2tablespoonscooking oil(plus more if necessary, I used coconut oil)
2aubergines(a.k.a. eggplant, approx. 1.3 lb / 600 g total weight)
2medium onions, finely chopped
6cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 ½inchpiece of ginger, finely chopped
1-2fresh chillies, finely sliced(more or less depending on how you like your heat)
2x14 oz (400 g) tins chopped tomatoes
½cup(100 ml) water(plus more if necessary)
½teaspoonsalt(plus more to taste)
Large handful fresh coriander, chopped(optional)
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Remove the tops from the aubergines and chop these into bite-sized pieces (approx. 1-inch cubes).
Heat some of the oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add the aubergine pieces, sprinkle with a little salt, and cook for 6-8 minutes or until starting to soften and turn golden. You can use a lid on the pan to help with cooking, and fry in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding.Note: If you'd rather roast the aubergine, do so in an oven preheated to 200°C (390°F) for 20-25 minutes or until soft.
Once the aubergine is cooked, set aside.
Using the same pan, heat a little more oil and add the chopped onion. Sprinkle with salt and stir now and then for 6-8 minutes or until starting to soften.
Next, add the finely chopped garlic, ginger, and chilli and cook for a couple of minutes.
Stir in the ground cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Lightly crush the cardamom pods with the flat of your knife and add these to the pan. Mix everything well.
After a minute or so, stir in the chopped tomatoes. Swirl a little water around each of the empty tins and also add this to the pan. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, return the cooked aubergine to the pan and mix well. Add the garam masala and continue to simmer on low heat for another 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add extra water if it's becoming too dry.
Stir in chopped fresh coriander, adjust the seasoning to taste, and serve with boiled rice or pilau rice (see notes for more suggestions).
Serving suggestions: Naan bread, puri, chapati, roasted cauliflower, poppadoms, baked potato, crispy baked potato wedges, plant-based yoghurt or crème fraiche, fresh coriander.Make it creamy: For a creamier curry, add coconut milk or homemade cashew cream.Bulk it out: Add legumes such as chickpeas or lentils if you want to make it stretch further.Smoother sauce: You could mash or blend the curry before adding the aubergine pieces. I’d suggest removing any whole spices (i.e. the cardamom in this recipe) before doing so.Bitterness: Some people recommend salting and rinsing (and/or peeling) the aubergine before cooking to remove bitterness, but I never have this issue with aubergines that are fresh. It seems that modern varieties have this bred out of them and it only becomes an issue if they're old.Gluten-free: This curry is completely gluten-free with sides such as rice.Storage: Refrigerate for up to four days or freeze for up to six months.If you liked this recipe, you might also enjoy: