Aubergine and spinach curry

April 23, 2020
Family Verdict:


  • 3 large aubergines
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil or any flavourless oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida (optional)
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 8 large cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 hot green chillies finely chopped
  • 390g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 250 g baby leaf spinach washed and squeezed of excess water
  • Fresh coriander, lemon wedges and chopped green chillies to garnish

Prick each aubergine with a fork a few times and place one on each burner of your gas cooker. Turn the flame on high and cook the aubergines for 8 minutes. Don’t touch or move them during this time.

  • Once 8 minutes have passed, use tongs to turn them over and cook the other sides for 8 minutes, again not moving them. Steam will escape from the holes you’ve made. It’s important not to leave the kitchen during this time! Open a window too. Once charred on the outside, use tongs to place each aubergine onto a plate and set aside to cool.
  • In a large pan, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds and optional asafoetida. Cook for a minute and then add the onions. Allow to cook on a medium heat until golden, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and chillies and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  • Tip in the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients except for the spinach and freshly-chopped coriander. Cook for around 15 minutes, stirring frequently until the sauce is thick and the oil begins to separate from the tomatoes slightly.
  • Whilst the sauce is cooking, check the aubergines have cooled enough to handle. Split each aubergine lengthways and scrape out the soft inside. It’s okay if some burnt skin comes away with it but try to remove the large pieces. Chop it all up roughly and add to the tomato sauce along with the spinach. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time until the spinach has wilted and any excess water has evaporated.
  • Serve sprinkled with fresh coriander, chopped green chillies and lemon wedges.

  • Method

    What is it with Aubergines? Well I think you know by now my attitude to them was changed by the mighty Otto, and I think they make the great mainstay of a veggie meal - and if you use the burning technique then they give a meaty flavour to the meal which combined with the mouth feel, means you dont mis the meat. The fact that this comes immediately after the burnt aubergine chilli is a coincidence of posting rather than cooking. I made the chilli ages ago but did not photograph it so took ages to post. The Aubergine and spinach curry was made last night. It is actually burnt aubergine and spinach curry, but that seemed too much...

    I found this recipe through mr google. It is apparently a Gujarati dish called Oroh, and cooked often at home. Having tasted it I can believe it. The original recipe calls for green chillis, which I did not have so subbed in Red. This resulted in a less spicy favour, which actually was fine - I am not sure I want this particularly firey, but each to their own. The recipe also calls for 2 tsps of salt, which I did use. The dish is just on the OK side salt wise - next time I would have this and then allow people to season it themselves. It also, in the best indian tradition, contains a lot of garlic, but the flavour melts together with the others.

    A great curry. I served it with rice, the original suggests chapati, which would be just as good - maybe better.

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