Sunday, 17 January 2016

warming sweet potato & aubergine curry

In my drive to become a tad healthier I have started to make more vegetable dishes, and what better way to eat some veggies than in a spicy curry? Spices are great for these winter months when you need something warming and comforting (plus they have great health benefits!) I love the combination of slightly sweet and hot and this sweet potato and aubergine curry hits just the spot. Although regular potato and aubergine is a traditional combination when it comes to Indian and Bengali cooking, sweet potato offers a unique flavour and in my opinion it’s even nicer. The Bengali five spice elevates this simple dish with its combination of seeds which include mustard, fenugreek, nigella, cumin and fennel - a winning blend of aromas! 

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
Sweet potato & aubergine curry
1 large sweet potato
1 large aubergine
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp panch phoron (Bengali 5 spice)
Fresh chopped coriander (3-4 tbs)
2 whole green chillies (or chopped for extra heat)
1 bay leaf
4 tbs oil
1.5 tsp salt (or to taste)

Peel, wash and cube sweet potato into small chunks. Wash and chop aubergine into slightly larger chunks. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok and add the panch phoron. The heat should be medium high. Wait until the seeds begin to pop and add the crushed garlic, sliced onion, bayleaf and salt.

Sautee for about 5 mins until the onions are translucent and lightly browned and add the cumin, turmeric, ground coriander, garam masala and chilli powder. Reduce the heat to low and cook the spices for about 2 mins until cooked.

Stir in the potatoes and aubergine and whole green chillies. Add the chopped tomatoes and cover with a lid and cook on low heat for 10 mins.

After 10 mins give everything a stir and check that it’s not sticking to the bottom. Add 200ml water and cover again for another 10 mins.

The curry should be done once the potatoes are soft (you can check this by piercing through with a fork - if the fork slides though easily it's done). Add the chopped coriander just before you turn off the flame and allow to cook for about a minute.

Serve as a side or main dish with rice or roti.

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