A delicious vegetarian curry that's easy to make and tasty!
'Roasting' the aubergines until soft, and then scooping out the flesh means that you don't need to cook them in lots of oil, and that they take on a rich, toasty flavour from the slight char on the skin which permeates through to the flesh.
If made with two de-seeded large red chillies, this is a very mild curry, which makes a lovely vegetarian main on its own (you may want to add a tin of chickpeas to add more texture and protein to the curry, if you want to serve it as a main on its own), or a beautiful side dish to other curries, or part of a selection (e.g. a thali).
- 1 kg aubergines (e.g. 3 large ones, around 325-375g each) 
- 400 g fresh spinach 
- 1 x 15ml tbsp ghee or oil 
- 2 tsp mustard seeds (brown/black) 
- 2 red onions (240g) 
- 2 large red chillies, (deseeded if you want a mild curry, add more for hot!) and finely chopped 
- 2 inches ginger root, peeled and grated 
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed 
- 2 tsp ground cumin 
- 1 tsp turmeric 
- 2 tsp garam masala 
- 1 tbsp lemon juice 
- 1/2 tsp sugar 
- 3 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes (feel free to substitute some or all fresh) 
- 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped 
- Salt to taste
Rice (or cauliflower rice), Naan, Yoghurt (or vegan alternative), Reserved coriander to garnish, Cachumber.
This is quite a 'soft' textured curry. To add another texture dimension, add 240g (one drained 400g tin) of cooked chickpeas [314 calories] five minutes before the end of cooking, and a serving of cachumber on the side for some fresh crunchiness!
1. Use 1 tsp of the oil to oil a large tray (that fits under your grill - you can line it with foil first if you want to). Cut the aubergines in half, lightly salt, and place cut side down on the oiled tray. Grill on high for 15 to 25 minutes until they are wrinkled, soft and collapsed, rotating the tray a couple of times, if necessary (i.e. if your grill heats unevenly!). Check all the flesh is tender, and there are no white parts left, and set aside to cool a little. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon, then chop roughly and discard the skin. If the juices in the tray have a pleasant smoky flavour, and don't taste bitter, you can add them to the chopped flesh in a bowl.
2. Rinse the spinach, and then without drying it, wilt it in a large lidded pan (I use a wok) - it will only take about five minutes over a high heat - just turn it once or twice. You can do this while the aubergines are grilling. Drain off, and squeeze out all of the excess water, then chop roughly and set aside.
3. Heat the remaining oil in a large pan (feel free to use more if you're not counting calories), add the mustard seeds and heat for a minute or two until they start to pop. Add the onions, ginger and chilli and cook until the onions have softened. Add the garlic and cook out for a minute, then add the ground spices and cook for another couple of minutes until fragrant.
4. Add the tomatoes, aubergine, ground spices, 1 tsp salt, the sugar and the lemon juice. Bring to the boil, then turn down and leave to simmer for around 15 minutes.
5. Stir in the chopped, wilted spinach and most of the chopped coriander. Taste and add additional salt to your taste (you may need another 1/2 to 1 tsp more, depending on your tastes), then serve with rice, naan and a dollop of yoghurt, if desired!