Since Christmas I have been flicking through my new cook books spoilt for choice wondering which recipe to make next. Should I try vegetable cobbler or rubarb custards? Cornbeef hash or naan bread? Before I knew it week 26 flew by, dominated mainly by leftover curries and pies.
In the end I turned to The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook, Gemma and Luke bought me for Christmas and found a dish called Tamatar Baigan or Aubergines in Tomato Sauce so I decided to make it.
To make this dish you need.
1 Large Aubergine
2 Tablespoons of oil
600g Chopped tomatoes (1 ½ aldi tins)
½ Teaspoon Cumin seeds
1 Teaspoon Chilli
½ Teaspoon Coriander
1 Teaspoon Ginger
1 Teaspoon Turmeric.
100ml Water (Possibly 200ml)
Fresh Coriander to Garnish (optional)
To start with I chopped the aubergine in half and then I cut those pieces in half again.
Once the aubergine was quartered I cut it into slices and tried to make them 1cm wide as the recipe directs.
When they were all chopped up I got out my griddle, put a little oil on it and then started to cook my aubergine slices on it in batches, removing them when they started to go a more golden colour.
The recipe recommended using a slotted spoon to move the aubergines but I don’t have one of those so I improvised and fork... When this was done I got my wok out and heated up some oil, then when it was hot I put the cumin seeds into the pan.
I fried the cumin seeds and when they started to sizzle I took the pan off the heat and added the chilli, ginger, coriander, turmeric, a tin of chopped tomatoes and salt in.
After I put spices and chopped tomatoes in the pan I returned it to the heat before looking at it and thinking that there didn’t look like there was a lot in the pan. So I double checked the recipe and saw my error I didn’t put all the chopped tomatoes in! I added the last of the tomatoes to the pan and stirred the lot until it seemed as if it had cooked. When the tomato sauce seemed ready I started to place the aubergines on top of the sauce as the recipe suggested.
The creative side in me wanted to make a flower or rose type pattern on top with the aubergine slices as petals but there wasn’t really space to do that. Once all the aubergine slices were in place I poured the water in, then set the timer for 25 minutes.
After about 10 minutes passed, my boyfriend came along to investigate by trying to stir the mix! The recipe doesn’t say to stir the aubergines into the sauce. I felt like yelling, instead I pointed to the recipe and explained. We looked at the sauce and it looked quite thick, probably because the recipe says to cover the pan whilst cooking but I don’t have a lid for the wok so can’t cover it. To rectify it my boyfriend added more water and I cooked it for another 20 minutes occasionally turning the aubergines over or moving them slightly. (I’m not sure how much water he added I guess about 100ml.)
As it neared the end of the cooking time I put a few naan breads in the oven to heat up and once it was all done dished up.
The recipe says serves four, then again it also says to serve with tomato rice, paneer with peas and chicken tikka so I don’t think we were greedy eating it all between two of us. It turned out nice despite all my worries and I think it’s a dish we’ll make again!