Aubergine and Lentil Curry

This is a recipe I return to again and again. It’s simple, full of flavour and only gets better with age, making it an ideal dish for ‘meal prep’. That said, there’s nothing stopping this dish being the hero of your curry night: fragrant rice, sticky mango chutney, fresh coriander yoghurt and homemade flatbreads to mop it all up, washed down with a light beer.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 heaped tsp of mild curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp mild chilli powder (adapt to your preference)
2 tsp of mustard seeds
5 cardamom pods
2 cloves of garlic
Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
1.5 tbsp of tomato puree
1 vegetable stock cube
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large aubergines (roughly 400g)
100g red split lentils
2 tbsp Alpro soya coconut yoghurt or any full fat yoghurt/creme fresh (if it’s low fat it will split)
Fresh coriander
2 large pieces of stem ginger in syrup
Salt and pepper to season

To serve: 
Toasted coconut flakes 
Mango chutney
Coconut yoghurt

Goes great with my cumin flatbreads

Method:

  1. Dice the aubergine into quarter, 1.5cm chunks, then fry in a pan until golden, with oil and a pinch of salt
  2. While frying, measure out all the dry spices and finely grate your ginger and garlic
  3. Once the aubergine has slightly browned, decant into a bowl and set aside
  4. In a large wok style frying pan, fry off the dry spices for 1-2 minutes, until they start to release their flavour
  5. Now add in the garlic, ginger, tomato paste and a tablespoon of oil and sweat for 1 minute
  6. Return the aubergine to the pan and coat fully in the spices
  7. Now pour in 1ltr of vegetable stock, followed by the lentils
  8. Leave to simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes, until the lentils and aubergine are soft and the liquid has reduced. If you have a lid, I’d put one on for 20 minutes of the cooking, so it doesn’t reduce too fast – keep an eye on this, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed
  9. While this cooks, think about what you’d like to serve it with, I have mine with simple couscous and flatbreads
  10. Now is also a good time to prep your chopped coriander and toast your coconut ahead of serving
  11. After 30 minutes, add in your chopped stem ginger, as well as a good tbsp of the syrup – more or less depending how sweet you like it and cook through for a further 5 minutes
  12. Just before serving, add in two tablespoons of yoghurt and swirl through – I like Alpro coconut the best
  13. Once ready, serve in bowls with your couscous and top with the toasted coconut, mango chutney, fresh coriander and an extra spoonful of coconut yoghurt

Game changer: If you’re making the flatbreads, you can whip of a simple fresh dip of yoghurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon and coriander for dipping!

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