I absolutely adore aubergines. Without doubt they are my favourite vegetable and one of the most interesting and versatile to cook with. This weekend I ate aubergines three times and not once did it taste or even look the same – Baba Ghanoush, a baked rice, harissa and aubergine dish which a friend made, and then a cumin spiced aubergine recipe of my mothers. All completely different and delicious. I know I have mentioned this in a previous blog post For the love of Aubergines… but such is the versatility of this vegetable, i know i can go back to it!
This weekend signalled two years since my mothers funeral so I wanted to cook one of her recipes for our family dinner on Sunday. As i flicked through the folder of much loved recipes, there were at least four or five different aubergine dishes as she also was a fan. I decided to cook her Cumin spiced Aubergines, to accompany a Lamb Rogan Josh. Aubergine and lamb are a perfect combination, whether in mediterranean, Turkish or Indian cuisine, and they are two of my mothers favourite ingredients.
I used 2 aubergines for the recipe and baked these with a little oil and salt as opposed to frying them. Aubergines soak up a lot of oil, so in order to make the dish slightly healthier, cube and bake them and you will get a similar but less oily result. It is quite a dry but unctuous dish, similar to the texture of a good ratatouille. I also used lamb neck fillet for the curry which is a gorgeous cut of meat when slow cooked and simmered in a rich gravy making it extremely tender and flavourful. As an accompaniment, I made a kochumba salad with chopped cucumber, red onion, fresh mint, salt and lime juice which marinated for about 15 minutes before serving. The fresh tangy flavours cut through the richness of the lamb curry and the aubergine. Served with steamed basmati rice and some poppadums, it really was the comfort food I grew up with.
For you Aubergine haters, please give the humble aubergine a chance!