Last week was cold, with rain and thunderstorms most days, and everyone felt grumpy and grim. We needed comfort food to warm us up and lift our spirits. I love this curry, it's quick and tasty, perfect for a rather chilly Spring weeknight and a great addition to your Meatfree Monday repertoire.
Augergine and Potato Curry
For the rice:
175g basmati or long grain white rice
2 Tblsp sunflower oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
For the curry:
2 Tblsp oil
2 Tblsp butter
2 onions, diced
3cm/1¼ inch fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
1½ tsp turmeric
1½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp chopped fresh green chilli (take out seeds and membranes for milder heat)
2 large potatoes chopped into 1cm/½ inch dice
2 large aubergines, chopped into 2cm/¾ inch dice
3 Tblsp dried fenugreek (methi)
Wash the rice until the water runs clear then cover with fresh water and set aside whilst you get the curry cooking.
To make the curry, heat the oil and butter in a large lidded saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the ginger, turmeric, cumin, mustard seeds, chilli and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for a couple of minutes until the spices are fragrant and then add the potato with ¼ cup/60ml water and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 5 – 10 minutes. Add a little more water if necessary.
Once the potatoes are tender, add the aubergines to the pan with the methi and another ¼ cup/60ml of water. Cover with a lid and leave to steam for 10–15 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and cooked through. Remove from the heat and allow the flavour to develop whilst you cook the rice.
Drain the rice thoroughly. Put a large lidded saucepan over a medium heat, add the oil and onion and cook for 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Stir in all the spices and cook for a minute until fragrant. Add the drained rice and 250ml/1 cup of water and simmer very gently, covered, for 10–12 minutes, or until the water has absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove the whole spices before serving the rice.
Serve the curry with the rice, chapati or roti, and whatever other condiments and accompaniments you prefer.