1 thumb size pieceof fresh gingerpeeled and finely grated
3cloves of garlicput through a garlic press or minced
1red chilli pepperFinely chopped. I used a red jalapeño pepper to keep the heat mild. If you would like a hotter pepper than I would use a green chili or a Jwala Chilli if you can get you can get some.
1 400g(14.5oz) can of chopped (diced) tomatoes
2 tspcumin seeds
1heaped tspyellow mustard seeds
1 400g(15oz) can of chickpeasdrained and rinsed in cold water
1400g(13.66 fl oz) can of coconut milk
50g(1 ¾ cups) of baby spinachwashed and patted dry with kitchen paper
1 small handfullfresh coriander (cilantro)
¼tsp freshly ground black pepper
Toasted almond flakes
Heat 1 tbs of oil in a large saute pan, add the onion and a pinch of salt and gently cook over low heat for about 20 minutes. The onions should be soft and light brown.
Heat the oven to 180° C(355°F) fan / 200°C (390°F) conventional ovenCut the aubergine into bitesize pieces. Place then a baking tray then drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over it. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, turn the aubergine chunks halfway through cooking.
Toast the mustard seeds and cumin seeds in a dry pan until they release their aromas, about a minute.Transfer them to a pestle and mortar and pound them until they are a rough powder.
Once the onion is soft and golden add the garlic, ginger and chilli pepper.Cook for about 1 minute, then add all spices.Cook for another minute, until you can smell the spices. Be careful not to let the spices burn.
Now, pour in the tin of chopped tomatoes. Stir and leave to simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. After 10 minutes add the roasted aubergine and the chickpeas.
Next pour in the coconut milk, add this slowly stirring all the time. Simmer for 5 minutes.You should have a thick sauce now. If not simmer for another 5 minutes.
Finally, add in the spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted. Finish by stirring in the coriander leaves. Serve immediately with naan, basmati or brown rice and toasted flaked almonds.
The onion - cooking the onion for at least 20 minutes over low heat will give you soft golden onions. This will add flavour to your curry so I recommend cooking them for at least 20 minutes. If you don't have time then give them at least 10 minutes.
Spices - the spices only need a minute to cook. In fact, as soon as you can smell their aromas they are done! Don't burn the spices as they will turn bitter and ruin your curry.
Roasting the aubergine - roasting the aubergine makes a huge difference to this curry. The skin will and edges will be crispy but the inside will be soft and tender. Remember to turn the aubergine chunks halfway through cooking. 15 minutes should do the trick as it will cook in the curry too.
Coconut milk - add the coconut milk slowly, stirring all the time. Try not to bring the coconut milk to a boil as this can spilt the coconut milk. Don't forget to give that can a good shake before you open it!
Freezing/Storing - Once the curry has cooled transfer it to suitable containers and place it in the freezer. Use within 3 months. Defrost the curry overnight in the fridge then reheat on the hob until piping hot. You may need to add a little water to loosen it up while it is reheating.
Storing - If you have any leftovers you can store them once cooled in the fridge. The curry will last for about 3- 5 days. Just reheat on the hob until piping hot and serve.
Nutritional Information - is calculated using an online nutrition tool and is approximate. It is based on one serving of four and does not include rice or flaked almonds.
Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible for best results.