Masala aubergines are the perfect, nutty and indulgent starter!
4-6 baby aubergines is the perfect amount for 2 people. Use more aubergines as required.
For the masala stuffing:
A cup of red skinned peanuts (I don’t bother removing the skins)
2 tablespoons of gram flour toasted in a non-stick pan until aromatic – optional. Leave out if you want paleo
1 tablespoon ground coriander powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin powder
4 large crushed cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of grated ginger
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
Handful fresh chopped coriander
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons coconut oil or regular vegetable oil
1/8 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
For the spicy tomato sauce:
1 tablespoon coconut oil or regular vegetable oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon asafoetida
1 large tomato pureed
5-6 curry leaves
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon red chilli powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
Steps to make it:
1. Mix all of the ingredients for the stuffing except for the oil in a blender. Pulse 5-10 times until roughly ground. Place in a bowl.
2. Heat three tablespoons of coconut oil/vegetable oil in a small saucepan until hot and shimmering. Slowly and carefully pour the oil onto the peanut mix and mix together. It should make a fizzy noise. Set aside to cool.
3. Make a slit in each aubergine from just above the bottom to top almost all the way through – leave the stalk area uncut. So it looks like a pocket…Stuff each aubergine with the masala mix.
4. Place the stuffed aubergines upright in a microwave safe dish. Cover the dish with cling film and make a few hole in the top. Microwave on full power for seven minutes. Remove the cling film and allow to cool.
5. Meanwhile, to make the spicy sauce, heat one tablespoon of coconut oil/vegetable oil in a non-stick pan. Add the mustard seeds and wait for them to pop. Add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, tomatoes and then the rest of the ingredients. Allow to simmer for a few minutes. When bubbling, add the leftover stuffing mix and combine.
6. Pour the sauce over the aubergines and bake in a preheated oven at 190°C for 35 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh coriander.