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Aubergine Bhaji (Brinjal Bhaji)

Chloe from Forkful of Plants
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2
Aubergine bhaji is a curried aubergine dish, also referred to as brinjal bhaji in many Indian eateries. It’s a delicious curry, with melt-in-your-mouth aubergine and a delicate blend of Indian spices. Enjoy it with your favourite rice dish or flatbread.

Equipment

  • Non-stick baking tray
  • Wok or large frying pan with lid

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 medium aubergines
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed/canola oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp onion seeds
  • 1 inch ginger finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 brown onion chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 3 medium tomatoes chopped (or 6 small)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 60 ml water
  • half a lime juiced

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 200°c/390°f. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways, and score the flesh deeply at around a 1 inch width. Be careful not to cut the skin as this will make it more difficult to scoop the flesh.
  • Brush the flesh with ½ tbsp of the oil, and sprinkle with salt and ground pepper. Lay the aubergine halves flesh side down on a baking sheet, lined with greaseproof paper if needed. Roast the aubergine halves in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the curry base. Heat the remaining oil in your frying pan or wok over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and black onion seeds, and fry them until they start to crackle and become aromatic, around 2 minutes.
  • Add the ginger and chilli to the pan, fry for a further 2 minutes, then add the onion and garlic. Continue to cook this until the onion begins to soften, which will take 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the ground spices to the pan and stir for a minute to bring out their flavour, then add in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and water. Stir well to combine all of the ingredients, and then bring to a simmer, covered, until the aubergine is ready.
  • Remove the aubergine from the oven when it's done, and use a spoon to scoop out the soft flesh from the skin. Check that the tomatoes have broken down in the pan, and once they have, stir the aubergine flesh through.
  • Season the bhaji to taste with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Notes

STORAGE: The flavour of aubergine bhaji develops with time, so this makes it a great candidate for cooking ahead. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer, making sure to cool it to room temperature first. To reheat, tip it into a pan over a medium heat, and warm through until simmering. Alternatively, you can pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes until it’s piping hot through. From frozen, defrost it in the fridge overnight or for a few hours on the counter first.

Nutrition

Calories: 255kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 8gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gFiber: 19gSugar: 24g
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