Vegan Aubergine & Lentil Curry

The aubergine I bought what seems like weeks ago was beginning to go mouldy at one end, so I decided to lose it in a curry.  I googled aubergine curry and came up with yet another Maunika Gowardhan recipe which I added a few more of my favourite ingredients.

This is a mildly spiced curry.  Aubergine lovers like me can still taste the aubergine, whilst the aubergine phobics in this family had no idea until I told them and yet would happily eat it again.

Serves 4

2 large onions
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 large aubergine
2 tbsp cooking oil
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
5cm cinnamon stick
5 green cardamon pods
1 500g carton passata
1 heaped tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp mild chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp tamarind paste
100g green lentils
1 carton recently boiled water
1 tsp salt

Peel and slice the onions.  Fry in 2 tbsp oil over a medium heat for about 20-30 minutes until brown and caramelised but not burnt.  Scrape into a stick blender jug.

Whilst the onions are cooking cut the aubergine into 1cm cubes and fry in the remainder of the oil until browned or it starts to stick.  Add the whole spices, liquidise the cooked onions with about 250ml of water to make a paste the consistency of double cream.  Add the remaining spices to the aubergine and stir around for a few minutes then add the rest of the ingredients.  Add as much water to make a slightly watery stew, as the lentils will absorb some of this liquid.

Bring to the boil and simmer briskly for 10 minutes then turn the lid down and leave to simmer gently for another 30 minutes.  Stir from time to time to check it is not sticking.  Add more water if you think it is, or remove the lid for the final 10 minutes if the curry is too liquid for your tastes.

Season to taste and serve with basmati rice.

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