I have never participated in such a competition and really don’t know how to go about it, but all I am hoping for is that people enjoy my recipe. It is one of the first ever dishes I cooked (properly!) and that just goes to show how simple it is to make. It is packed full of flavour, vitamins and just plain yummy-ness! I think that if you like Indian raita, Greek tzatziki or Arabic baba ghanoush you will love this! I used to HATE aubergines with a passion… something to do with the skin and slimy insides (heh). Although as I grew up I began to eat it when it was mashed (without the skin) and mixed with other things. My mum makes lovely plain ohro (cooked with tomatoes and garlic) and dhai varo ohro (like this one). So I kind of grew to ENJOY eating it (wow, as a kid I never imagined I would say that in my life!) Making this dish is such a good way to pack vitamins and nutrients into your diet and also to clear out any old veggies (not too old I hope) that are lurking in the back of your fridge. So why not bring a little sunshine into these Autumnal days with this light and summery dish?
Ingredients (Serves 4)
2 medium aubergines
1 large onion, chopped finely
½ a yellow pepper, diced finely
½ an orange pepper, diced finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 red chillies, chopped finely
90g baby spinach, chopped and blanched (squeeze out all the water)
400g plain yogurt (I used thick Greek style but you can use whichever you have)
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 ½ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp asafoetida
1 tsp cumin seed powder
1 tsp coriander seed powder
3-4 curry leaves (sweet neem leaf/limbro)
Salt to taste
1 tsp black peppercorns, ground
1 tbsp sunflower oil
¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped
1. Make a few holes in the aubergines (you don’t want aubergine guts all over the inside of your grills/ovens/microwaves… trust me). Place them in the grill and blacken the skin all over (yep, by ‘blacken’ I mean burn– the flesh inside will still be soft and perfect!) This gives the aubergines their characteristic barbecued taste. Allow to cool.
3. In a pan heat the oil, add the mustard seeds (wait for them to pop!), cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and garlic. Cook until aromatic. Pour this mixture (the ‘vaghar’) over the vegetable and yogurt mixture. Ahh, you hear that sizzle? That means it’s nearly done! Stir again, chill in the fridge and serve! (I suggest with naan, plain paratha, chappatis or pitta bread).