250gbaby leaf spinachwashed and squeezed of excess water
Fresh coriander, lemon wedges and chopped green chilliesto garnish
Make around 10 holes in each aubergine and place one on each burner of your gas cooker. Turn the flame on high and cook the aubergines for 8 minutes. Don’t touch or move them during this time. Trust me.
Once 8 minutes have passed, use tongs to turn them over and cook the other sides for 8 minutes, again not moving them. Steam will escape from the holes you’ve made. It’s important not to leave the kitchen during this time! Open a window too. Once charred on the outside, use tongs to place each aubergine onto a plate and set aside to cool.
In a large pan, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds and optional asafoetida. Cook for a minute and then add the onions. Allow to cook on a medium heat until golden, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and chillies and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Tip in the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients except for the spinach and freshly-chopped coriander. Cook for around 15 minutes, stirring frequently until the sauce is thick and the oil begins to separate from the tomatoes slightly.
Whilst the sauce is cooking, check the aubergines have cooled enough to handle. Split each aubergine lengthways and scrape out the soft inside. It’s okay if some burnt skin comes away with it but try to remove the large pieces. Chop it all up roughly and add to the tomato sauce along with the spinach. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time until the spinach has wilted and any excess water has evaporated.
Serve sprinkled with fresh coriander, chopped green chillies and lemon wedges.
This curry can be made 48 hours in advance. The flavours get better with time so it's a great make-ahead recipe!
Make a double batch and freeze half for later! Allow the curry to cool completely, transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months. Defrost and room temperature and ensure the curry is piping hot before serving.
This curry is traditionally eaten with chapattis and salted lassi. Badasses can add a side of Gujarati Lasan ni Chutney if they like. Yeah, MORE GARLIC!
Once your cooker has cooled down completely, you can lift off the foil lining and wipe down as normal.