Fun fact: I once made this at 2am completely smashed off my face on Mr Hangry Ems birthday. When hanger strikes eh? I mean, if I can cook this drunk, you can definitely have a go – I actually highly recommend slightly-merry cooking anyway, a bit of danger in the kitchen adds a sense of adventure if anything.
This is a tried and tested recipe, and has a regular occurrence on the menu at our flat. It is horrendously easy, and as it uses aubergine rather than meat you can whip this up pretty quickly if you put your mind to it. I have made my own curry paste for this (because right now all I have is time), but pick your favourite pre-made one from the supermarket if you can’t be bothered… I certainly do this from time to time.
We are currently having a fresh veg crisis, so threw in a handful of frozen peas. You, however, can throw in any veg you like – I reckon some steamed broccoli would make a nice addition. Lager is an essential whilst cooking, although you don’t have to drink to the lengths I did on Mr Hangry Ems birthday.
Album to cook to: ‘What Time Is It?’, The Time
Recipe feeds 2, with some leftovers
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
2 medium sized aubergines, diced into chunks
3 cloves of garlic, diced
4 cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
Coriander, leaves for garnish, and 5 stalks finely chopped for the curry paste
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp coriander seeds (although ground is fine)
1 tsp cumin seeds (as above)
400 ml coconut milk
2 brown onions, finely sliced
A handful of frozen peas (or whatever veg you fancy using)
Oil, for frying
There is quite a lot of prep work on this, sorry. But the little extra steps are worth it I promise. Start by laying your aubergine chunks on a plate flesh side up, and sprinkle generously with salt – you then need to leave this for 20 minutes or so. The aim of this is to draw out the excess moisture in the aubergine which means it will retain it’s shape in the curry.
Whilst your aubergine is doing it’s thing, make a start on the curry paste. In a pestle and mortar pound the garlic and ginger together to make a paste. You can use the pre-made tube pastes (you can find them in most shops) if you don’t have a pestle and mortar, but make sure you use ground cumin and coriander if this is the case. When you have your ginger-garlic mix, add in the coriander stalks, coriander and cumin seeds, and crush those into the paste. When the seeds have broken down, add in the tumeric, chilli powder and some salt and give it a good mix. Add in 2 tsp of either water or olive oil to help it all bind together and get a bit sticky. I love how easy it is to make curry paste – maybe because I make Mr Hangry Em do the leg work with the pestle and mortar?
Back to the aubergines: you will notice a film of moisture laying over the top of them. Pop a piece of kitchen towel over the top and mop this up. Put a frying pan on a medium/high heat with some oil, and add the aubergine chunks to sear the flesh. This will only take 3-4 minutes, although you might have to do this in batches. When all of the aubergine is seared, remove it to a plate.
Put 1 tbsp of oil in the pan and add the onions, sweating them for 5 minutes. When they start crisping add in your curry paste, combining it with the onions, and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk, and give it a good stir to combine with the curried onions, and then add the aubergine chunks. Leave the curry on a simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or as I do, taste test every 5 minutes; ‘just checking it babes’.
If you are adding veg, throw it in at the 10 minute mark (depending on what you are using, obviously).
Dish up, with rice and naan, sprinkling on coriander to serve.
Ha! I snuck in a vegan meal lads.