Baby Aubergine and Lentil Curry

I was feeling rather ill which somehow led me to make this. It was really simple and was an attempt to emulate the one I’ve eaten before at Tayyabs restaurant in East London. Piman came over to watch the new Masterchef series and eat it with me. 

This comfortably served two of us, with one portion left for packed-lunch.

Ingredients:

4 baby aubergines (or 1 large aubergine in chunks) with tops cut off and cut in half

1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced thinly

2 garlic cloves pounded with 1 inch of ginger pounded in a pestle and mortar with salt (or cut up)

1 chilli sliced up

1 dessert spoon coriander seeds

1 dessert spoon cumin seeds

1 dessert spoon tumeric

1 cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons yogurt

1 cup lentils

1 lemon

Garnish:

shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce

some sliced cucumber

½ finely sliced onion

yogurt

How I made it:

Melt a knob of butter and a tablespoon of sunflower oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan and when it is foaming, add the spices cook for 30 seconds. Add the garlic and ginger, chilli and onion. Add a lid and cook on a low heat until the onion is soft. Add the aubergines and fry for a few minutes and coat in the spices and onions. Pour in tin of tomatoes, refill the empty tomato tin twice with water and add to the pan. Then add the lentils and the sugar. Cook for 45 mins hour with the lid on, and 30 mins with the lid off on a low heat, just so it is gently bubbling.  

– at this point I put on the very well-rinsed basmati rice (rinsing helps the grains separate): 1 cup of rice, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 cups of water a few cardomom pods and a bayleaf. Put on a medium heat with the lid on for about 20-30 mins (when all the water has absorbed).

Check the lentils are cooked (they should be soft). Stir in 2 tablespoons  of yogurt. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Season well with salt. 

Eaten with:

Ladle the curry over the rice and serve with a dollop of yogurt, a squeeze of lemon and some of the shredded salad garnish. A glass of beer. 

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