Try these extra tips to make this dish a hit. First, mash the aubergine with a fork rather than chopping it. Second, use the core of the aubergine – this part has the most flavour – and don’t be afraid to keep a few bits of the burnt skin, too.
Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: about 25 minutes
1 large (800g) or 2 small (400g) aubergines
1/2tsp rapeseed or olive oil
1tsp cumin seeds
2 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced 11/2tsp grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 green chilli, finely chopped
1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, finely diced
1/2tsp ground turmeric
1tbsp each ground cumin and coriander 1/2tbsp garam masala
2tbsp freshly chopped coriander
1 Rub the aubergine(s) with the oil and roast for about 15min over an open flame on the hob until charred all over and tender all the way through, turning often. You can finish it off in an oven preheated to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6 if it’s nicely charred but not tender enough. Set aside to cool.
2 Strip the aubergine of its charred skin – it should come off easily with your hands or when scraped with a spoon. Discard skin, mash the pulp thoroughly, then set aside.
3 Put the ghee in a pan over a medium heat and add the cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the onions and gently cook for about 1min until golden brown. Add the ginger, garlic and green chilli and sauté for a few more seconds. Stir in the tomato, turmeric, cumin and ground coriander and cook for a further minute, then fold in the mashed aubergine and garam masala and cook for 3-4min.
4 Season with sea salt, to taste, and serve warm with the coriander scattered on top.