This was my Saturday night dinner, an amalgamation of tried and trested recipes plus some experimentation. I spent the whole afternoon cooking these dishes plus some meat dishes for my family…and then the whole dinner was eaten in about 20 minutes!!! That tells me it was a success :)
Note: this is lovely when first cooked, and even better if made then eaten later in the day, or even the next day, as the flavours have even more time to develop.
10 baby aubergines, cut into 1.5cm slices or 2 medium aubergines chopped into chunks
3 small green chillies (optional)*
5 tbsp oil
2 cardamom pods
2 large onions, finely chopped
2.5cm piece root ginger, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes, pureed
handful coriander leaves
1 tsp garam masala
Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan, add the cloves and cardamom and wait till they sizzle.
Add the onions and fry until dark brown.
Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Next add the red chilli powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt and stir frequently.
Finally add the nutmeg and tomatoes.
Take off the heat and blend with a stick blender still in the pan (do this carefully otherwise your whole kitchen will get splattered!). Keep to one side.
*I add the chillies now so that I have the option to remove them. If you like a spicier curry, add them with the garlic and ginger and then they will be blended into the sauce.
Chop the aubergines (or whatever vegetable you prefer) and cook in another pan until soft then stir them into the sauce.
Simmer, covered, all together for 15-20 mins.
Finish with garam masala & chopped coriander to serve.
I made the onion bhajia using Naina’s recipe, however, I shallow fried them in vegetable oil as I do not have a pan like Naina’s, yet! Great flavours :)
I literally threw this bread together, trying to make a note of what I was doing as I went along. I split the dough in half and cooked half as bread rolls and half as flatbreads under a grill, and both worked well. The flatbreads came out with a crunch and the rolls were nice and soft and kept for the next few days.
500g flour – I used a mix of atta flour and plain flour (you may need more if the dough feels too wet)
15g fresh yeast
300ml warm water
2 heaped tbsp plain yoghurt
2tbsp olive oil
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground coriander
1tbsp nigella seeds
Add the yeast to the warm water and stir until dissolved. Keep to one side.
In a large bowl, add the salt, then all of the flour over the top of the salt.
Add in all of the spices, seeds, yoghurt and olive oil and loosely stir all together.
Pour in the yeast water then get your hands in and mix it all until it comes together as a dough.
Turn out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for 5-10 mins until the dough is smooth.
Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a plastic bag and leave to prove for an hour.
After the hour, the dough should be well risen. Punch it down then turn out onto the counter again.
Split into 8 portions and either roll out to make flatbreads and/or shape into balls for rolls.
Place the portions onto a lined baking sheet, with space in between for expansion as they cook, and cover with oiled cling film and leave to raise again for half an hour.
Bake the rolls in an oven at 200C for 12-18 mins, or, grill the flatbreads under a medium heat grill until the surface browns then turn the bread over and grill the other side. Keep an eye on them as they can brown very suddenly, very quickly.
I also made some roasted potatoes as a side dish.
Serve it all together whilst it’s hot.