Courgette curry

A simple, easy to cook and delicious vegetable. Once you have the base done, it cooks pretty quickly – it really is worth cooking down the base as detailed below.

2 medium size courgettes, washed and sliced;

1 medium sized onion, finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 green chillies, finely chopped

1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste

1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (I used a mix of 8 cherry tomatoes and some passata)

t tbsp tomato puree/paste

2 tbsp oil

1/4 cup water

handful of fresh coriander leaves

1 tbsp kasoori methi

1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala

Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. As soon as they start sizzling, stir in the onions, ginger garlic and green chillies, Cook till the onions are soft and translucent. Don’t let the onions brown – add the tomatoes and a little water. Bhun on medium heat till the oil separates, and if need be, add a little bit more water and cook it down. The tomatoes have to cook till very very soft, so much that they mush with the back of your spoon and disintegrate in the sauce.

At this point, stir in the masalas and the courgettes. Combine well, making sure the masala coats the courgettes well and cover the pot, reduce the heat. The courgettes don’t need stirring much, or they will turn to mush. Let them cook on low heat, stirring gently once or maybe twice just to mix the masala gravy on them. They will be cooked in 10 minutes. Sprinkle some fresh coriander leaves and some kasoori methi for some fragrance and serve hot.


Easy garlicky Aubergine curry

This recipe does not follow normal ‘traditional’ cooking methods. I make it this way often, as its easy, convenient and its the way I like it. I don’t add many spices/masalas, and the ones I do add are already roasted so I just sprinkle them on instead of cooking them or roasting them in oil. The heat is from the green chillies, which works well for me.

1 medium size aubergine/eggplant;

2 medium sized onions (preferably red ones);

1 inch piece of ginger, grated;

5-6 cloves of garlic, minced;

2 green chillies, chopped;

2 tbsp cooking oil (I like grapeseed)

1 cup passata sauce or 4/5 medium size tomatoes, finely chopped;

1/4 cup base gravy (optional)

Heat the oil in a wok, add roughly chopped pieces of aubergine and start to stir fry on medium heat. Same time, start slicing the red onions and drop them in with the aubergine. Add the ginger, garlic, green chillies to this. Sprinkle a little salt and cover the wok. Let this cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or so. I have an induction stove, so you may need to adjust the heat levels but idea is that the steam buildup inside cooks it through slowly. I like some of the edges caramelising a little, as it gives it a nice flavour.

Stir and add the tomatoes. Salt, black pepper to taste and I also sprinkle some garam masala, roasted cumin powder, roasted coriander powder and Kashmiri red chilli powder to taste. Once it is combined well, cover and let it cook on low/medium heat for about an hour. Stir from time to time.

Sprinkle some fresh coriander leaves and serve. I always have frozen coriander leaves, so I stir them in before serving. They don’t look so good all wilted on top, as a garnish 😉

To garnish – Heat some ghee and fry some thinly sliced garlic. Add on top before serving.

SLOWCOOKER METHOD: Just put everything all together in the slow cooker and let it cook for 4 hours on high heat. May need to stir it once/twice. Depending on the quantity/size of cooker, I have left it on for 8 hours overnight when making a large batch on low heat, and it was beautiful the next morning. The constant cooking was a bit too aromatic for me and I found it hard to sleep though!