Chettinad aubergine coconut curry

Chettinad aubergine coconut curry

By
From
I Love India
Serves
3-4
Photographer
Martin Poole

Chettinad is a community in the region of Tamil Nadu, on the southern tip of India, known for its delicious but spicy meaty dishes such as Southern Peppery Chettinad Chicken. The same flavours work well with “meaty” vegetables, like in this aubergine dish. Vegetarian food in India has always been the best in the world and it is dishes like these which lead the way and make vegetables so exciting.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the Chettinad masala

Quantity Ingredient
1-2 dried red chillies, to taste (I use 1)
1/2 rounded teaspoon cumin seeds
1 rounded teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 rounded teaspoon fennel seeds
8 black peppercorns
2 thumbnail-sized shards of cinnamon stick or cassia bark
10 fresh or dried curry leaves

For the curry

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablepoons vegetable oil
4 tablepoons grated fresh coconut or 2 rounded tbsp desiccated coconut
1 large tomato, chopped
3 garlic cloves
8g roughly chopped root ginger, (peeled weight)
1/3 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
10 fresh or dried curry leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
1 potato, peeled and cut into 2.5cm pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
200g baby aubergines
1-2 green chillies, stalks removed, pierced with a knife
small handful coriander, to serve

Method

  1. Heat ½ tsp of the oil in a large non-stick sauté pan that has a lid. Add the ingredients for the masala and gently roast for 45–60 seconds, or until the coriander seeds have coloured a little and smell roasted. Pour into a spice grinder or a good mortar and pestle and grind well until fine.
  2. Dry-roast the coconut in the same pan until golden. Place in a container to blend, add the masala and a good splash of water and blend to a fine paste; this takes a few minutes. Set aside.
  3. Separately, blend the tomato with the garlic and ginger until smooth.
  4. Give the pan a wipe and heat the remaining oil. Add the mustard seeds and, once they are popping, add the curry leaves. After a beat add the onion and cook until well golden on the edges. Add the potatoes and cook for a minute and add the blended tomatoes and turmeric and a little more seasoning; cook over a moderate heat for 3–4 minutes or until the masala has darkened.
  5. Now make a deep cross through the aubergines so they are cut into quarters lengthways but still held together at the stalk end. Add the aubergines, coconut paste, green chillies and a good splash of water to the pan and bring to the boil. Cover and cook gently for about 18–20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Give the pan the occasional stir and add a splash of hot water from the kettle when the masala begins to looks dry and is starting to stick. It should be a little thicker than double cream when done.
  6. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve hot, sprinkled with the coriander.
Tags:
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again