As with many of my recipes, this one came about when I lacked a few of the ingredients for a recipe I’d made before. I think this version is actually much better! You can use tinned tomatoes if you don’t have fresh vine tomatoes but I do think curries taste much better made with fresh tomatoes. Mushrooms are a nice addition so if you have some, you can throw them in at the same time as the peppers.
Aubergine and red pepper curry
1 medium aubergine, chopped into 3cm chunks
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into 3 cm chunks
150g green beans, trimmed and cut into 3cm lengths
400g ripe vine tomatoes, chopped into 3cm chunks
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
5-6 curry leaves
2 tablespoons ground almonds
¼ natural yoghurt
Coriander leaves to serve
Chop the aubergine and pepper roughly into 3cm chunks and heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan. Fry the aubergine over a medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir fairly often to ensure the vegetables are evenly cooked.
Meanwhile, prepare your curry paste by placing the red and green chilli, ginger and garlic into a small high speed food processor (I use the small cup of my Nutribullet) and blitz until you have a paste, adding a bit of water if necessary. Set aside.
Prepare your spice mix by heating a small pan on a medium heat, before adding the coriander, cumin and black mustard seeds. Toast for a few minutes until they start to crackle and release their fragrances. Remove from the heat, tip the seeds into a small blender or into a mortar and pestle and blitz or crush until you get something resembling a powder.
Remove the cooked aubergine and pepper from the pan and set aside. Using the same pan, heat another tablespoon of oil over a medium heat and then add the curry paste. Fry the paste for 2 minutes before adding the spice mix and cooking for another 2 minutes. Add the chopped fresh tomatoes and tomato puree and stir it all together. Cook for about 10 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down. Add the cooked aubergine and pepper and the green beans, and give everything a good stir. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper plus about ½ cup of water and the curry leaves. Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, then add the ground almonds and yoghurt and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with rice or quinoa and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.