create an intensely rich and flavourful dish.

It’s from Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey. You can’t go wrong with Rick, he knows good curry. I just added the chickpeas so it was a one pot dish and I didn’t have to make any rice to go with it. Some flatbreads would be nice to scoop it up though.

Rick Stein has a new series about Spain on the BBC at the moment. I saw it for the first time last night and he mentioned that next week he would be in Andalucia. I’m really interested to see where he goes and what he eats. It’s definitely worth watching if you haven’t seen it yet. It’s called Rick Stein’s Spain.

Curried Aubergine with Tomato & Chickpeas

Serves 2-3, vegan, gluten-free. Adapted from Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey

  • 1 large aubergine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 or 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tin, 400 gr chopped tomatoes
  • 200 gr (1/2 a jar/tin) cooked chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped plus leaves for garnish
  • 10 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • lemon wedges to serve

Cut the aubergine in half across the middle then cut each half in half lengthways. Cut each piece, lengthways into 6 or 8 wedges, place them in a colander, sprinkle over 1/2 tsp salt and toss to coat. Place the colander in the sink to drain for 10 minutes. This draws out some of the water out of the aubergines.

Meanwhile prepare your onions, garlic, ginger and chillies. Heat a large frying pan over a medium high heat without any oil. Pour the olive oil into a shallow dish and brush the aubergine wedges on all sides with the oil. Put them in the frying pan a few at a time and cook for 2 or 3 minutes on each side until well browned. This helps to stop the aubergines absorbing too much oil. Set aside in a heatproof bowl and continue cooking the rest.

Put the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli into a processor or blender with 2 or 3 tbsp water and process to a smooth paste. Heat 2 tbsp of the remaining olive oil in the frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and fennel seeds wait until they start to pop then add the onion paste and fry for about 2 minutes. Add the ground coriander and turmeric and fry for a further minute then add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and 3 tbsp water.

 Lower the heat, cover and leave to simmer for about 8 minutes until sauce has reduced and thickened. Add the aubergine wedges back into the pan along with the chickpeas and stir well to coat in the sauce. Simmer for a further 5 minutes until the aubergines are meltingly tender then stir in the fresh coriander & mint. Taste to check seasoning.

Serve garnished with coriander leaves and a wedge of lemon.

Please try this even if you hate aubergine and let me know if you’ve been converted. I was!

Things That made me Smile Today…..

Beautiful squash flowers…

And green baby pumpkins nestled in their shady bed….

A sure sign that autumn is not too far away and along with it relief from this crazy heat!

22 Responses to “Curried Aubergine with Tomato and Chickpeas”

  1. veggiegrettie July 29, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    I just bought q beautiful eggplant…I now know what I will do with it🙂

  2. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide July 29, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    I’m seriously jealous of those peppers and the eggplant. Great way to use both!

  3. Saveur July 29, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    I completely agree with you – you have to know which eggplant dish to make because some are incredible! Along with the eggplant broiled with miso, this is one of my favourite eggplant dishes: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/turkish-eggplant-tomato-and-lentil-stew-with-pomegranate/

    I can’t wait to see what other eggplant recipes you will share.🙂

  4. Adora's Box July 29, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    Such beautiful plants. You are right about aubergines. If not cooked properly, it tastes disgusting. I like it a bit overcooked so the sweetness comes out. Love your aubergine curry.

  5. Ramona July 29, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    Yummy in my Tummy! You know this is my kind of dish!!! I love your garden. I wish I had such a beautiful garden full of such lovely veggies. I give this dish an A+++++ ~ Well done! : )

  6. Caroline July 29, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    Eggplant is so delicious. I definitely don’t cook with it enough for some reason. I need to get on that! This dish sounds fabulous, and I love that bowl/plate.🙂

  7. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts July 29, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    I think I am a hater. But if you are right – then I need to try it again and have it cooked right! This sounds like a good way to try it, I love all flavors here!

  8. chicaandaluza July 30, 2011 at 1:07 am #

    I love that Rick Stein book, actually I have a huge crush on Rick Stein if I´m honest! This looks wonderful and your chillis are amazing. Mine don´t even have any flowers yet😦 Looking forward to more aubergine recipes.

  9. Maris (In Good Taste) July 30, 2011 at 1:30 am #

    I am loving all these photos!

  10. kankana July 30, 2011 at 1:37 am #

    I love anything lil spicy and that photo of chilly just stole my heart. This is a great delicious looking dish.

  11. Priya Sreeram July 30, 2011 at 2:28 am #

    I make somethg similar ; this platter looks good

  12. E July 30, 2011 at 4:31 am #

    As an aubergine hater (well, except when it is covered in cheese and deep fried — then again, poop is probably good covered in cheese and deep fried, so that doesn’t really count), I am intrigued by this recipe. I’m planning on hitting the farmer’s market tomorrow so if I see some pretty aubergines calling my name, perhaps I’ll have to give this a whirl🙂 Gorgeous post!

  13. happywhennothungry July 30, 2011 at 6:22 am #

    This looks delicious! I’m so jealous of your garden and your eggplants. They look beautiful. Love your photos too!

  14. tony ward July 30, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    One hundred and one things to do with chillis hey ?? Love the look of this one princess and its could well be on the menu for Sunday brunch unless La Colombe rears its beautiful, tempting head !!! Lets have a look in the wardrobe. Great photos too, there are a few places here offering stuffed zucchini flowers at the moment (the squash flower reminded me !!) xx Have a good weekend.

  15. Angie's Recipes July 30, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    I am jealous that you have a great harvest of chillies! Mine….sigh…I guess I won’t have any single one as we have a cold summer this year…
    The veggie curry looks delish!

  16. bhavani@ameanderingmango July 30, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    Look like a delicious dish – I haven’t eaten chickpeas in a while and this would be perfect for a cold night. What lovely photos of your garden vegetables…beautiful.

  17. Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen July 31, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    Absolutely gorgeous! Some of my favorite ingredients and spices combined into one dish. And so colorful! Great presentation.

  18. thefooddoctor July 31, 2011 at 6:42 am #

    I love eggplants and love the fact that you used a lilac dish to serve it in🙂
    I’m looking forward to autome too

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Eggplant in my Purse | Legally Blissful - August 1, 2011

    […] was so inspired to try this recipe that I’m going to give eggplants another go, tonight! (I’ll post how it goes, of […]

  2. Berenjenas Con Miel – Fried Aubergines with Cane Honey « Cook Eat Live Vegetarian - August 17, 2011

    […] is the second in my aubergine season series, the first being an Aubergine & Chickpea Curry, designed to convert even the most stubborn of aubergine haters out […]

  3. Chinese Chilli Aubergine with Rice Noodles « Cook Eat Live Vegetarian - September 17, 2011

    […] This is the third and final recipe in the Aubergine series for this season. Designed to convert even the most stubborn of aubergine haters out there. The previous two recipes were Berenjenas con Miel (Andalucian Fried Aubergines with Cane Honey) and Curried Aubergine with Chickpeas & Tomato. […]

  4. La lettre hebdo du 2 juin 2013 | - June 2, 2013

    […] Curry d’aubergine à la tomate et les pois chiches […]

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