This is a cheats curry really - I used a ready made curry paste as the base, but when your cooking up something quick, mid-week and it's just for yourself, you don't always have the time, energy or frankly, the enthusiasm to mix everything from scratch - well I don't anyway ....... and isn't that exactly why you can by spice mixes, ready made sauces and dressings!
One of my pet hates is listening to those insufferable people talking about how they would never, ever buy 'ready made' that 'they always prepare everything from scratch', this seems to be designed to make me feel like I have failed if I open a jar or packet, if I haven't donned my wellies to trek out in the wet dark night to pick that important fresh sprig of herb that must be added to a dish at exactly the right time etc, etc, ..... and woe betide me if I dare to feed a ready made sauce to a child- the horror!!!!! ............. ooooh they are just so so perfect! Ahhhhhh.........
Yes, there is some rubbish stuff available - packed full of sugars, salts etc, that I wouldn't touch with a barge pole, but equally there are some really excellent brands, especially some from smaller producers, that are well worth hunting out and keeping in the larder for those 'don't have time' days in the kitchen.
So that's my morning rant over, here's the simple aubergine curry I made for myself last night. It isn't a tried and tested recipe, more a this is what I used, you can adjust the ingredients add a few extras and make it your own - it's the addition of the apricot chutney that adds the fruity flavour, mango would work as well - just make sure it had some nice chunky bits of fruit in it!
Recipe - enough for 2
1 Aubergine - slice and salt drained if you wish
1 red onion - diced
1 orange pepper sliced in to small strips
1 stick of celery - sliced
1 fat clove garlic - sliced
a thumb size of fresh ginger - sliced into fine slivers
1 tablespoon mild curry paste
2 heaped teaspoons apricot chutney
2 teaspoons tomato paste
A little water for liquid.
salt and pepper
Heat up a large non stick pan, add some olive oil and gently cook the aubergine through - adding more oil if needed - until they are soft and brown but can still hold their shape. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the onions and peppers to the pan and cook, over a medium heat, until they start to soften. Next you add the celery, garlic and ginger. Continue to cook for a few more minutes until the garlic and ginger have also started to soften.
Whilst this is cooking combine the curry and tomato paste with the chutney - loosen with a tablespoon of hot water. Add this sauce to the pan and shake to coat the vegetables. Return the aubergines to the pan and add a little more water if need be. I like to keep this a fairly dry curry - not swimming with sauce because I find the texture of the aubergines is better - more firm and substantial.
Continue to cook through for about ten minutes and then season with a little salt and pepper.
Serve with a bowl of plain white rice and some natural yogurt.
Have a great weekend