I LOVE aubergine. It is so unbelievably versatile. It’s a great carrier of flavours. As a family, we eat loads of aubergine dishes. As well as this aubergine curry with coconut and peanuts – bagare baingan (the name it is known by), I also make a delicious aubergine curry with potatoes and peas, aubergine curry with minced lab and boiled eggs, moussaka, aubergine parmesan, aubergine stacks, stuffed aubergines, aubergine with kisir, aubergine mezze, miso aubergine, aubergine slices, and the list goes on. I also love the sound of an afghan aubergine dish where the aubergine is layered with tomatoes and yoghurt. Afghan food is delicious and I just know it will be good without even trying it. As for turkish mezze..omg. I am lucky enough to live near an awesome turkish place and sometimes I go in there and just pick up some mezze and hot, fresh bread and we all dive in.
If you love aubergines, then this is a great dish to try. I first came across it when my gran in law made it once when I was staying over with her. She is such a great cook and has a real love for trying new recipes and it shows. I just had to ask her for the recipe! With this recipe, I feel it is as much about the texture as it is the flavour.
The ingredient list may seem long here but please don’t let that put you off! The old school recipes from the older generation are always the best and this is yummy. The important part is to get the paste right.
By the way, I am aware of what a disgrace the website is at the moment and it is killing me. Believe me when you are a slight control freak, it is hard to let these things go but I have had to, as we have had so many more important things going on. We are migrating to another site soon but it is taking so much longer then I ever expected. I feel like its a real lesson in patience for me.
Anyway onto happier thoughts. Here is the recipe!
Aubergine Curry with Coconut and Peanuts – Bagare Baingan
- 5 tbsp peanuts
- 4 tbsp coconut fresh is better but it is ok if you can't get it
- 3 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- 8 baby aubergines
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp onion seeds
- ¼ tsp fennel seeds
- 6 fresh curry leaves
- 1 medium/large onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed with 1 tbsp water
- 1/2 inch ginger crushed with 1 tbsp water
- 2 green chillies crushed with 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1.5 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika powder
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- ¼ tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
- 2 cups of water
- Salt to taste
In a frying pan dry roast the coconut, peanuts, sesame seeds and poppy seeds for 6 minutes over a medium/low heat.
Pop into a blender, add some water (about 1 -2 tbsp) and blend to a fine paste.
If the aubergines are rounded at the bottom, cut a cross shape into the bottom until half way up (Do not slice all the way through).
Heat oil in the pan and add the aubergines. Cook for 10 minutes over a medium heat and put on some kitchen tissue.
In the same pan add mustard seeds and once they crackle, add the onion and fennel seeds and curry leaves.
Stir for a minute and add the onions. Cook till light golden brown - 7-8 minutes.
Now add ginger, garlic and green chilli and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, chilli, curry powders. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes.
Stir the paste into the pan with 2 tbsp water.
Add the aubergine and mix.
Add water, cover and cook over a low heat for 15-20 minutes.
Add garam masala, tamarind paste and sugar and mix in.
Season to taste.
Serve immediately with roti.
These aubergines are small and don't require salting beforehand. They are not as bitter as the larger aubergines.