150ml vegetable oil
50g minced garlic
50g minced ginger
2 large white onions (approx 200g), finely chopped
1 large tomato (approx 100g), finely chopped
30g tamarind sauce/paste
50g peanut butter
50g tahini (sesame) paste
30g chilli powder (medium)
20g turmeric powder
30g coriander powder
500g baby aubergines, cut into a 2-inch dice
100ml coconut milk
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Sweet, sour, spicy and nutty, this classic aubergine curry from Hyderabad in South India is next-level comfort food – and a Curry Leaf Cafe bestseller. Traditionally made with baby aubergines, large ones can also be used if needed.
In a large casserole dish/saucepan, heat 100ml of the oil over low-medium flame until it starts to sizzle. Add the ginger & garlic paste and cook until it starts to turn light brown (approx 5 mins).
Add the chopped onion and slow-cook, stirring frequently, until it turns soft and golden (around 20mins). Add the chopped tomato, stir together and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add the tamarind, peanut butter, tahini, jaggery and spices, then pour in 200ml of water and mix thoroughly – the sauce should be quite thick.
Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer
Meanwhile, heat the remaining vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat.
When the oil is sizzling add the diced aubergine and fry gently, turning frequently, until soft and light brown – around 10mins.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the aubergine to the casserole dish, pour in the coconut milk, stir everything together carefully and bring to the boil.
Garnish with toasted sesame seeds (optional) and serve with basmati rice or paratha bread for dipping.