Aubergine, aubergine you're so delicious,
I love you more than all the other dishes.

Buffy fans amongst you will recognise this as a corruption of a song in episode 129 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  The Buffy version was about anchovies and was included in the episode as a protest because some “unmentioned pizza chain” had stopped offering anchovies on their pizzas.  I prefer my version because:
  1. I hate anchovies and
  2. Mine is a happy song that one can do a happy dance to whilst cooking this dish.

 Serves 4


 Ingredients

For the masala

  • 2 tablespoons peanuts - crushed
  • 2 tablespoons dessicated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 2 spring onions - chopped
  • 1 clove garlic - finely chopped
  • 1 small green chilli - finely chopped
  • 5 grams ginger - grated
  • 2 teaspoons coriander power
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon light tasting vegetable oil 
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
For the rest of the dish
  • 1 large floury potato - peeled and cut into 1 inch wedges
  • 3 tablespoons light tasting vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion - finely chopped
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 225 grams canned tomatoes
  • 1 large aubergine - cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4-6 shallots - peeled
  • 100 millilitres water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Method
  1. Place the potato wedges in a large pan.  Cover the potatoes with cold water and bring to the boil.  Leave to simmer for 7 minutes and then drain.
  2. Meanwhile combine all the masala ingredients in a small mixing bowl and leave to one side.
  3. In a large pan heat 3 tablespoons of light tasting vegetable oil.
  4. Add the chopped onion, star anise and cinnamon stick and cook on a low heat until the onion is transparent.
  5. Add the masala to the pan and stir well.  Let the mixture cook for a minute or two.
  6. Meanwhile, puree the canned tomatoes either in a blender or by pushing through a sieve.
  7. Now add the pureed canned tomatoes, aubergine, par-boiled potatoes, shallots, water and lemon juice to the pan and stir again.
  8. Place a lid on the pan and cook on a lowish heat until the vegetables are tender (in the region of 40 minutes).  Stir occasionally and check the seasoning after 15 minutes.  If at any point the curry is looking dry and the vegetables are sticking to the pan, add a little more water and stir.
  9. Serve with rice or naan bread.

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