Aubergine Curry

Reached a point in life now where the aubergine emoji is being used for it’s intended purpose. Sad face.

I saw a Netflix documentary recently, Explained: The Future of Meat. Have you seen it? They’re developing all this artificial meat to offer as an alternative because they’re struggling to keep up with demand. I don’t wanna eat that shit. I don’t want my kids to eat that shit either, so, if by some miracle, me cutting out meat from a few meals a week helps (obvs won’t, but it’s nice to feel like you’re doing something, right?), then that’s what I’ll do.

I’m not a huge lover of veg. I think mainly because all I was offered as a kid was boiled-to-fuck runner beans and broccoli. Oh god, and I’ve just remembered that my mum once bought us these chocolate flavoured carrots that she purchased from one of the freezer supermarkets, that you boiled in the bag, in a desperate attempt to get us to eat some vegetables. Safe to say, it didn’t work. It wasn’t really until I started cooking for myself that I realised, vegetables aren’t terrible, it just depends what you do with them.

Last week, I found a member recipe on BBC Good Food for an aubergine and lentil curry (thanks chloedavidson375), which was delicious. However, I’m trying to do my bit for the planet here, and so I think it’s best that I ‘Let London Breathe’, as the TfL adverts suggest, and avoid lentils altogether. I’m sure everyone on the eastbound Central line at rush hour will be grateful.

This week I’ve adapted it and replaced the lentils with my favourite root vegetable, the beautiful butternut squash. Scroll down for the recipe!

Ingredients

1 large aubergine, cut into bitesize pieces

About 300g butternut squash, cut into bitesize pieces

2 x 400g chopped tomatoes

Curry paste – I went with the classic tikka masala

Mango chutney

Cashews – I just chucked the whole 170g bag in

Olive oil, or whatever your preferred cooking oil is

Fresh coriander

0% fat greek yoghurt

Servings – I’m greedy, but I reckon you can get four out of this.

Method

1. Heat some oil in the pan and cook the aubergine until it’s golden and slightly soft. Then remove from the pan and put to one side.

2. Heat some more oil in the pan and cook the squash until it’s golden and slightly soft.

3. Add the curry paste to the pan and stir, then remove from the heat and add the chopped tomatoes.

4. Add the aubergine back to the pan, along with a couple of tablespoons of mango chutney.

5. Chuck in the cashews, as many as you like. I love nuts in a curry so I just shoved the whole bag in. Bring to the boil for a bit, then simmer for 20-30 mins, stirring occasionally.

6. Serve with wholegrain basmati, a dollop of yoghurt (not pictured here, because I forgot to pick some up), and some fresh coriander.

Fucking delicious!


HOW TO MAKE MONDAY BETTER

Recipe from November 2019…

It’s Monday. It’s November. It’s cold. I’ve got a three-day hangover and I wish I wasn’t at work.

The only thing getting me through today is knowing that I get to eat this delicious soup I made yesterday for lunch. I’ve added the recipe below so that you can get a belly full of happiness too.

Recipe:

400g Butternut squash (I know it’s bad (because plastic) but I always buy the pre-chopped stuff)

2 Carrots

1 onion

Chicken stock (because I already had it in the cupboard)

4tbsp Crème Fraîche (or more/less depending on how creamy you want it)

Butter

Olive oil (or whatever you’d usually use to roast your veg)

Dried sage

Fresh sage

Chilli flakes

Salt & lots of pepper

Calories: Who cares, it’s winter

Servings: Depends how greedy you are. This gave me three servings

Time: You should be able to do this in under an hour. I wasn’t really paying attention to the time if I’m honest

1. Chop the squash and carrots into bite-size pieces, put them on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, season with salt, pepper and some dried sage. I put mine in the oven at 250 degrees, first for about 20 mins, then I checked it, turned the veg over and left it in for a few more minutes to make sure the veg was soft enough to get a fork in with ease. Make up a jug of stock, I used about 500ml.

2. Chop the onion, add a bit of oil to a large pan and fry for a few minutes until soft (but not brown). You could of course roast your onion. This was my original intention, but I forgot.

3. Add the veg to the pan with the onions, add the stock and a dollop of butter, then remove from the heat. Let it cool a bit before blending.

4. In a small frying pan, add some butter (or oil if you’d prefer) and add the sage leaves making sure to keep them flat. Sprinkle with some salt and fry until they go crispy. This doesn’t take very long. Remove the leaves and lay them out on some kitchen roll to soak up some of the oil.

5. Get your blender out and blend the soup mix until it’s smooth (or whatever consistency you’d like).

6. Transfer the soup back to the pan, and on a medium heat, stir through 4 big dollops of crème fraîche until it’s all melted. Add some chilli flakes and a bit more salt and pepper.

7. Serve up your bowl of orange bliss, garnishing with a few of the crispy sage leaves and a couple of slices of your favourite bead. I had some lightly toasted, buttered sourdough. Fucking delicious!