RH Amar – French’s & Frank’s

Burnt Aubergine & Dry Pomegranate Seeds

Anjula Devi, chef & author of Spice of Life
Serves: 4-6
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The burnt aubergines are a great family dish and a delightful Indian vegetarian meal.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 aubergines, medium size
  • Key Spices
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 inch piece cassia bark
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • Warming Spices
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 6 green cardamom, lightly bashed
  • Other Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 8 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tsp grated jaggery
  • 6 whole dry Kashmiri chillies
  • Wet Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 fresh beef tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp pulped garlic
  • 4 tbsp water
  • Small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Soak the pomegranate seeds in 3 tbsp of hot water for 10 minutes. Grind in the pestle and mortar, creating a fine paste. Set aside
  2. Using tongs, place each aubergine directly over the flames on a gas hob, turning as the aubergine starts to burn all over and the flesh becomes soft. Alternatively use the grill

  3. Allow to cool before mashing. Set aside

  4. Warm the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and black peppercorns on a low heat for 1 minute until fragrant. Remove and add to the pestle and mortar and grind coarsely
  5. Warm the oil on a low heat in a large sauté pan and add onions, cassia bark, bay leaf and salt to taste. Sauté for 5 minutes
  6. Add turmeric and red chilli flakes, stir and sauté for 2 minutes

  7. Add the aubergines, beef tomatoes, tomato puree, jaggery, pomegranate paste and curry leaves and sauté for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  8. Add the Kashmiri chillies, garlic, ginger and green chillies, and sauté for 2 minutes

  9. Add the contents of the pestle and mortar, stir well, and sauté for 10 minutes, until you see that the mixture resembles a paste - add water if it becomes dry

  10. In a dry frying pan, roast the warming spices for 1 minute until fragrant, and add to the large sauté pan
  11. Stir well, add 4 tbsp water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 25 minutes
  12. Turn off the heat, add coriander and serve with fresh chapattis
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